Trump Says He’ll Back ‘No Fly List’ Gun Control Bill

Donald Trump said Wednesday in a tweet that he would meet with the National Rifle Association to discuss “not allowing people on the terrorist watch list, or no fly list, to buy guns.”

If the presumptive Republican nominee follows through, it would appear to put him on roughly the same side of the issue as President Obama and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

But it’s also possible that Trump’s position, so far described only in a tweet, will be closer to a long-held Republican position—which sounds identical on paper, but is very different in implementation.

Here’s the issue. Most Democrats support banning anyone on the FBI watch list from purchasing a weapon, full stop.

Most Republicans, and even the NRA, say the same thing. In 2015, the gun lobby said it “does not want terrorists or other dangerous people to have firearms.” But the Republican solution would not impose a full ban.

(h/t Time)

Reality

While Trump’s proposal to ban suspected terrorists is a from purchasing a firearm is a common-sense approach to gun safety (and something the Democrats have been pushing a long time for) unfortunately it would have done little to prevent the shooting in Orlando.

Omar Marteen was actually taken off the terrorist watch list, which is something the FBI should be held accountable for.

Keep in mind, people on the terrorist watch list are still able to legally purchase guns because on December 3rd, 2015, U.S. Senate Republicans blocked legislation that would have prevented known or suspected terrorists from buying guns.

Here is the vote count for that law you can read yourself: S.Amdt.2910 to S.Amdt.2874 to H.R.3762.

Donald Trump Pushes Conspiracy Theory That Obama Supports ISIS

Twitter

Donald Trump said he was right to imply that President Obama is an ISIS sympathizer.

In an attempt to defend his controversial claims that the president supports the terrorist group, the presumptive Republican nominee tweeted a story from anti-Obama website Breitbart.com that cites a newly discovered “secret” memo the website says proves Obama is an ISIS supporter.

The memo, as it turns out, is neither secret nor does it demonstrate the administration’s support for ISIS or any other policy. Indeed, it’s a recently declassified and heavily redacted intelligence field report from August 2012 about the worsening security situation in Iraq, obtained by the conservative watchdog Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information lawsuit.

Breitbart falsely concludes that because the memo mentions that al Qaeda in Iraq (a precursor to ISIS) is fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the Obama administration therefore supports ISIS.

The Obama administration, particularly through its State Department, has spoken at length about the complicated process of vetting the array of opposition groups in order to avoid supporting those with ties to extremism.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest Monday responded to a question about Trump’s claims the same day. “Well, I think what is clear is, if you take a look at the president’s record, it speaks for itself,” Earnest said. “And that record includes a lot of dead terrorists.”

(h/t ABC News)

Reality

The Washington Post did an enormous fact-check and came to the conclusion that the Brietbart.com article was a pack of crap. This should come to the surprise of no-one who reads Brietbart.com and can recognize it as dishonest and willfully deceptive. For more information you can read the fact-check here, but in the Washington Post’s expert summary:

“This is what happens when people with little understanding of policy or context choose to willfully misinterpret documents. This is a relatively unimportant memo, with little information not in newspapers at the time. Rather than showing that the Obama administration is supporting terrorist groups, the information in the memo demonstrates why the administration was so reluctant to back rebel groups in Syria, often to the annoyance of Republican hawks.

Moreover, the memo was not sent directly to Clinton’s office, as asserted by Breitbart.

Trump, as a presumptive presidential nominee, really needs to rely on more accurate information when making factual claims.”

This all stems from Donald Trump’s debunked rekindling of the old conservative trope that President Barack Obama is a secret Muslim hellbent on overthrowing the government. Donald Trump said:

Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind,” Trump said on Fox News. “And the something else in mind — you know, people can’t believe it. People cannot, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can’t even mention the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on.

 

Donald Trump Bans ‘Washington Post’ From Campaign Events

Donald Trump says he is “revoking” the Washington Post’s press access at his campaign events because the newspaper is “phony and dishonest.”

In a Facebook post, the presumptive GOP nominee attributed the decision to the newspaper’s “incredibly inaccurate coverage” of him:

Based on the incredibly inaccurate coverage and reporting of the record setting Trump campaign, we are hereby revoking the press credentials of the phony and dishonest Washington Post.

Trump expanded on that in a statement released Monday night. Here it is, in full:

The Washington Post unfortunately covers Mr. Trump very inaccurately. Today’s headline, “Donald Trump Suggests President Obama Was Involved With Orlando Shooting” is a perfect example. We no longer feel compelled to work with a publication which has put its need for “clicks” above journalistic integrity.

They have no journalistic integrity and write falsely about Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump does not mind a bad story, but it has to be honest. The fact is, The Washington Post is being used by the owners of Amazon as their political lobbyist so that they don’t have to pay taxes and don’t get sued for monopolistic tendencies that have led to the destruction of department stores and the retail industry.

The Post’s executive editor Marty Baron responded:

“Donald Trump’s decision to revoke The Washington Post’s press credentials is nothing less than a repudiation of the role of a free and independent press. When coverage doesn’t correspond to what the candidate wants it to be, then a news organization is banished. The Post will continue to cover Donald Trump as it has all along — honorably, honestly, accurately, energetically, and unflinchingly. We’re proud of our coverage, and we’re going to keep at it.”

Monday’s announcement was an astonishing move by the Trump campaign, given the Post’s status as one of the most respected newsrooms in the United States.

But it follows a pattern. Trump has repeatedly refused to give press credentials to major news outlets when he disagrees with coverage decisions.

Reporters who do not receive press credentials are sometimes still able to attend Trump events as members of the general public. But sometimes the denial of press credentials restricts access altogether.

BuzzFeed, Politico, The Daily Beast, Univision, and The Huffington Post are among other outlets that have been blocked in recent months. Some journalists have described this as an emerging Trump “blacklist.”

The Huffington Post tweeted at The Post on Monday afternoon and said “Welcome to the club.”

The White House Correspondents Association, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders all issued statements criticizing the campaign’s decision.

