Fox News 2024-02-05 18:03:35


Radical Iran-backed forces carry out new deadly attack targeting US troops

A drone attack late Sunday evening that struck a military base in eastern Syria, where U.S. troops are stationed, left at least six allied Kurdish soldiers dead, officials said.

The attack hit a training ground at al-Omar base in Syria’s eastern province of Deir el-Zour, the U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said in a statement Monday. According to the statement, the drone attack struck an area where the forces’ commando units were being trained.

No U.S. troops were killed or injured in the attack, they said.

The strike was the first significant attack in Syria or Iraq since the U.S. launched strikes over the weekend against Iran-backed militias. Militia fighters have been carrying out assaults on U.S. forces and civilian targets in the region since the breakout of the Israel-Hamas war in October.

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The SDF initially blamed “Syrian regime-backed mercenaries” for Sunday’s attack, but after investigating the attack, they accused “Iran-backed militias.”

The Islamic Resistance, an umbrella group of all Iran-backed Iraqi militias in the country, claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack and released a video they claim showed them launching the drone used in the attack.

Sunday’s attack came after the U.S. military carried out strikes against Houthi militant targets in Yemen over the weekend.

U.S. Central Command forces said Sunday they conducted a “self-defense” strike against a Houthi land attack cruise missile at approximately 5:30 a.m. Sanaa time.

Later, at approximately 10:30 a.m., U.S. forces struck four anti-ship cruise missiles in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen, which they determined “presented an imminent threat to U.S. Navy ships and merchant vessels” in the Red Sea.

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Sunday’s strikes also came a day after the U.S. and Britain launched a wave of strikes against 36 Houthi targets, meant to degrade their capabilities.

Houthi rebels vowed “escalation” in reaction to the strikes, with a spokesman for the group vowing to continue its own attacks “no matter the sacrifices it costs us.”

“The US-British coalition’s bombing of a number of Yemeni provinces will not change our position, and we affirm that our military operations against Israel will continue until the crimes of genocide in Gaza are stopped and the siege on its residents is lifted, no matter the sacrifices it costs us,” Houthi spokesman Mohammed al-Bukhaiti wrote on X.

The Houthi spokesman also called such attacks “ineffective,” and predicted a wider war would end the U.S. presence in the region.

“If the regional war breaks out, it equals the end of US hegemony in the region,” he said.

The Islamic Resistance was responsible for the January drone attack on Tower 22 of the logistics support base in Jordan that left three U.S. service members dead and wounded 40 others.

The U.S. Defense Department identified the three deceased soldiers as Sgt. William Jerome Rivers of Carrollton, Georgia; Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders of Waycross, Georgia; and Spc. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett of Savannah, Georgia.

They were assigned to the 718th Engineer Company, 926th Engineer Battalion, 926th Engineer Brigade, Fort Moore, Georgia.

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“I am outraged and deeply saddened by the deaths of three of our U.S. service members and the wounding of other American troops in an attack last night against U.S. and coalition forces, who were deployed to a site in northeastern Jordan near the Syrian border to work for the lasting defeat of ISIS,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said after the attack. “These brave Americans and their families are in my prayers, and the entire Department of Defense mourns their loss.”

The umbrella group has launched dozens of attacks, primarily using drones, against U.S. military bases in Iraq and Syria. They have repeatedly called for American forces to withdraw from the region.

Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom, Liz Friden and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Musk throws down gauntlet, claims Biden had secret plot to maintain political dominance

Elon Musk has again railed against President Biden’s approach to securing the southern border, arguing that the commander-in-chief is letting millions of people into the country on purpose, so the Democrats can permanently stay in power.

Billionaire Musk, who has been a vocal critic of Biden’s border crisis, ripped into the president on X late Friday while sharing a 2021 news story headline revealing that Biden had intended to prioritize offering legal status to an estimated 11 million people while in office. 

MUSK HITS OUT AT BIDEN’S CALL FOR BORDER DEAL: ‘NO LAWS NEED TO BE PASSED’

“Biden’s strategy is very simple,” Musk wrote.

