Trump Thanks Jon Voight For Video, Spells His Name Wrong

Actor Jon Voight made headlines this weekend when he tweeted a video in which he praised President Trump, compared him to Abraham Lincoln, and ripped “the left and their absurd words of destruction,” per The Inquisitr.

President Trump not only retweeted the video, but thanked Voight personally, but spelled the actor’s name wrong in the process.

“Thank you John, so nice!,” the president tweeted. Voight, however, spells his first name “Jon.”

“Don’t be fooled by the political left because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph,” Voight said in the video. “So let us stand with our president, let us stand for this truth that President Trump is the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln. God bless America.”

Voight, who is 80-years-old, won an Oscar for his performance in director Hal Ashby’s 1979 antiwar film Coming Home, in which he co-starred with Jane Fonda. Voight has been an outspoken conservative at least since the Bush years.

The actor has been comparing Trump to Lincoln going back at least as far as the presidential inauguration in early 2017. Earlier this year, Trump appointed Voight to the Kennedy Center board, per Variety. Among others named by Trump included former Gov. Mike Huckabee and the father of the White House press secretary, Mike Huckabee.

The tweet wasn’t Trump’s only Twitter misspelling of the day. In a strange tweet about North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un, he referred to the former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joseph Biden as “Bidan,” in the process of claiming that the North Korean dictator had called “Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual.” Trump later deleted and reposted the tweet with Biden’s name spelled correctly, although the Voight tweet remained up as of Saturday night.

In addition to his acting work and political statements, Voight is known as the father of actress Angelina Jolie. The two had an estranged relationship for many years, but became closer following her split from Brad Pitt, per E! Online.

As pointed out by many on Twitter, the confusion between Jon Voight and “John Voight” very much recalls the 1994 Seinfeld episode, “The Mom and Pop Store.” In that episode, George Costanza is talked into buying a car that he’s told was formerly owned by Jon Voight. The punchline of the episode is that the car was actually owned by a different John Voight, not the actor but rather a periodontist named Dr. John Voight.

The episode ends with a direct homage to Midnight Cowboy, one of Voight (the actor)’s most famous movies.

[Inquisitr]

Trump Blasts Top Senate Intel Dem Mark Warner: Acts Like He Runs the Committee

While en route to Japan earlier today, President Donald Trump fired off a tweet blasting Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The committee received particular attention over the recent news of Donald Trump Jr. being subpoenaed to testify. They worked out a deal and the president’s son will speak to the committee.

More recently, Warner decried Trump for giving AG Bill Barr declassification authority on documents related to the origins of the Russia probe, saying the attorney general has “already shown that he has no problem selectively releasing information in order to mislead the American people”:

Earlier today, Trump blasted Warner for “acting and talking like he is in total control of the Senate Intelligence Committee”:

It’s unclear what jokester he’s referring to, though he may be mixing up Warner (who texted a Russian lobbyist in an effort to contact Christopher Steele) with House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiffwho was infamously called by Russian pranksters back in 2017.

[Mediaite]

Trump Tweets Cartoon Mocking Brennan, Comey, & Clapper; Brennan Fires Back at Trump’s ‘Immature Behavior’

President Donald Trump shared a cartoon on Twitter this afternoon mocking James ComeyJohn Brennan, and James Clapper.

Trump has publicly blasted all three former officials over the Russia investigation. Yesterday he gave AG Bill Barr the authority to declassify documents pertaining to the origins of the investigation.

The president shared this cartoon to Twitter this afternoon:

(The very recognizable symbol on Brennan’s jacket is presumably a reference to the time he voted for a Communist presidential candidate.)

Brennan himself shot back by sending a message to young people to please never emulate Trump’s “very immature behavior”:

[Mediaite]

White House Aide Hogan Gidley Vouched For Trump’s Composure During Pelosi Meeting Despite Not Attending

White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley vouched for President Donald Trump‘s composure during a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week where the president stormed out, despite the fact that Gidley did not attend the meeting.

