Trump Accuses Cruz’s Father of Helping JFK’s Assassin

Donald Trump alleged that Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, was with John F. Kennedy’s assassin shortly before he murdered the president. Trump claimed that Rafael Cruz was pictured with Lee Harvey Oswald handing out pro-Fidel Castro pamphlets in New Orleans in 1963.

His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being — you know, shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous. What is this, right prior to his being shot, and nobody even brings it up. They don’t even talk about that. That was reported, and nobody talks about it. But I think it’s horrible. It’s absolutely horrible.

As the anchor mentioned the photo that allegedly included Cruz, Trump continued:

I mean, what was he doing — what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting? It’s horrible.

(h/t Politico)

Reality

Donald Trump’s source is the pro-Trump supermarket tabloid newspaper The National Enquirer. That’s right… this paper:

National Enquirer, "Ted Cruz Father Linked to JFK Assassination!"

The Miami Herald debunked this claim rather well:

Gus Russo, an author and journalist who has written extensively about the JFK assassination and Oswald, is dubious. Russo told [the reporter] in an interview that Oswald, who was living in New Orleans in 1963, was not connected to the Cuban community there and would not have had a Cuban supporter helping him. “He was the ultimate loner,” said Russo. Another man seen in the video handing out leaflets had been hired by Oswald to do so at an unemployment office, according to the Warren Commission. Rafael Cruz also lived in New Orleans, but it was later in the 1960s. As for the photo “evidence,” Russo said, “It’s very subjective. It’s not proof. It’s just an opinion. To charge something this big, you’d better have better proof than that ‘it looks like him.’”

Media

Trump Says Cruz’s Father Shouldn’t Be ‘Allowed’ To Say Mean Things About Him

Donald Trump hit back hard Tuesday at Ted Cruz’s father after he made an appeal to “every member of the body of Christ” to vote for his son, and not the “wicked” – calling the comments “disgraceful” and “horrible.”

The Examiner reported that Rafael Cruz had been meeting for days with Indiana pastors, many of whom have since endorsed the Texas senator.

Speaking with the head of the American Family Association of Indiana, the elder Cruz had warned of the “wicked electing the wicked” and urged fellow Christians to come out to vote.

I implore, I exhort every member of the body of Christ to vote according to the word of God, and vote for the candidate that stands on the word of God and on the Constitution of the United States of America. And I am convinced that man is my son, Ted Cruz. The alternative could be the destruction of America.

But Trump unleashed on the Cuban-born Rafael Cruz, a pastor, after he made his religious appeal to Indiana and other voters to support his son in the Republican presidential nominating contest. Indiana is voting Tuesday.

I think it’s a disgrace that he’s allowed to do it. I think it’s a disgrace that he’s allowed to say it … You look at so many of the ministers that are backing me, and they’re backing me more so than they’re backing Cruz, and I’m winning the evangelical vote. It’s disgraceful that his father can go out and do that. And just — and so many people are angry about it. And the evangelicals are angry about it, the way he does that. But I think it’s horrible. I think it’s absolutely horrible that a man can go and do that, what he’s saying there.

In a sharp turn, the Republican presidential front-runner then abruptly invoked a tabloid story about Rafael Cruz’s supposed connection to John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

(h/t Fox News)

Reality

Trump has made the statement before that people shouldn’t be “allowed” to say negative things about him and that he would like to limit the freedom for people who disagree with him through litigation.

Also by claiming that Pastor Rafael Cruz shouldn’t preach about supporting a candidate (who happens to be his son) is the definition of a double-standard in the purest sense. Trump has had support from so many pastors who have used their position as a church leader to publicly preach about voting for Donald Trump that a new word was coined, “Trumpvangelicals“. These include Mike Murdock, Paula White, Robert Jeffress, and Joel Osteen, join the list of Kenneth Copeland, and 40 others who met with Trump at Trump Tower in September 2015.

There is also Rev. Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, publicly supported Trump, supported his stance on rejecting the Iran deal, and supported Trump’s plan to ban Muslims from entering America.

At Trump’s Cleveland rally, Pastor Darrell Scott of New Spirit Revival Center Ministries performed a sermon to introduce Trump to the stage. Pastor Scott called Trump humble, blamed “liberal media for brainwashing” you for thinking Trump could possibly be an out-and-out racist, and directed people to vote for Donald Trump.

Jerry Falwell Jr. publicly endorses Donald Trump, compares him to King David, and produced radio advertisements evoking Bible passages:

“Donald Trump lives a life of loving and helping others as Jesus has taught in the great commandment.”

Trump Claims He is Receiving the Most Votes Ever in Republican Primaries

Trump victory speech for Pennsylvania

Donald Trump’s march to the GOP nomination picked up steam last week, with dominant primary victories in the northeast.

After the wins, several news outlets reported that the New York billionaire could break the record for most Republican primary votes in history — if Trump scores big in Indiana, New Jersey and California. Those states have yet to vote.