Why’d Trump do it? He was apparently outraged by a headline on a Post story that summarized comments he made about the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

“I am no fan of President Obama, but to show you how dishonest the phony Washington Post is, they wrote, ‘Donald Trump suggests President Obama was involved with Orlando shooting’ as their headline,” Trump wrote. “Sad!”

That headline was the result of an interview Trump gave to Fox News on Monday morning.

“Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind,” Trump said of Obama. “And the something else in mind — you know, people can’t believe it. People cannot, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can’t even mention the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on.”

Trump’s remarks about Obama were widely interpreted to be sinister in nature.

CNNPolitics described Trump’s comments as a “conspiracy theory” and said it is “similar to how Trump talked about Obama when Trump was leading the ‘birther’ attacks against the president five years ago.”

The Post later adjusted its story to make the headline tamer. The headline now reads, “Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando shooting.”

Kris Coratti, a spokeswoman for the Post, told CNNMoney that the headline was changed “shortly after it posted to more properly reflect what Trump said.”

“We did so on our own; the Trump campaign never contacted us about it,” Coratti said.

The Post — like many other news outlets — has had a simultaneously close and contentious relationship with Trump.

Its reporters have regularly interviewed Trump and published scoops about his campaign.

But at the same time, the paper has been on the receiving end of the candidate’s anti-press tirades. Trump said in December that the Post’s owner, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, bought the paper as part of a tax scam. Trump repeated the charge last month, saying that Bezos is “using the Washington Post for power so that the politicians in Washington don’t tax Amazon like they should be taxed.”

Speaking at a conference earlier this month, Bezos decried Trump for trying to “chill the media.”

A wide range of press freedom advocates have said similar things about Trump’s insults and actions, even as some GOP voters have cheered him on.

Last week, for example, BuzzFeed DC bureau chief John Stanton said he was prohibited from attending Trump’s primary night press event. The prior day, BuzzFeed had announced that it would refuse to accept Trump campaign ads. But the campaign’s refusal to grant the web site press credentials dates back many months.

Stanton tweeted that he “wasn’t even let on the premises of Trump’s golf course for his press conference.”

Trump’s announcement on Monday was met with a chorus of opposition from members of the news media.

Politico editor Susan Glasser called it a “violation of the basic right of a free press to report.”

David Folkenflik, the media correspondent for National Public Radio, said that Trump “loves the media’s attention and hates the media’s reporting.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists said in a statement, “A candidate for the highest elected office in the land doesn’t get to choose what goes into a newspaper.”

It added that Trump’s actions “provides a ready made excuse for authoritarian leaders to crack down further on independent journalists.”

Reality

Donald Trump has a history of being anti-1st-amendment, but yet super-pro-2nd-amendement. This should be very scary for anyone living in this country.

The roll of a free press is paramount to our liberty and separates us from authoritarian regimes, like Russia, who have state-run press. The job of journalists — at The Post and everywhere else — is to give voters the fullest and most accurate picture of the two people who want to represent all of us as president.

The problem with what Trump is doing is that he is revoking access because he disagrees with the coverage. Not because the Washington Post has the facts wrong. It’s because he doesn’t like how the facts are being presented.

Do you think that the Trump supporters who would defend the 2nd amendment to the death would do the same to the 1st? Apparently not.

  • Brietbart: “Bezos (WaPo’s owner) has defended the paper’s ongoing delving into Trump while it does’t appear that the paper has devoted similar resources to investigating Democratic Party presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton.”
  • Fox News: “The Washington Post story featured comments Trump made earlier in the day on Fox News, when he made a made a vague statement about Obama interpreted by some as a reference to his sympathies.”

After Orlando, Donald Trump Would Expand Muslim Immigrant Ban

In a speech reacting to the massacre in Orlando where 50 people were killed, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump doubles down on his proposal to ban immigration of Muslims, and he expanded his proposal to “suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or allies.”

Speaking at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, Trump did not mention foreign policy, discuss the fight against terrorist group ISIS, or propose solutions to combat hate or extremism, instead he said the attack early Sunday morning at the Pulse nightclub was the result of the U.S.’s immigration policies.

Trump said, reading from a teleprompter:

“The bottom line is that the only reason the killer was in America in the first place was because we allowed his family to come here. That is a fact, and it’s a fact we need to talk about.”

The killer was an American born in New York but his father is an immigrant from Afghanistan.

Trump had originally said he would temporarily suspend immigration from Muslims, but he was starting to soften that idea in recent weeks. But after Sunday’s horror, he went further.

“The ban will be lifted when we as a nation are in a position to properly and perfectly screen those people coming into our country. We are importing radical Islamic terrorism into the west through a failed immigration system.”

Trump also attacked presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton throughout his speech, saying she “cannot be a friend of the gay community as long as she” supports current immigration policies. The shooting took place at a nightclub frequented by members of the LGBT community.

He said Clinton wants to “ban guns” and “abolish the Second Amendment.” (Clinton has never said she wants to ban guns or the Second Amendment but she does support banning assault weapons.)

Trump noted that he will “be meeting with the NRA … “to discuss how to ensure Americans have the means to protect themselves in this age of terror.”

Then she wants to “admit the very people who want to slaughter us,” he said.

He also said President Barack Obama has knee-capped the intelligence agencies.

“They’re not being allowed to do their job,” Trump said.

But since he was elected in 2008, the president has supported most surveillance mechanisms used by the intelligence agency implemented under the PATRIOT Act. He pushed for a five year extension that eventually passed Congress in December of 2012.

“As President I will give our intelligence community, law enforcement and military the tools they need to prevent terrorist attacks,” Trump said. “Truly, our President doesn’t know what he is doing. He has failed us, and failed us badly, and under his leadership, this situation will not get any better — it will only get worse.

He also said President Barack Obama has knee-capped the intelligence agencies.

“They’re not being allowed to do their job,” Trump said.

But since he was elected in 2008, the president has supported most surveillance mechanisms used by the intelligence agency implemented under the PATRIOT Act. He pushed for a five year extension that eventually passed Congress in December of 2012.