 “1. Get as many illegals in the country as possible. 2. Legalize them to create a permanent majority – a one-party state.” 

“That is why they are encouraging so much illegal immigration. Simple, yet effective.”

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) report for fiscal 2023 shows that the number of illegal immigrants on the non-detained docket has soared from 3.7 million in FY 2021 to nearly 4.8 million in FY 2022 to nearly 6.2 million in FY 2023.

Musk, a legal immigrant from South Africa, went on to pin his post to the top of his X page account, adding in the caption “This explains why there are so few deportations, as every deportation is a lost vote.”

“As happened this week, you can literally assault police officers in broad daylight in New York, be released with no bail, give everyone the finger and *still* not be deported!! Outrageous.”

He further commented on the migrant attack on two NYPD officers, writing it “makes no sense” after many of them were released on bail.

“What is even the point of arresting criminals if nothing is done!?” Musk wrote later about a report on a Venezuelan woman who had been arrested eight times in the last six months. “No prison, no deportation.”

He previously argued that gaining asylum status after illegally crossing the southern border is as easy as a Google search. 

Musk, the owner of Tesla, SpaceX and X (formerly Twitter), also suggested that the influx of illegal immigrants will be used as a ruse for ballot harvesting in upcoming elections. 

Last week the billionaire fired back at President Biden’s calls for a bipartisan Senate deal to be passed to fix the unprecedented levels of illegal immigrants crossing the southern border. The bill is expected to include billions of dollars to Ukraine. 

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT POPULATION SOARS UNDER BIDEN: GOVERNMENT DATA

“No laws need to be passed,” Musk wrote. “All that is needed is an executive order to require proof before granting an asylum hearing. That is how it used to be.”

He also agreed with Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor David Sacks who wrote last week that the border is broken “because this administration refuses to enforce the laws we already have.” Musk responded by writing, “exactly.”

Musk visited the southern border in Eagle Pass, Texas, in September and livestreamed what he saw, giving people a firsthand account of the migrant crisis.

Last week, Biden told reporters he has done, “all I can do” with his executive authority to secure the border.

House Republicans are currently working to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for his handling of the crisis. 

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Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La, said on the House floor last week that Biden and Mayorkas designed the “catastrophe” at the southern border.

“He’s inviting chaos and disorder within our land that is tearing at the very fabric of our society. The president can put a stop to this,” Johnson said. 

“And now, rather than accept any accountability or responsibility for what they have clearly done, President Biden wants to somehow try to shift the blame to Congress for his administration’s catastrophe by design. It’s absolutely laughable. No one’s falling for this.”

Legendary 9/11 firefighter who stood with President George W Bush at Ground Zero dies

Bob Beckwith, the New York City firefighter who stood at President George W. Bush’s side at Ground Zero in the immediate aftermath of the 2001 terror attacks, has died at age 91. 

Former President Bush addressed Beckwith’s passing in a statement Monday. 

“Laura and I are saddened by the passing of Bob Beckwith. On September 11, 2001, Bob was happily retired after more than 30 years of service with the New York City Fire Department. When the terrorists attacked, Bob suited back up and, like so many brave first responders, raced toward the danger to save and search for others,” the former president said. “His courage represented the defiant, resilient spirit of New Yorkers and Americans after 9/11. I was proud to have Bob by my side at Ground Zero days later and privileged to stay in touch with this patriot over the years. Laura and I send our condolences to Barbara and the Beckwith family as they remember this decent, humble man.”

Former U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., first announced Beckwith’s death in a post on Sunday. 

“Bob Beckwith has passed away. A man of class and dignity. An American icon who personified the best of the FDNY, New York and America at our most perilous moment. Bob Beckwith R.I.P.,” King wrote. 

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, whose nephew, New York State Court Officer Tommy Jurgens, died in the Sept. 11, 2001 attack while rendering aid at the World Trade Center, told Fox News Digital that he had grown close with Beckwith over the years. Both are native Long Islanders, and Beckwith’s grandson, Matt Beckwith, also works for Blakeman’s office. 