Trump, apparently not wanting to wait, declared he’s already achieved the voting record.

“In the history of Republican primaries, I’ve gotten the most votes in the history of the Republican party,” Trump said during his speech on Friday, April 29 at the California Republican Party Convention south of San Francisco.

Trump went on to say he’s broken the record without needing to wait for big states like California.

Reality

Donald Trump said he’s already earned the most Republican primary votes in history. However Politifact contacted Eric Ostermeier, a political science professor at the University of Minnesota and founder of the number-crunching blog Smart Politics, has taken a look at the data.

“He is on pace to break the record, but he hasn’t yet,” Ostermeier told PolitiFact California. “I’ve seen no possible configuration of numbers that show he’s already broken it.”

Ostermeier placed Trump’s primary vote total at about 10 million so far. That’s still short of the 10.8 million votes George W. Bush received in the 2000 GOP primaries.

If one counts both primaries and caucuses, Trump would still be short of Bush’s overall tally, the professor said. Bush’s total is considered closer to 12 million if both types of elections are counted, he said.

Ostermeier estimated Trump would likely achieve the primary vote record if he earns a strong win in California’s primary, where he could pick up more than a million additional primary votes. He said Trump’s large vote totals can be attributed to the relatively close match-up he’s had with Cruz late into the primary season.

Several news articles, including by the Washington Post and Politico, used primary vote totals logged by RealClearPolitics.com. Its data show Trump has yet to break the record.

Trump’s campaign did not respond to our request for comment.

Trump Campaign Spokesperson and Former AntiVaxxer Exec Lies About His Vaccine Beliefs

Donald Trump spokeswoman Elizabeth Emken, a former executive with the leading advocacy group Autism Speaks, was put in a difficult position Monday when asked about the frontrunner’s earlier statements linking vaccines and autism.

Asked on CNN about Trump suggesting a scientific link exists between childhood vaccines and autism during a fall 2015 presidential debate, Emken sidestepped a direct rebuke of Trump’s claims.

“The position of Autism Speaks has been for quite awhile that we need to find out what’s happening. We know there’s a genetic component and there’s an environmental trigger and until we get to the bottom of what’s happening, no one knows what causes autism. Anyone that tells you what does or what doesn’t cause autism is simply not basing that on facts.

“We don’t know, we need to keep looking,” Emken continued, saying she hadn’t discussed the issue with the GOP frontrunner. “But the bottom line is, look, vaccines are the most successful health program in the history of the world, so I don’t believe that’s at all what he was saying.”

(h/t Talking Points Memo)

Reality

Donald Trump spokeswoman Elizabeth Emken made 2 rather large fibs.

First she claimed that “we don’t know what causes autism,” but just before she made the misleading statement that “we know there is an environmental (vaccine) trigger”.

Second, she is lying about Trump’s stance on vaccines:

A little back story… way back in 1998 there was a Doctor called Andrew Wakefield who published a study in the well-respected medical journal The Lancet that linked the MMR vaccine to autism. Funny thing about well-respected scientific journals is, people in your field of study read your paper and try to duplicate the results, this is called peer-review. Nobody could duplicate the results so people became suspicious. Looking harder they found a sub-standard sample size of only 13 subjects, many subjects who already showed signs of autism at the start of the study, discovered data that was fraudulently modified, uncovered plans by Wakefield exploit the new market he created by profiting from his findings, and a discovered conflict of interest. Every single study that has been performed in regards to vaccines and autism continues to find no link between the two. In short Doctor Wakefield is now Mr. Wakefield and can never study medicine again and vaccines remain one of the greatest discoveries of human history.

According to ScienceBlogs, Emken used to be the Executive Director of Autism Speaks, an “autism advocacy” group that used to be very much into anti-vaccine pseudoscience. Indeed, after much foot dragging, it wasn’t until 2015 that Autism Speaks finally grudgingly admitted that there is no good evidence linking vaccines to autism after a large study was published showing no evidence of a link between vaccines and autism and a meta-analysis involving over a million children similarly failed to find a link. It’s not for nothing that Autism Speaks has been quite appropriately accused of speaking up too late on vaccines.

Just like Mr. Trump, you probably have one friend, who is not a doctor or scientist, who has some story that might shed doubt in your mind that vaccines do cause autism. Think about this; That is just one story versus the vast body of evidence in well-performed scientific studies over decades of time, all publicly available to read, and all show absolutely no link. Know anyone with polio? Know anyone who died from smallpox? I’ll bet good money the answer is no. Thank you vaccines. And thank you evidence-based science.