During an event in the Roosevelt Room yesterday, Trump tried to prove that he was calm during the meeting by asking the staffers that attended “what was my attitude yesterday at the meeting?”

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway insisted there was “no temper tantrum” and White House chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow claimed there was that the president was “very calm,” while Gidley also insisted the president was level-headed Pelosi even though he was not among the president’s staff included in the meeting.

“Were you there, Hogan? You know about it,” Trump went on to ask.

“I’ve seen the first one, Mr. President. That accusation that you pounded your fists — and I’ll be honest, you have every right to do that. We face a crisis on the southern border and they’ve done nothing,” Gidley replied. “You laid out the case to them, and they refused to work with you.”

However, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Gidley was not in the room for the meeting.

The Roosevelt Room event was supposed to focus on trade deals and the impacts they are having on American farmers, but the president used the opportunity to rant about Democrats’ continued interest in Trump’s obstruction of the Mueller probe.

“They’re a do-nothing group of people. The Democrats have done nothing other than to obstruct. They’re obstructing this country,” Trump said. “The Democrats have done nothing in the House, they’ve done absolutely nothing — I mean other than investigate. They want to investigate.”

Yesterday, Pelosi told reporters during her weekly presser that “the president’s behavior, as far as his obstruction of justice, the things that he is doing, it’s in plain sight, it cannot be denied — ignoring subpoenas, obstruction of justice.”

She also called Trump’s abrupt exit from their White House meeting on Wednesday a “stunt,” adding that he “stormed out” and threw “another temper tantrum.”

“I pray for the president of the United States,” Pelosi said. “I wish that his family or his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country.”

[Mediaite]

Trump bypasses Congress to push through arms sales to Saudis, UAE

The Trump administration on Friday cited a national security “emergency” allegedly caused by Iran to bypass Congress and rush through arms sales worth billions of dollars to Saudi Arabia and other Middle East allies, in a move that drew condemnation from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Citing a rarely used provision of arms control law, the administration informed lawmakers it was declaring a national security emergency, allowing it to go ahead with the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan without congressional approval, according to administration letters sent to senators and obtained by NBC News.

“I have determined that an emergency exists which requires the proposed sale in the national security interest of the United States, and, thus, waives the congressional review requirements,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote in a letter to Sen. James Risch, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The decision affected various arms packages worth roughly $8 billion, including deals for precision-guided bombs and related gear for Saudi Arabia and the UAE, according to the documents and congressional aides.

The two countries are staunch U.S. allies that support President Donald Trump’s policies on Iran and have been waging a war since 2015 in support of the Yemeni government against Houthi rebels backed by Tehran.

The move came despite growing bipartisan opposition to any arms sales to Saudi Arabia amid outrage over the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year, as well as over Riyadh’s air war in Yemen that has caused high numbers of civilian casualties.

A bipartisan majority in Congress has voted to halt U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen but President Donald Trump vetoed the legislation last month.

A memo accompanied Pompeo’s letters justifying the declaration of the emergency due to Iran’s actions, including its support for Houthi rebels in Yemen fighting the Saudi-led coalition.

“Iranian malign activity poses a fundamental threat to the stability of the Middle East and to American security at home and abroad,” the memo states. “Current threat reporting indicates Iran engages in preparations for further malign activities throughout the Middle East region, including potential targeting of U.S. and allied military forces in the region.”

Iran has accused the U.S. of trying to provoke a war and denied any role in recent attacks on ships near the coast of the UAE or on a pipeline in Saudi Arabia.

Pompeo said in a statement that delaying the arms shipments, which included bombs, parts for fighter jets and other hardware, could cause problems for allied aircraft and call into question U.S. reliability in providing equipment.

“The United States is, and must remain, a reliable security partner to our allies and partners around the world,” Pompeo said.