“As President I will give our intelligence community, law enforcement and military the tools they need to prevent terrorist attacks,” Trump said. “Truly, our President doesn’t know what he is doing. He has failed us, and failed us badly, and under his leadership, this situation will not get any better — it will only get worse

(h/t NBC News)

Reality

This would have done absolutely nothing to prevent the massacre in Orlando. The killer was an American born in New York.

Media

Trump Stretches Facts in Fiery Post-Orlando Speech

Donald Trump responded to the worst terror attack since 9/11 with a no-holds-barred attack on Muslims and Hillary Clinton that played loose with the facts and was rife with inflammatory rhetoric.

He claimed Clinton wanted to disarm Americans and let Islamic terrorists slaughter them, while seeming to overinflate the number of Syrian refugees and insinuating the perpetrator of the Orlando attack was a foreigner.

In a speech pulsating with tough talk that will likely please his supporters, the presumptive Republican nominee also renewed his call for a ban on Muslim migration into the United States — and extended it to cover all nations with a history of terrorism. Hinting at a huge expansion of presidential power, he vowed to impose such a system by using executive orders.

“The current politically correct response cripples our ability to talk and to think and act clearly,” Trump said framed by two American flags at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. “If we don’t get tough, and if we don’t get smart, and fast, we’re not going to have our country anymore. There will be nothing, absolutely nothing, left.”

Trump’s speech Monday was a clear attempt to use the fallout from Sunday’s attack in Florida that left 49 dead to position himself as a strong agent of change determined to flush out a culture of weakness and incompetence that he said had let terrorism fester and threatened the existence of U.S. culture itself.

It is a strategy that appealed to his base and helped him win the Republican primaries, and he is now deploying it after a rough couple of weeks signifying the start of the general election.

As part of that effort Monday, he delivered some of the most explosive and forceful political rhetoric uttered by a major U.S. political figure in many years, seeming to show little regard for facts.

Trump refused to name Omar Mateen, the killer who went on the rampage in an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, during his speech. But, adding a line not found in his prepared remarks, he said that he was born “an Afghan, of Afghan parents, who immigrated to the United States.” But the perpetrator of the Orlando massacre was born in New York to parents from Afghanistan.

The real estate magnate also appeared to equate all Muslims who seek to come to the United States with the perpetrators of recent terror attacks — another claim that seems to fly in the face of the evidence about a community that has been present in the U.S. for decades.

“We cannot continue to allow thousands upon thousands of people to pour into our country many of whom have the same thought process as this savage killer,” Trump said.

“Remember this, radical Islam is anti-woman, anti-gay and anti- American.”

He also accused Clinton of endangering the country with her plans to bring in more foreigners.

“Hillary Clinton’s catastrophic immigration plan will bring vastly more radical Islamic immigration into this country, threatening not only our society but our entire way of life,” he charged. “When it comes to radical Islamic terrorism, ignorance is not bliss. It’s deadly — totally deadly.”

He accused Clinton of wanting to “allow radical Islamic terrorists to pour into our country. They enslave women and they murder gays. I don’t want them in our country.”

And he repeated an unsubstantiated claim that Clinton wants to deny Americans’ 2nd Amendment rights.

Trump’s rhetoric — which was heavy on toughness but often short on policy details — contrasted sharply with the more nuanced and conventional response to the attack delivered earlier by Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee.

But he made a case that the current policies were not working and were leaving America dangerously exposed to a tide of Islamic terror he said was coming its way — an argument that many in the GOP find compelling.

He has pointed to the political benefits of the rising fears of terrorism following other recent attacks.

In each instance, Trump sought to project both strength and a lack of concern for the reaction to his provocative rhetoric, calculating that both would help him rise in the polls during the Republican primary. Indeed, a majority of Republican voters agreed with Trump’s call to temporarily ban all foreign Muslims from entering the United States.

“Whenever there’s a tragedy, everything goes up, my numbers go way up because we have no strength in this country,” Trump said on CNN after last December’s San Bernardino shooting. “We have weak, sad politicians.”

(h/t CNN, NBC)

Reality

Donald Trump’s speech was heavy on inflammatory rhetoric, light on details and facts.

Trump: “The Muslim ban is temporary. We have to find out what is going on?”

There are terrorists running around in Syria and Iraq. They have a book. They think that book is great. The use their book to justify killing others. Why is that so fucking hard to understand? Can he shut up about his stupid ban now?

Plus, aside from being completely and totally xenophobic, there is one major logical flaw with this policy. Meet Omar Mateen, 29 year old who killed at least 50 people in massacre Orlando. An American, born in New York.

Omar Mateen

Meet James Wesley Howell, 20 year old who was caught with cache of weapons, ammunition and explosive-making materials in his car and apparent plans to attend the L.A. Pride festival in West Hollywood. An American, born in Indiana.

James Wesley Howell

Exactly how would banning foreigners from entering the United States have solved the Orlando massacre or helped to prevent another possible shooting in Los Angeles by Americans?

Trump: A “tremendous flow” of Syrian refugees is pouring into the country free of screening also seemed to be an exaggeration.

Since May 1, 2016, 2,019 Syrian refugees have been admitted to the U.S., according to a State Department official, while only 1,736 were taken in over the first seven months of the fiscal year.

Entries have risen in recent months but the process has been painstaking for many of those hoping to win refuge in America and have to submit to a months-long vetting process. Being accepted into the United States as a refuge is the hardest route to enter this country. If a foreign person wanted to do harm here in America there are much easier ways than the hardest route to enter this country.

Trump: “Each year the United States permanently admits 100,000 immigrants from the Middle-East.”

The actual number of immigrants from the middle east in 2014 was 69,000. Trump is off by about 31%, so we’ll call that a ‘D+’ in truth telling.

Interestingly, there are a lot of countries in the middle-east that are our friends, like Israel. So is Donald Trump inferring that Israelis are savages? If we remove our friends from the list of Middle-Eastern countries, like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, then that leaves only 33,000 immigrants who were admitted into the United States in 2014 from the Middle-East. That would mean Trump is off by 67%.