9/11 VICTIMS’ RELATIVES BLAME ‘SPINELESS’ POLITICAL LEADERS, SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BIN LADEN LETTER GOING VIRAL

“I’m very sad to hear that Bob Beckwith has passed. We became good friends, and we all remember that historic day when he stood next to President Bush on the pile of rubble at the World Trade Center. And it has special meaning to me because I lost my nephew, who was a court officer administering first aid when the building collapsed on him,” Blakeman said. “It’s a very emotional thing. And with Bob’s passing it, it brings up good memories of him. And it also brings up bad memories of 9/11. But, we’re going to miss him very much. He was a stalwart member of our community here in Nassau County. And, again, you know, it’s a big loss.” 

“It’s a reminder that on that occasion, which was so tragic for so many people, hearing the president on that pile of rubble with Bob standing next to him as a retired firefighter,” he said. “The symbolism was very powerful, and it gave comfort to those families that lost loved ones as well, as it gave us hope that we could overcome these murderous terrorists.” 

“I’m very proud that Bob’s grandson, Matt, works for us. He does a great job. And he’s the spitting image of Bob, which is something that every day I think about. Because, Matt, you can tell, they’re definitely related,” Blakeman added. 

Relatives tell Fox News Digital that 9/11-related illnesses contributed to Beckwith’s death. 

Wrapping his arm around Beckwith at Ground Zero on Sept. 14, 2001, President Bush addressed first responders while standing on a pile of rubble and speaking through a bullhorn. 

“I want you all to know that America today – America today is on bended knee in prayer for the people whose lives were lost here, for the workers who work here, for the families and more. This nation stands with the good people of New York City, and New Jersey and Connecticut, as we mourn the loss of thousands of our citizens,” Bush said. 

“I can hear you, the rest of the world hears you, and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon,” the president added, garnering applause and chants of USA. “The nation sends its love and compassion to everybody who is here. Thank you for your hard work. Thank you for making the nation proud. And may God bless America.”  

REMAINS OF 1,650TH 9/11 VICTIM HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED

Beckwith, who served 30 years with the FDNY, was 69 years old and had retired six years prior at the time he watched the Twin Towers collapse on television from his home on Long Island. 

Three days later, he decided to drive to Lower Manhattan to help search for survivors, following police cars across the Williamsburg Bridge. 

Dressed in his old gear, including his leather fire helmet from Ladder Company 164, Beckwith managed to convince both members of the NYPD and National Guard that he was late for duty and was granted access to Ground Zero, according to the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Once on site, he went to work on the bucket brigade, as the lines of first responders who stood shoulder to shoulder, manually handed off buckets of debris in the search for survivors. The crew he joined managed to unearth FDNY Engine 76. 

As they searched for the truck’s driver, Beckwith overheard that Bush would be visiting the site shortly and jumped onto the fire truck to get a good view of the command post where the president was expected to speak. A person Beckwith believed to be a Secret Service agent – later identified as White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove – approached the truck and asked Beckwith to jump up and down to prove that the wreckage was safe to climb. 

He complied but was soon surprised to see the president walking toward him.

“I see the president on the corner, and he’s headed for the microphones across the street, but he did a hard right, and he comes right in front of me, and he puts his arm up,” Beckwith recalled in a 2021 interview with NBC. “I said, ‘Oh my God.’ I pulled him up on the rig, I turned him around. I said, ‘Are you OK, Mr. President?’ He said. ‘Yeah.’ So, I start to get down and he said, ‘Where you going?’ I said, ‘I was told to get down.’ He said, ‘Oh no, you stay right here.’ And he put his arm around me.”

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Beckwith, surrounded by news cameras, unknowingly became part of the historic moment Bush rallied American resolve in the aftermath of the attacks. 

The image of him and the president was plastered on the cover of Time magazine at the time. Though Beckwith was only at Ground Zero that day, as members of his former fire company were concerned about his age during search and rescue efforts, the helmet he wore remains an artifact and symbol of heroism. 