But the secretary of state said the decision to bypass Congress was a “a one-time event” and that the administration would uphold the long-established process for congressional review of proposed arms sales.

Democrats in Congress said the Trump administration expedited the arms packages because it could not secure a majority of lawmakers to support any proposed sales to the Saudis.

“President Trump is only using this loophole because he knows Congress would disapprove of this sale. There is no new ’emergency’ reason to sell bombs to the Saudis to drop in Yemen, and doing so only perpetuates the humanitarian crisis there,” Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut said in a statement.

Some Republicans also denounced the White House for circumventing Congress to complete the sale.

“I understand the administration’s frustration that key members of Congress held these arms sales for an extended period of time, in some cases for over a year,” said Rep. Mike McCaul of Texas, the top Republican on the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

“However, the President’s decision to use an emergency waiver on these sales is unfortunate and will damage certain future congressional interactions.”

Republican Sen. Todd Young of Indiana called on the administration to reconsider the decision.

“I strongly urge the administration to reverse course from bypassing congressional oversight on arms sales to Saudi Arabia,” Young said.

“Iran remains the world’s largest state sponsor of terror but the current threats that have been briefed to members of Congress do not justify taking this dramatic step. “

Sen. Bob Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, questioned whether the decision was legal and accused the Trump administration of flouting congressional authority while granting favors to Gulf governments accused of human rights abuses and alleged indiscriminate bombing in Yemen.

“I am disappointed, but not surprised, that the Trump Administration has failed once again to prioritize our long term national security interests or stand up for human rights, and instead is granting favors to authoritarian countries like Saudi Arabia,” Menendez said in a statement.

He said “the Trump administration decided to do an end run around the Congress and possibly the law.”

Menendez had held up the sale of tens of thousands of precision-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia and the UAE for a year, due to concerns about civilian deaths from Saudi-led airstrikes, the killing of Khashoggi and alleged rights abuses linked to the UAE in the war in Yemen.

Rights advocates and humanitarian groups also condemned the decision.

“The Trump Administration is manufacturing an emergency to push through the sale of deadly weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates,” Scott Paul of Oxfam America said. “The real emergency is the 12 million people at risk of famine in Yemen and the largest-ever recorded cholera outbreak continues to spread because of the conflict, but this administration shows little concern for the millions who suffer.”

Apart from precision-guided munitions or so-called “smart bombs,” the arms sales for Saudi Arabia include mortar bombs, engines and maintenance support for F-15 fighter jets and logistical services for the Saudi air force, according to documents sent to Congress from the administration.

The arms packages for the United Arab Emirates cover precision-guided bombs, equipment for AH-64 helicopters, laser-guided rockets, javelin anti-tank missiles, .50 caliber semi-automatic rifles, Patriot missiles, F-16 fighter jet engine parts and U.S. Marine Corps training of the country’s presidential guard. The weapons sale for Jordan involved a transfer of Paveway precision-guided bombs from the Emirates.

Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.

The Trump administration has refrained from public criticism of the Saudi-led coalition’s campaign in Yemen and has focused on Iran’s support of Houthi rebels in the conflict, accusing Tehran of fueling the war.

But some experts and former officials say the war in Yemen benefits Iran and Al Qaeda-linked militants and that the U.S. needs to use its influence with the Saudis to bring an end to the fighting.

“The longer the civil war in Yemen continues, the more opportunity Tehran will have to undermine the interests of the U.S. and our security partners,” said Bradley Bowman of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a Washington think tank.

“It is in U.S. national security interests to end the civil war in Yemen and address the horrible humanitarian crisis there — both of which are pushing the Houthis deeper into the welcoming arms of Tehran.”

Menendez and other lawmakers said they would look at a possible legislative response to the Trump administration’s decision. Two Democratic congressional aides said senators were discussing legislation that would possibly bar future arms sales to Saudi Arabia without congressional approval.