We’ll have to revise Donald’s truth grade to an ‘F’.

Trump: “[Clinton] wants to take away Americans’ guns and then admit the very people who want to slaughter us.”

Clinton has called for universal background checks and stricter controls on firearms, but has never called for the abolition of the 2nd Amendment. Another false statement.

Trump: “Remember this, radical Islam is anti-woman, anti-gay and anti- American.”

You know who has far more effective at being more anti-woman and anti-gay in this country? Republicans.

Media

Links

More fact checking from NBC News.

Donald Trump Connects President Obama to Orlando Shooting

Donald Trump seemed to suggest that President Barack Obama had an ulterior motive concerning how he addresses and handles terror attacks, because he does not say the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.”

Trump said Monday morning on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends”:

We’re led by a man who is very — look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind. And the something else in mind, you know, people can’t believe it.

 

People cannot believe, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and he can’t even mention the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on.

Asked earlier why he had tweeted that Obama should resign because he wouldn’t say the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism,” Trump said:

He doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands. It’s one or the other, and either one is unacceptable.

A Trump spokeswoman did not respond to a request for an explanation of what Trump meant. But asked on NBC’s “Today Show” about the comments, Trump said that “a lot of people” thought Obama does not want to understand terrorism.

Well, there a lot of people who think maybe he doesn’t want to get it. A lot of people think maybe he doesn’t want to know about it. I happen to think he just doesn’t know what he’s doing, but there are many people that think maybe he doesn’t want to get it, he doesn’t want to see what’s really happening.

And later, speaking to Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, Trump offered yet another explanation when questioned about what he meant.

I can’t define it. Nobody knows what’s going on. Nobody knows why (Obama) doesn’t have more anger, more competitive zeal. It’s almost like he’s falling asleep.

Trump has been on the defense since tweeting Sunday that he did not need congratulations for being “right” about the Orlando nightclub shooting. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that Obama should resign for not using the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.” Obama dubbed the shooting an “act of terror” and an “act of hate” in his response Sunday afternoon.

Reality

So instead of thinking diplomatically on foreign affairs and having a tangible policy, Trump instead turns to an old baseless conservative political smear from 2007 that Obama is a covert Muslim extremist.

For those who may be too young or have forgotten, Fox News was famous for their political smears against the then-Senator Obama saying things like:

None of these hand any kernel of truth. So it came to no surprise when Fox News defended Trump, writing:

The Washington Post story featured comments Trump made earlier in the day on Fox News, when he made a made a vague statement about Obama interpreted by some as a reference to his sympathies.

Interpreted by some? Excuse me? If Donald Trump was not trying to infer the right-wing conspiracy theory that President Obama does not act because he is an undercover Muslim, can Fox News please try to come up with a plausible explanation of what Trump was actually talking about?

Fact is, this is not the first time Donald Trump has pushed the Muslim Obama conspiracy theory:

Finally, Trump took the opportunity to bring up the old conservative trope that Obama refuses to acknowledge terrorism, and until he does we’ll be vulnerable to terrorists… or something. However there is a very good reason why President Obama, and before him George W. Bush, will not speak the words “radical Islamic terrorism” when referring to terrorist groups like ISIS. They may sound like small words to Republican critics like Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz, but they have big meaning. The members of ISIS and other terrorist groups are desperate for legitimacy. This is why ISIS calls themselves the “Islamic State.” They try to portray themselves as religious leaders, holy warriors in defense of Islam. And they propagate the notion that America, and the West, is at war with Islam. For a President of the United States to infer that we are at war with the Islamic religion, it would have immediate consequences from our Muslim allies in the middle-east as well as give terrorist groups the legitimacy they exactly desire.

Media

Fox and Friends:

NBC Today Show:

O’Reilly Factor:

 

Trump Takes Credit for ‘Being Right on Radical Islamic Terrorism’

Donald Trump wasted little time seeking political advantage in the massacre at a Florida nightclub, taking credit for “being right on radical Islamic terrorism” in the wake of the worst mass shooting in American history.

The suspect in the attack, identified by authorities as a U.S. citizen of Afghan descent named Omar Saddiqui Mateen, killed 50 people and injured another 53 during a rampage through a gay dance club in Orlando. He died in a gunfight with SWAT officers after initially firing shots into the club and later taking hostages.

FBI special-agent-in-charge Ron Hopper told reporters that Mateen had been interviewed twice in 2013 after he made comments to co-workers about potential ties to terror groups, and another time in 2014. Just before his bloody rampage on Sunday Mateen called 911 to proclaim “allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State,” Hopper said.

Trump followed up that tweet with a statement expressing his “deepest sympathy and support” for “the victims, the wounded, and their families.”

But he also attacked President Barack Obama, whom he said “disgracefully refused to even say the words ‘Radical Islam'” during his comments on Sunday afternoon. “For that reason alone, he should step down.”

Obama condemned the attack as “an act of terror and an act of hate,” but declined to identify a motive. “We’ve reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer,” the president said. “The FBI is appropriately investigating this as an act of terrorism, and I’ve directed that we must spare no effort to determine what, if any, inspiration or association this killer may have had with terrorist groups.”

Trump also went after his Democratic rival for the White House, writing, “If Hillary Clinton, after this attack, still cannot say the two words ‘Radical Islam’ she should get out of this race for the Presidency.”

“If we do not get tough and smart real fast, we are not going to have a country anymore,” Trump continued. “Because our leaders are weak, I said this was going to happen – and it is only going to get worse. I am trying to save lives and prevent the next terrorist attack. We can’t afford to be politically correct anymore.”

Trump then noted the killer’s ethnicity and religious faith, citing Pew statistics showing that “99% of people in Afghanistan support oppressive Sharia Law.”

He accused Clinton of wanting to “dramatically increase admissions from the Middle East, bringing in many hundreds of thousands during a first term,” warning that “hundreds of migrants and their children have been implicated in terrorism in the United States” since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. “We will have no way to screen them, pay for them, or prevent the second generation from radicalizing.”