Adult film actress ignites fury online with vacation to Iran amid Middle East conflict

An American porn star who has engaged in pro-Palestinian advocacy traveled to Iran despite warnings from the U.S. State Department and the possibility that she could be arrested for her occupation.

Adult film actress Whitney Wright filmed herself walking through Tehran, where she visited the now-abandoned former U.S. embassy that became infamous amid the 1979 hostage crisis, according to the Associated Press.

Wright admitted on social media that the location, which has since been converted into a museum by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, was a place she “HAD to visit.”

“I’m sharing exhibits from a museum that are never seen,” Wright posted on Instagram. “It’s not an endorsement of the government.”

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Iran’s parliament voted in favor of a bill in 2007 that could lead to criminal charges, including the death penalty for persons convicted of working in the production of pornographic movies.

The Tasnim news agency, which is believed to have close ties to the Revolutionary Guard, said an anonymous official claimed the government had issued Wright a visa for her trip but was not “aware about the nature of her immoral job.”

During a Monday briefing, Nasser Kanaani, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, also said she had no information about the adult entertainment actress.

Wright’s visit came after Iran imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize laureate and women’s rights activist Narges Mohammadi. The arrest of the activist has sparked debate about the country’s crackdown on women’s rights following protests related to the 2022 death of Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody.

When asked about Wright’s visit to Iran, the U.S. State Department told the Associated Press that Americans are warned to avoid the country and “exercise increased caution due to the risk of wrongful detention.”

THESE CELEBRITIES HAVE SPOKE OUT IN SUPPORT OF PALESTINIANS AMID HAMAS TERROR

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is a primary driver of instability across the Middle East region, and it has been since 1979,” the State Department said. “If Iran actually cared about peace and stability in the Middle East region or the welfare of the people there, it would cease its support for terrorist organizations.”

Wright’s visit quickly garnered attention online.

Iranian actor Setareh Pesiani mentioned Wright when criticizing Iran’s mandatory headscarf policy, which led to Amini’s arrest and death.  

“You punish people of this country in various methods for removal of hijab but you allow a porn actress to come here for tourism!?” Pesiani said.

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Activist Masih Alinejad, who Iran has targeted in assassination and kidnapping attacks, also criticized Wright for her visit.

“We the women of Iran want [to] be like Rosa Parks and not Whitney Wright,” Alinejad wrote. “The true warmongers are the agents of the Islamic Republic who will execute you if you be true to yourself.”

Wright did not return Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Authorities slap handcuffs on music star moments after winning 3 Grammys

Rapper Killer Mike was arrested for misdemeanor battery Sunday afternoon at the Grammy Awards, the Los Angeles Police Department said. 

The singer’s real name, Michael Render, was taken to the LAPD Central Division for processing after allegedly getting in a physical altercation at Crypto.com Arena. Police said Sunday night the 48-year-old was going to be released. 

In a video posted by The Hollywood Reporter on X, Render was escorted in handcuffs by police at the Grammys’ Premiere Ceremony on Sunday, where he had just won three awards.

Render is accused of getting physical with a security officer, knocking the guard down when they did not move quickly enough out of Render’s way, TMZ reported.

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“At 20 years old, I thought it was cool to be a drug dealer,” the rapper said backstage. “At 40, I started to live with the regrets and the things I’ve done. At 45, I started to rap about it. At 48, I stand here as a man full of empathy and sympathy for the things I’ve done.”

He won for best rap performance, rap song and rap album. Prior to Sunday, Killer Mike’s last Grammy came in 2003 when he won for “The Whole World” for best rap performance by a duo or group.

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The Grammy-winner hosted Netflix’s “Trigger Warning with Killer Mike,” a 2019 documentary series about issues that affect the Black community. He also made an emotional plea to calm a protest against police brutality that turned violent in Atlanta. He owns a number of barbershops, FOX TV Stations reports. 

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Online arrest records show Render was released on his own recognizance and is expected back in court Feb. 29.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report. 