The White House move could trigger a backlash in Congress that would jeopardize future arms sales, Bowman said.

“An administration end-run around Congress to complete arms sales to Riyadh risks inciting a congressional reaction that will undermine the administration’s broader goals related to its conventional arms transfer policy,” he said.

Under U.S. arms control law, Congress must be given 30 days to approve U.S. arms sales to foreign countries. However, in a rarely used provision of that law, the president can declare an “emergency,” sidestepping Congress and sending the sale through immediately.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan used the same provision to sell 400 Stinger missiles and 200 launchers to Saudi Arabia in response to its urgent request for help in defending the kingdom against Iran.

Saudi Arabia remains the United States’ largest foreign military sales customer with more than $129 billion in approved purchases.

[NBC News]

Trump says he’ll refuse to stop skyrocketing drug prices if Democrats investigate him

President Donald Trump, during a press conference in the White House Rose Garden earlier this week, stressed that he refuses to work with Democrats in Congress on infrastructure projects as long as they continue to investigate him. But infrastructure isn’t the only thing Trump is holding hostage: on Friday, the president declared that he can’t work with Democrats on prescription drug prices either unless all investigations cease.

Trump asserted that “with Congress,” he could reduce drug prices in the U.S. by “40 percent and 50 percent, but I can’t do that when all they do is want to try and do a redo of the Mueller report.”

Bloomberg News’ Steven Dennis addressed Trump’s threat on Twitter, commenting, “So, if you’re Pharma, do you now hope for a year of impeachment proceedings?” And one Republican who, according to Dennis, clearly wants to see Trump and Democrats in Congress working together on reducing prescription drug prices is Maine Sen. Susan Collins—who told Bloomberg she thinks Trump will reconsider because he “wants action” on drug prices and other issues.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, ordinarily a passionate supporter of Trump, is also worried about Trump’s threat to quit working with House and Senate Democrats on key issues—telling Bloomberg that while he understands Trump’s “frustration,” refusing to work with Democrats in Congress altogether is “not a sustainable position.” The South Carolina Republican warned that the party giving the impression that “they don’t want to govern at all is going to be in real trouble.”

According to the Commonwealth Fund, the U.S. has the highest prescription drug prices in the developed world—spending $1011 per capita compared to $351 per capita in Sweden, $401 per capita in Norway,  $553 per capita in France or $686 per capita in Germany.

[Raw Story]

Trump: My Approval Rating Would Be 75 Percent if Press ‘Would Give Straight News’

President Donald Trump took questions from press members assembled on the White House lawn as the commander-in-hief prepared to leave for a diplomatic trip to Japan.

Asked if he was worried that multiple investigations are hurting his re-election chances, the president pushed back at the assembled media in a manner consistent with his previous “fake news” rhetoric, but with a twist of strangely specific poll numbers.

Trump responded “My poll numbers are very good,” adding  “I guess we have a 48 today. A 51. We have very good poll numbers considering.”

A recent Quinnipiac poll has Trump’s approval rating at 38%, through the historically more Republican-friendly Rassmussen has Trump’s approval at 46%with likely voters.

But Trump did not miss the opportunity to ding what he sees as unfair treatment by the press.

“I have to tell you, if you people would give straight news, I would be at 70. I’d be maybe a 75.” He then blamed the press for bias, saying “You don’t give straight news. You give fake news. With fake news, I’m still winning the election. If you gave serious good news the way you’re supposed to, I’d probably be at 70 or 75 based on the economy alone. ”

[Mediaite]

Media

Trump Administration to Make It Easier for Adoption Agencies to Reject Same-Sex Parents

The Trump administration is reportedly mulling two plans that would make it easier for adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples, senior administration officials told Axios. One option under consideration is to rescind entirely an Obama-era policy that prevented adoption and foster-care agencies from receiving federal funding if they refused to work with same-sex couples. The other would be to add an exemption for religious organizations. The discussion is “mainly about which approach would hold up better in court,” Axios reports. The change, which could be announced as early as July, is the latest Trump administration attempt to undo the previous administration’s policies. Religious organizations have consistently bristled at Obama’s adoption policy, arguing that they’re being forced to contradict their beliefs.