“We need to protect all Americans, of all backgrounds and all beliefs, from Radical Islamic Terrorism – which has no place in an open and tolerant society,” Trump concluded. “Radical Islam advocates hate for women, gays, Jews, Christians and all Americans. I am going to be a President for all Americans, and I am going to protect and defend all Americans. We are going to make America safe again and great again for everyone.”

Earlier on Sunday, Trump was the first remaining presidential candidate to speak about the massacre, tweeting about the “really bad shooting in Orlando.”

“Police investigating possible terrorism. Many people dead and wounded,” he wrote.

After the death toll had risen from an estimated to 20 to a confirmed 50 with dozens more injured, Trump tweeted again, offering his condolences and urging the U.S. to “get tough.”

“Horrific incident in FL. Praying for all the victims & their families,” he said. “When will this stop? When will we get tough, smart & vigilant?”

Minutes before President Barack Obama spoke, Trump tweeted:

(h/t Politico)

Reality

Donald Trump was quick to congratulate himself over 50 dead Americans, then continued on with his anti-immigrant speech. Trump then spent the rest of the day with tweet after tweet disseminating unverified information.

This could very well be a case of domestic terrorism, but as the day progressed and more information became available another possible motive arose as a hate crime against the LGBT community. The shooter’s father said that his son was angered after seeing two men kissing on the street months ago. More information later came in that the shooter was not mentally stable and was not at all religious or interested in religion.

Donald Trump claims we have to be smart but (and this is important but completely lost on Donald Trump) the investigation is still way too early to jump to his conclusions. That’s not at all smart.

Finally, Trump took the opportunity to bring up the old conservative trope that Obama refuses to acknowledge terrorism, and until he does we’ll be vulnerable to terrorists… or something. However there is a very good reason why President Obama, and before him George W. Bush, will not speak the words “radical Islamic terrorism” when referring to terrorist groups like ISIS. They may sound like small words to Republican critics like Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz, but they have big meaning. The members of ISIS and other terrorist groups are desperate for legitimacy. This is why ISIS calls themselves the “Islamic State.” They try to portray themselves as religious leaders, holy warriors in defense of Islam. And they propagate the notion that America, and the West, is at war with Islam. For a President of the United States to infer that we are at war with the Islamic religion, it would have immediate consequences from our Muslim allies in the middle-east as well as give terrorist groups the legitimacy they exactly want.

Hundreds Allege Donald Trump Doesn’t Pay His Bills

USA TODAY – During the Atlantic City casino boom in the 1980s, Philadelphia cabinet-builder Edward Friel Jr. landed a $400,000 contract to build the bases for slot machines, registration desks, bars and other cabinets at Harrah’s at Trump Plaza.

The family cabinetry business, founded in the 1940s by Edward’s father, finished its work in 1984 and submitted its final bill to the general contractor for the Trump Organization, the resort’s builder.

Edward’s son, Paul, who was the firm’s accountant, still remembers the amount of that bill more than 30 years later: $83,600. The reason: the money never came. “That began the demise of the Edward J. Friel Company… which has been around since my grandfather,” he said.

Donald Trump often portrays himself as a savior of the working class who will “protect your job.” But a USA TODAY NETWORK analysis found he has been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades — and a large number of those involve ordinary Americans, like the Friels, who say Trump or his companies have refused to pay them.

At least 60 lawsuits, along with hundreds of liens, judgments, and other government filings reviewed by the USA TODAY NETWORK, document people who have accused Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them for their work. Among them: a dishwasher in Florida. A glass company in New Jersey. A carpet company. A plumber. Painters. Forty-eight waiters. Dozens of bartenders and other hourly workers at his resorts and clubs, coast to coast. Real estate brokers who sold his properties. And, ironically, several law firms that once represented him in these suits and others.

Trump’s companies have also been cited for 24 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act since 2005 for failing to pay overtime or minimum wage, according to U.S. Department of Labor data. That includes 21 citations against the defunct Trump Plaza in Atlantic City and three against the also out-of-business Trump Mortgage LLC in New York. Both cases were resolved by the companies agreeing to pay back wages.

In addition to the lawsuits, the review found more than 200 mechanic’s liens — filed by contractors and employees against Trump, his companies or his properties claiming they were owed money for their work — since the 1980s. The liens range from a $75,000 claim by a Plainview, N.Y., air conditioning and heating company to a $1 million claim from the president of a New York City real estate banking firm. On just one project, Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, records released by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission in 1990 show that at least 253 subcontractors weren’t paid in full or on time, including workers who installed walls, chandeliers and plumbing.

The actions in total paint a portrait of Trump’s sprawling organization frequently failing to pay small businesses and individuals, then sometimes tying them up in court and other negotiations for years. In some cases, the Trump teams financially overpower and outlast much smaller opponents, draining their resources. Some just give up the fight, or settle for less; some have ended up in bankruptcy or out of business altogether.

Trump and his daughter Ivanka, in an interview with USA TODAY, shrugged off the lawsuits and other claims of non-payment. If a company or worker he hires isn’t paid fully, the Trumps said, it’s because The Trump Organization was unhappy with the work.

“Let’s say that they do a job that’s not good, or a job that they didn’t finish, or a job that was way late. I’ll deduct from their contract, absolutely,” Trump said. “That’s what the country should be doing.”

‘VISIBLY WINCED’

To be sure, Trump and his companies have prevailed in many legal disputes over missing payments, or reached settlements that cloud the terms reached by the parties.

However, the consistent circumstances laid out in those lawsuits and other non-payment claims raise questions about Trump’s judgment as a businessman, and as a potential commander in chief. The number of companies and others alleging he hasn’t paid suggests that either his companies have a poor track record hiring workers and assessing contractors, or that Trump businesses renege on contracts, refuse to pay, or consistently attempt to change payment terms after work is complete as is alleged in dozens of court cases.