Star arrives to Grammys with camo hat before unveiling temporary forehead tattoo

The Grammys red carpet did not disappoint when it came to risqué fashion Sunday night.

Miley Cyrus led the pack with her see-through, barely-there gold mesh dress, paired with sky-high hair and heels. 

The dress was designed by Maison Margiela and was inspired by a John Galliano Fall-Winter 1996 look, according to InStyle. 

Cyrus switched her look twice: once inside, first to a black halter dress to accept her best pop solo performance award for “Flowers,” then into a silver fringed dress with a torso cutout for her performance of the song.

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On the red carpet, Doja Cat wore a super sheer dress and barely covered her chest, showing off her many, many tattoos – apparently temporary – including ink spelling out the name of the dress’ designer on her forehead.

The “Paint the Town Red” singer accessorized the look with black frame glasses, a red lip, and red heels.

Heidi Klum wore a gown comprised of a black bra top with silver accents, a sheer cutout at the torso and black skirt, with silver accents at her hips.

She paired the look with a smokey eye, and her partner Tom Kaulitz on her arm.

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Chrissy Teigen and her husband John Legend walked the carpet, with Teigen wearing a mini dress with a skirt shaped like a flower, designed by Sophie Couture. 

Kelly Osbourne also enjoyed a date night with her boyfriend and father of her baby, Sid Wilson, a member of heavy metal band Slipknot.

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Osbourne wore a black dress with a sheer spider-web like corseted top, while Wilson wore his band’s signature intense mask look, paired with a metallic pinstripe suit and flowery scarf.

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Swift heard in viral video asking if iconic clock necklace was set to a specific, symbolic time

Taylor Swift announced a new album Sunday night at the 2024 Grammys.

Swift will release “The Tortured Poets Department” on April 19.

The singer-songwriter announced the news after being awarded the Grammy for best pop vocal album for “Midnights.”

LIVE: 2024 GRAMMY AWARDS

“This is my 13th Grammy, which is my lucky number,” she told the audience. “I don’t know if I’ve ever told you that.” She explained that she wanted to celebrate by “telling you a secret that I’ve been keeping from you for the past two years.”

 Later in the evening, Swift also made history by winning her fourth album of the year award, also for “Midnights.”

“I love it so much. It makes me so happy,” Swift said while accepting the Grammy. “All I want to do is keep doing this. Mindblown. Thank you so much.”

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Swift wore a white gown with black gloves to the Grammys – which turned out to be a nod to the theme of her new album. The musician accessorized with a black watch choker with the hands set to midnight.

In a viral video on the red carpet, Swift frantically asks if her watch is set to midnight sparking speculation that a surprise was coming. Instead, the watch proved to be a red herring – likely just an acknowledgment of her last album, “Midnights.”

Swift appeared at Sunday’s award show without NFL star Travis Kelce. The Kansas City Chiefs tight end is preparing to play in Super Bowl LVIII against the San Francisco 49ers on Feb. 11.

The singer plans on being in Las Vegas for the Super Bowl, Fox News Digital has learned. The global pop star is even planning how she’ll spend her time in Nevada, the source said.

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Ahead of the awards show, Swift changed her Instagram profile photo for a black and white version – potentially dropping a hint to fans of what was to come. The “Midnights” singer is known to give out “Easter eggs” – hinting at things that are set to happen for her fans to decipher.

“When I was 15 and putting together my first album … I decided to encode the lyrics with hidden messages using capital letters,” Swift previously told the Washington Post. “That’s how it started, and my fans and I have since descended into color coding, numerology, word searches, elaborate hints and Easter eggs.”

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The singer is known as a “mastermind,” even penning a song using the word. Swift sings, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail/Strategy sets the scene for the tale” in the hit song from her latest album, which landed her six Grammys nominations this year.

“I think the best messages are cryptic ones,” Swift told Entertainment Weekly. “Easter eggs can be left on clothing or jewelry. This is one of my favorite ways to do this because you wear something that foreshadows something else, and people don’t usually find out this one immediately, but they know you’re probably sending a message.”