[The Daily Beast]

Trump Shares Edited Video of Pelosi, Quotes Fox Analyst Questioning Her Mental Fitness: ‘What’s Going On?’

President Donald Trump took his feud with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to a new level on Thursday night, posting an edited video of the Democrat that called into question her mental fitness.

Trump first tweeted out speculation from Fox News pundit Gregg Jarrett, who claimed that Pelosi was having trouble speaking and asked, “What’s going on?”

Shortly after, Trump tweeted out a clip that aired on the Fox Business Network show Lou Dobbs Tonight in which a series of clips of Pelosi stammering were edited together. To be clear, this is not one of the doctored videos shared elsewhere on social media, which were edited to make the Speaker sound like she was slurring her speech.

“PELOSI STAMMERS THROUGH NEWS CONFERENCE,” Trump wrote.

A Fox spokesperson told Mediaite in a statement: “The FOX Business segment featuring clips from Speaker Pelosi’s speech today did not slow down any aspect of her address”

The entire Fox Business segment, which you can watch above, was held in response to Pelosi’s statement from earlier Thursday that she hoped Trump’s family would stage an intervention.

“I think the name-calling has to stop,” said Fox analyst Ed Rollins at the top of the segment.

After watching the edited clip of Pelosi, Rollins speculated: “We all age a little differently. My sense is she is a very big job I think is getting worn down. She’s always very neat and proper, I think she’s very inarticulate which she’s never been in the past. I think in a certain extent she needs to kind of step in the background and not be in front as much. She shouldn’t be the point person leading the Democrats.”

“Is she speaker in name only now? Being actually controlled and whipped by her own sort of radical branch of the Democratic Party?” Jarrett asked.

[Mediaite]

HUD moves to allow discrimination against homeless transgender people

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is moving to roll back protections for homeless transgender people by enabling HUD-funded providers of shelters to consider a person’s sex or gender identification in determining whether they can be admitted.

The proposal, included in the department’s spring rule list out Wednesday, contradicts a pledge that HUD Secretary Ben Carson made to lawmakers just yesterday.

It would turn back requirements under an Obama-era rule that operators of single-sex shelters who receive HUD funding “provide equal access to programs, benefits, services, and accommodations in accordance with an individual’s gender identity.”

Carson told lawmakers on Tuesday that he was “not currently anticipating changing” the Equal Access Rule under questioning from Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.).

“Yesterday, I asked Secretary Carson directly if he was anticipating any changes to HUD’s Equal Access Rule, and he said no,” Wexton told POLITICO. “The announcement today that HUD will now allow anti-trans discrimination in shelters demonstrates that he either lied to Congress or has no idea what policies his agency is pursuing. Either way, it’s unacceptable.”

HUD said the proposal would give more leeway to shelter providers on the admission of people who “may misrepresent their sex.”

“Later this year, HUD will be proposing a change to the 2016 rule that will offer local homeless shelter providers greater flexibility when making decisions about individuals who may misrepresent their sex to access sex-specific shelters,” a spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “HUD is, and will always be, committed to ensuring that every person accessing its programs can do so without discrimination.”

The proposal says shelter providers “may establish a policy, consistent with state and local law, by which such Shelter Provider considers an individual’s sex for the purposes of determining accommodation within such shelters and for purposes of determining sex for admission to any facility or portion thereof.”

Providers would be able to “consider a range of factors in making such determinations, including privacy, safety, practical concerns, religious beliefs, any relevant considerations under civil rights and nondiscrimination authorities, the individual’s sex as reflected in official government documents, as well as the gender which a person identifies with,” according to the proposal.

[Politico]

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