In the interview, Trump repeatedly said the cases were “a long time ago.” However, even as he campaigns for the presidency, new cases are continuing. Just last month, Trump Miami Resort Management LLC settled with 48 servers at his Miami golf resort over failing to pay overtime for a special event. The settlements averaged about $800 for each worker and as high as $3,000 for one, according to court records. Some workers put in 20-hour days over the 10-day Passover event at Trump National Doral Miami, the lawsuit contends. Trump’s team initially argued a contractor hired the workers, and he wasn’t responsible, and counter-sued the contractor demanding payment.

“Trump could have settled it right off the bat, but they wanted to fight it out, that’s their M.O.” said Rod Hannah, of Plantation, Fla., the lawyer who represented the workers, who he said are forbidden from talking about the case in public. “They’re known for their aggressiveness, and if you have the money, why not?”

Similar cases have cropped up with Trump’s facilities in California and New York, where hourly workers, bartenders and wait staff have sued with a range of allegations from not letting workers take breaks to not passing along tips to servers. Trump’s company settled the California case, and the New York case is pending.

Trump’s Doral golf resort also has been embroiled in recent non-payment claims by two different paint firms, with one case settled and the other pending. Last month, his company’s refusal to pay one Florida painter more than $30,000 for work at Doral led the judge in the case to order foreclosure of the resort if the contractor isn’t paid.

Juan Carlos Enriquez, owner of The Paint Spot, in South Florida, has been waiting more than two years to get paid for his work at the Doral. The Paint Spot first filed a lien against Trump’s course, then filed a lawsuit asking a Florida judge to intervene.

In courtroom testimony, the manager of the general contractor for the Doral renovation admitted that a decision was made not to pay The Paint Spot because Trump “already paid enough.” As the construction manager spoke, “Trump’s trial attorneys visibly winced, began breathing heavily, and attempted to make eye contact” with the witness, the judge noted in his ruling.

That, and other evidence, convinced the judge The Paint Spot’s claim was credible. He ordered last month that the Doral resort be foreclosed on, sold, and the proceeds used to pay Enriquez the money he was owed. Trump’s attorneys have since filed a motion to delay the sale, and the contest continues.

Enriquez still hasn’t been paid.

Unpaid hourly workers

Trump frequently boasts that he will bring jobs back to America, including Tuesday in a primary-election night victory speech at his golf club in suburban New York City. “No matter who you are, we’re going to protect your job,” Trump said Tuesday. “Because let me tell you, our jobs are being stripped from our country like we’re babies.”

But the lawsuits show Trump’s organization wages Goliath vs David legal battles over small amounts of money that are negligible to the billionaire and his executives — but devastating to his much-smaller foes.

In 2007, for instance, dishwasher Guy Dorcinvil filed a federal lawsuit against Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club resort in Palm Beach, Fla., alleging the club failed to pay time-and-a-half for overtime he worked over three years and the company failed to keep proper time records for employees.

Mar-a-Lago LLC agreed to pay Dorcinvil $7,500 to settle the case in 2008. The terms of the settlement agreement includes a standard statement that Mar-a-Lago does not admit fault and forbids Dorcinvil or his lawyers from talking about the case, according to court records.

Developers with histories of not paying contractors are a very small minority of the industry, said Colette Nelson, chief advocacy officer of the American Subcontractors Association. But late or missing payments can be devastating for small businesses and their employees.

“Real estate is a tough and aggressive business, but most business people don’t set out to make their money by breaking the companies that they do business with,” she said, stressing she couldn’t speak directly to the specifics of cases in Trump’s record. “But there are a few.”

In the interview, Trump said that complaints represent a tiny fraction of his business empire and dealings with contractors and employees, insisting all are paid fairly. “We pay everybody what they’re supposed to be paid, and we pay everybody on time,” he said. “And we employ thousands and thousands of people. OK?”

The slot-machine cabinets

Despite the Trumps’ assertion that their companies only refuse payment to contractors “when somebody does a bad job,” he has sometimes offered to hire those same contractors again. It’s a puzzling turn of events, since most people who have a poor experience with a contractor, and who refuse to pay and even fight the contractor in court, aren’t likely to offer to rehire them.

Nevertheless, such was the case for the Friels. After submitting the final bill for the Plaza casino cabinet-building in 1984, Paul Friel said he got a call asking that his father, Edward, come to the Trump family’s offices at the casino for a meeting. There Edward, and some other contractors, were called in one by one to meet with Donald Trump and his brother, Robert Trump.

“He sat in a room with nine guys,” Paul Friel said. “We found out some of them were carpet guys. Some of them were glass guys. Plumbers. You name it.”

In the meeting, Donald Trump told his father that the company’s work was inferior, Friel said, even though the general contractor on the casino had approved it. The bottom line, Trump told Edward Friel, was the company wouldn’t get the final payment. Then, Friel said Trump added something that struck the family as bizarre. Trump told his dad that he could work on other Trump projects in the future.

“Wait a minute,” Paul Friel said, recalling his family’s reaction to his dad’s account of the meeting. “Why would the Trump family want a company who they say their work is inferior to work for them in the future?”

Asked about the meeting this week, Trump said, “Was the work bad? Was it bad work?” And, then, after being told that the general contractor had approved it, Trump added, “Well, see here’s the thing. You’re talking about, what, 30 years ago?”

Ivanka Trump added that any number of disputes over late or deficient payments that were found over the past few decades pale in comparison to the thousands of checks Trump companies cut each month.

“We have hundreds of millions of dollars of construction projects underway. And we have, for the most part, exceptional contractors on them who get paid, and get paid quickly,” she said, adding that she doubted any contractor complaining in court or in the press would admit they delivered substandard work. “But it would be irresponsible if my father paid contractors who did lousy work. And he doesn’t do that.”

But, the Friels’ story is similar to experiences of hundreds of other contractors over the casino-boom decade in Atlantic City. Legal records, New Jersey Casino Control Commission records and contemporaneous local newspaper stories recounted time and again tales about the Trumps paying late or renegotiating deals for dimes on the dollar.