“They’ll figure it out in time. Lots of examples of this exist through the history of my career.”

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Swift is set to return to “The Eras Tour” on Feb. 7 in Tokyo.

“The Eras Tour” is the first tour to ever cross the billion-dollar threshold, Pollstar found. Swift’s tour additionally brought in $200 million in merchandise sales and “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” earned the singer-songwriter roughly $250 million, marking it the highest-grossing concert film.

Police K-9 finds missing 12-year-old in freezing cold after tracking scent for miles

A Massachusetts police K9 followed her nose to help find a 12-year-old who went missing in frigid temperatures last week, tracking the child’s scent for over two miles, authorities said.

K9 Biza, a female German shepherd, was called on to help after officers learned the child left their home at around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday and was last seen in the Pakachoag Hill area of Auburn, the Auburn Police Department said.

The child had left the home without a cellphone or their mother’s permission, the Worcester Telegram and Gazette reported.

Due to the freezing temperatures, police said that officers, detectives and Massachusetts State Police troopers converged on the area to locate the wandering child.

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K9 Biza and her handler, Auburn Police Officer David Ljunggren, were deployed, and the dog eventually picked up a scent.

Biza tracked the scent for over two miles and led officers to an area where they found evidence that the missing youth had passed by a short time earlier. Additional officers converged on the area and found the child a short time later.

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The child was safe and reunited with their family.

“Biza is a good dog,” Deputy Chief Richard Mills told the newspaper.

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Biza joined the police department in 2022. The dog has her own Instagram account and was selected as “Miss December” in the Massachusetts Vest-A-Dog 2024 calendar.

Man gains millions of TikTok followers for posting clever home repair hacks

A Florida man has accrued nearly 50 million likes and three million TikTok followers for sharing his simple – but clever – home repair hacks.

The TikTok user, who goes by the childhood name Gator, has posted hundreds of videos.

Gator, who hails from Tallahassee, told Fox News Digital that he was inspired to join TikTok after his son encouraged him to.

“[My son] posted a couple silly videos… and they did really well, close to a million [views],” he explained.

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“And I was like, ‘Well, let me just get that app.’ And then I actually started posting videos.”

Gator originally used his account to post funny videos. He was at 200,000 followers before someone suggested that he share his home repair expertise on the short-form video app.

“I went live with somebody and I was actually working at a rental house. And then they were like, ‘What are you doing?’ And I said, ‘I’m just fixing a water heater.'”

“They said, ‘Why don’t you make this your content?’ And I was like, ‘I don’t know. I never even thought about it.'”

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Gator told Fox News Digital that the first home repair video he posted amassed 20 million views in the first two days.

“And the whole comment section was just like, ‘Can you show me how to do another tape measure hack?’ ‘How do you use a drill?’ ‘Can you fix a toilet, do you fix a door?'”

“And I was like, this is crazy.”

The Florida resident said that he learned about home repair when he began building houses at 18.

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“We didn’t really have the Internet back then,” Gator explained. “So you had to either ask somebody or know somebody.”

The TikTok star said that he thinks his videos are popular because many young people aren’t taught basic skills. 

“When I was young, you had to get out and learn something. With social media and the technology, people are getting different jobs that don’t require them being out there working to learn anything,” he theorized.

“So they go to the Internet to find that.”

The unexpected social media personality called his TikTok stardom “a complete accident.”

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“I’ve never been on social media until a little over two years ago. Not ever. No Facebook. No nothing.”

A high point for Gator was when WD-40 reached out to him to offer a sponsorship deal.

“I’ve been using [WD-40] my whole life. My dad was in the Army, so I started showing WD-40 hacks…so then [they] contacted me.”

Despite his extensive construction experience, Gator maintains that he focuses on making videos that are accessible to all audiences.

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“I’m not showing you how to knock out a wall and remodel your bedroom. I’m showing you how to unclog a dishwasher and fix your garbage disposal.”

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