A half-decade after the Friels’ encounter, in 1990, as Trump neared the opening of his third Atlantic City casino, he was once again attempting to pay contractors less than he owed. In casino commission records of an audit, it was revealed that Trump’s companies owed a total of $69.5 million to 253 subcontractors on the Taj Mahal project. Some already had sued Trump, the state audit said; others were negotiating with Trump to try to recover what they could. The companies and their hundreds of workers had installed walls, chandeliers, plumbing, lighting and even the casino’s trademark minarets.

One of the builders was Marty Rosenberg, vice president of Atlantic Plate Glass Co., who said he was owed about $1.5 million for work at the Taj Mahal. When it became clear Trump was not going to pay in full, Rosenberg took on an informal leadership role, representing about 100 to 150 contractors in negotiations with Trump.

Rosenberg’s mission: with Trump offering as little as 30 cents on the dollar to some of the contractors, Rosenberg wanted to get as much as he could for the small businesses, most staffed by younger tradesmen with modest incomes and often families to support.

“Yes, there were a lot of other companies,” he said of those Trump left waiting to get paid. “Yes, some did not survive.”

Rosenberg said his company was among the lucky ones. He had to delay paying his own suppliers to the project. The negotiations led to him eventually getting about 70 cents on the dollar for his work, and he was able to pay all of his suppliers in full.

Unpaid based on ‘whimsy’

The analysis of Trump lawsuits also found that professionals, such as real estate agents and lawyers, say he’s refused to pay them sizable sums of money. Those cases show that even some loyal employees, those selling his properties and fighting for him in court, are only with him until they’re not.

Real estate broker Rana Williams, who said she had sold hundreds of millions of dollars in Manhattan property for Trump International Realty over more than two decades with the company, sued in 2013 alleging Trump shorted her $735,212 in commissions on deals she brokered from 2009 to 2012. Williams, who managed as many as 16 other sales agents for Trump, said the tycoon and his senior deputies decided to pay her less than her contracted commission rate “based on nothing more than whimsy.”

Trump and Williams settled their case in 2015, and the terms of the deal are confidential, as is the case in dozens of other settlements between plaintiffs and Trump companies.

However, Williams’ 2014 deposition in the case is not sealed. In her sworn testimony, Williams said the 2013 commission shortage wasn’t the only one, and neither was she the only person who didn’t get fully paid. “There were instances where a sizable commission would come in and we would be waiting for payment and it wouldn’t come,” she testified. “That was both for myself and for some of the agents.”

Another broker, Jennifer McGovern, filed a similar lawsuit against the now-defunct Trump Mortgage LLC in 2007, citing a six-figure commission on real-estate sales that she said went unpaid. A judge issued a judgment ordering Trump Mortgage to pay McGovern $298,274.

Turning the tables on lawyers

Even Trump’s own attorneys, on several occasions, sued him over claims of unpaid bills.

One law firm that fought contractors over payments and other issues for Trump — New York City’s Morrison Cohen LLP — ended up on the other side of a similar battle with the mogul in 2008. Trump didn’t like that its lawyers were using his name in press releases touting its representation of Trump in a lawsuit against a construction contractor that Trump claimed overcharged him for work on a luxury golf club.

As Trump now turned his ire on his former lawyers, however, Morrison Cohen counter-sued. In court records, the law firm alleged Trump didn’t pay nearly a half million dollars in legal fees. Trump and his ex-lawyers settled their disputes out of court, confidentially, in 2009.

In 2012, Virginia-based law firm Cook, Heyward, Lee, Hopper & Feehan filed a lawsuit against the Trump Organization for $94,511 for legal fees and costs. The case was eventually settled out of court. But as the case unfolded, court records detail how Trump’s senior deputies attacked the attorneys’ quality of work in the local and trade press, leading the firm to make claims of defamation that a judge ultimately rejected on free speech grounds.

‘Tons of these stories out there’

Trump claims in his presidential personal financial disclosure to be worth $10 billion as a result of his business acumen. Many of the small contractors and individuals who weren’t paid by him haven’t been as fortunate.

Edward Friel, of the Philadelphia cabinetry company allegedly shortchanged for the casino work, hired a lawyer to sue for the money, said his son, Paul Friel. But the attorney advised him that the Trumps would drag the case out in court and legal fees would exceed what they’d recover.

The unpaid bill took a huge chunk out of the bottom line of the company that Edward ran to take care of his wife and five kids. “The worst part wasn’t dealing with the Trumps,” Paul Friel said. After standing up to Trump, Friel said the family struggled to get other casino work in Atlantic City. “There’s tons of these stories out there,” he said.

The Edward J. Friel Co. filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 5, 1989.

Says the founder’s grandson: “Trump hits everybody.”

Links

USA Today article

 

 

 

Trump Campaign: Female Judges Could Be Biased, Too

Donald Trump’s national spokeswoman on Monday suggested that Trump’s own sister, a judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, could be biased as a result of her gender.

“If somebody were to say to her she was biased in regard to some case because she’s a woman, that would be awful, wouldn’t it?” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Katrina Pierson of Trump’s sister, Federal Judge Maryanne Trump Barry.

“Well, it would depend on her past and decisions she made as a judge,” Pierson replied. “There is no question that there are activist judges in this country.”

Trump has pushed this stance heavily in the last few weeks, arguing that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is overseeing a fraud case involving the now-defunct Trump University, is “biased” against him because of his “Mexican” heritage. The presumptive GOP nominee took this identity-based argument for unfair treatment further on Monday, arguing that a Muslim judge could “absolutely” be biased against him, too, because of his proposal to temporarily ban Muslim immigration to the United States.

As Blitzer pointed out, many of Trump’s fiercest supporters urged him to drop the racial attacks, which they say alienate minority voters and undermine the independence of the judiciary.

Pierson said Trump had no plan to “start saying and doing what everybody else says to say and do.”

“He is not backing down because the media wants to pressure, call him names, call him racist,” Pierson said. “Doesn’t matter which GOP individual comes out, they’re not there and they don’t have the facts. That’s why Mr. Trump is the nominee.”

(h/t Talking Points Memo)

Reality

We don’t want to say we called it but… we called it. Apparently we were not the only one.

Republicans have jumped on Donald Trump for attacking the integrity of the judiciary. Some current and former leaders include House Speaker Paul Ryan, who said Trump’s criticism was a ‘textbook definition of a racist comment,’ and ethically-challenged former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said it was ‘inappropriate.’

So let’s follow Donald Trump’s “common sense” logic that only people who he has not offended can fairly evaluate a case against him.

  • An American judge with Mexican heritage is unable to preside over any of his cases because of his plan to build a wall with the United States and Mexico.
  • An American judge who is of the Islamic faith is unable to preside over any of his cases because of his plan to ban all Muslims entering into the United States and to have a database of every Muslim person living here.
  • An American female judge is unable to preside over any of his cases (unless she’s a ’10’) because of his repeated sexist and misogynist comments towards women.
  • An American judge with African heritage is unable to preside over any of his cases because of his racist tweets and calling black protesters “not people.”
  • An American judge who has disabilities is unable to preside over any of his cases because of how he mocked a reporter with disabilities.

Trump Orders Surrogates to Intensify Criticism of Judge and Journalists

An embattled Donald Trump urgently rallied his most visible supporters to defend his attacks on a federal judge’s Mexican ancestry during a conference call on Monday in which he ordered them to question the judge’s credibility and impugn reporters as racists.

“We will overcome,” Trump said, according to two supporters who were on the call and requested anonymity to share their notes with Bloomberg Politics. “And I’ve always won and I’m going to continue to win. And that’s the way it is.”

There was no mention of apologizing or backing away from his widely criticized remarks about U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is overseeing cases against the Trump University real-estate program.

When former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer interrupted the discussion to inform Trump that his own campaign had asked surrogates to stop talking about the lawsuit in an e-mail on Sunday, Trump repeatedly demanded to know who sent the memo, and immediately overruled his staff.

“Take that order and throw it the hell out,” Trump said.

Told the memo was sent by Erica Freeman, a staffer who circulates information to surrogates, Trump said he didn’t know her. He openly questioned how the campaign could defend itself if supporters weren’t allowed to talk.

“Are there any other stupid letters that were sent to you folks?” Trump said. “That’s one of the reasons I want to have this call, because you guys are getting sometimes stupid information from people that aren’t so smart.”

Brewer, who was on the call with prominent Republicans like Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, interjected again. “You all better get on the page,” she told him. Former Reagan aide Jeffrey Lord said Tuesday on CNN he was also on the call.

In response, Trump said that he aspired to hold regular calls with surrogates in order to coordinate the campaign’s message, a role usually reserved for lower ranking staffers than the nominee himself.

The e-mailed memo, sent by Freeman on Sunday, was cc’d to campaign manager Corey Lewandowski; Hope Hicks, Trump’s top communications staffer; and Rick Gates, a top aide to campaign chairman Paul Manafort. It informed surrogates that “they’re not authorized to discuss matters concerning the Trump Organization including corporate news such as the Trump University case.”

“The best possible response is ‘the case will be tried in the courtroom in front of a jury—not in the media,’” according to the e-mail, obtained by Bloomberg Politics.

Hicks declined to address the specifics of the conversation with surrogates.

“The call was scheduled in order for Mr. Trump to thank his supporters and congratulate everyone as the primaries officially come to an end,” Hicks told Bloomberg Politics. “Many topics were discussed and it was a productive call for all parties.”

Trump’s five weeks as the presumptive nominee have been marked by several missteps: A refusal to release his tax returns; confusion among donors over which super-PAC to give money to; audio of him using a pseudonym to act as his own publicist; and failing to donate to veterans groups as promised until pressed by the media.

But the most incendiary controversy has been his handling of Trump University.

Trump ignited the controversy when he defended his real-estate program by saying Curiel has an inherent conflict of interest because of his Mexican heritage, because the candidate has proposed building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border to curb illegal immigration. Curiel was born in Indiana, and Trump’s complaint has been criticized by Republican leaders, legal experts, and other commentators. Trump on Sunday broadened his argument by saying on CBS that it’s possible a Muslim judge could treat him unfairly too, because of his proposed ban on Muslim immigration.

“I should have won this thing years ago,” Trump said on the call about the case, adding that Curiel is a “member of La Raza.” Curiel is affiliated with La Raza Lawyers of California, a Latino bar association.

A clearly irritated Trump told his supporters to attack journalists who ask questions about the lawsuit and his comments about the judge.

“The people asking the questions—those are the racists,” Trump said. “I would go at ’em.”

Suggesting a broader campaign against the media, Trump said the campaign should also actively criticize television reporters. “I’d let them have it,” he said, referring to those who Trump portrayed as hypocrites.

(h/t Bloomberg)

Reality

And attack the attackers is exactly what they did.

Here is Trump surrogate Jeffery Lord trying to convince a CNN panel that Trump wasn’t being racist but shining a light on racism.

Here is Trump surrogate Jeffery Lord calling Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan a racist:

Here is Trump surrogate Carl Paladino trying to explain that Trump isn’t a racist, he just can’t get a fair trial because of race.

Here is Trump surrogate Healy Baumgardner incorrectly stating it wasn’t Trump who first called attention to the judges’ race.

Here is Trump surrogate Kayleigh McEnany making the same argument as Jeremy Lord, claiming that anyone who points out the bigotry of Trump’s statements is themselves guilty of bigotry… somehow.

Here is Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson making the argument that Donald Trump is correct because he is the Republican nominee.

Here is Republican New York Representative Lee Zeldin explaining how Donald Trump’s comment was racist, but he’s still voting for him.

When Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie appointed a Muslim judge in 2011 he caught flack for it from the conservatives because of their fear of other people. (As you can see it didn’t start with Trump.) To his credit, Christie stood by his judge and called their unsubstantiated fears “crap.”

Now watch 2016 Trump surrogate, Republican Governor Chris Christie, explain how even though he personally never heard Trump’s comments that we should all move on and to ask him only after the general election is over.

 

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