There should be zero surprise that year after year we experience outbreaks of vaccine preventable disease in the areas that have the lowest vaccination rates where many adults and children die. We’re not at all implying that Donald Trump is responsible for these deaths. What we are saying is that when you are a leader and you go around promoting dangerous conspiracy theories, what you are doing is reinforcing someone’s deeply held beliefs and this makes it all the more harder for them to accept new factual information. It is very irresponsible and dangerous on the part of Donald Trump to propagate these false claims.

More info can be found in the links below.

Media

Links

Here is the journalist who helped shed light on Mr. Wakefield’s skullduggery.

Here is an explanation in pretty comic book form.

The original, now retracted, study in The Lancet.

Here’s a study that looked at half a million subjects with zero link found.

Police Car Smashed During Anti-Trump Protest Outside Rally in Orange County

Cop car smashed by protesters outside of Costa Mesa, CA rally.

A police car was destroyed as rowdy protesters stopped traffic outside a Donald Trump rally in Orange County.

The Republican presidential candidate began his campaign in California on Thursday night, bringing a crowd to The Pacific Amphitheater in Costa Mesa.

Tensions rose as the event drew to a close around 9 p.m. local time, with hundreds of protesters against the brash billionaire demonstrating outside.

There were at least 3,000 people both for and against Trump outside the rally, which had 8,000 attendees, CBS Los Angeles reported.

One group of people even appeared to be trying to turn over a Costa Mesa police car.

A man was seen jumping on top of it and damaging its roof, with the vehicle’s rear window having been shattered.

Juan Silvar, who took video of the event as it unfolded, told the Daily News that crowds came over to the vehicle after they saw a man breaking its windows.

He added that no one was inside the car at the time and that police could only get close to the vehicle after the jumping man, who he did not see getting arrested, had hopped off.

Rows of mounted and police in riot gear were still dispersing remaining crowds at 10 p.m.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department later said on Twitter that the rally had been dispersed by 11 p.m. and that there had been no reports of major injuries.

Costa Mesa Police Department Sgt. Patrick Wessel told the Daily News that 17 people had been arrested for failure to disperse.

He said that two to three other police vehicles had objects thrown through their windows and that another car had its tire punctured.

No arrests had been made for these incidents as of early Friday.

(h/t New York Daily News)

Reality

Violence has no place in our political process and should be condemned from all sides.

Donald Trump says a lot of divisive and hateful statements, escalation of tensions may only seem natural. However as a protester, engaging in violence only plays into the hands of Donald Trump and his supporters. It gives them justification for their false sense of being victimized and allows them to paint the opposition as “thugs” and side-step our real and valid arguments.

Media

Judges: 4.0, 4.5, 4.0, 3.5, and 2.0 from the Russians.

Trump Makes False Claim of 31,000 Attendees at Costa Mesa

Twitter

During his speech at the Pacific Amphitheater in Orange County, California, Donald Trump made the claim that there was 31,000 in attendance. Trump later tweeted his claim.

(h/t OC Weekly)

Reality

Trump claims there were 31,000 people in attendance, however the Pacific Amphitheater can only hold 8,000. OC Weekly, which has covered events at the Amphitheater for the past 20 years, called his claim, “full of crap“.

Media

Trump Supporter Attempts to Run Over Protesters

In a wild scene outside a Donald Trump rally in Orange County, a car began doing donuts around protesters Thursday evening.

Thousands flocked to the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa to see the Republican front-runner speak, but many others stood outside in protest.

Protesters began flooding the streets near the intersection of Fairview Road and Fair Drive toward the conclusion of Trump’s rally.

That’s when a car began spinning out wildly several times, nearly striking a large group of protesters.

Those nearby could be seen jumping out of the way, some appearing to try to hit the car. The car then sped away at a high rate of speed.

(h/t ABC)

Reality

In the YouTube video below, at the 0:39 second mark in the very center of the screen, you can see a sheriff un-holster his sidearm. Drawing a weapon is a “show of force” and is not permitted unless justified. Section 314.7.3 of the California Department of Justice Law Enforcement Policy & Procedures Manual, under the section regarding vehicle pursuits it explains:

The use of firearms to disable a pursued vehicle is not generally an effective tactic and involves all the dangers associated with discharging firearms. Agents should not utilize firearms during an ongoing pursuit unless the conditions and circumstances dictate that such use reasonably appears necessary to protect life. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any agent from using a firearm to stop a suspect from using a vehicle as a deadly weapon.

That officer was certain enough that the car was a danger to him and everyone around him to draw his weapon. If you have any friends in the police force ask them how simply drawing your weapon means a mass of paperwork, interviews by members of the department about why, and a lot of extra work that they try to avoid unless absolutely necessary. It is not something you should consider a small incident because an officer does not.

Was the driver engaging in reckless driving and putting lives in danger? According to California Vehicle Code 23103, yes.

A person who drives a vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.

There are no exceptions for “he did it first” or “I was surrounded by liberals”. This is not how the law works.

Media

Trump Blames Immigrants for Rise in LA Crime

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump opened his California campaign in Costa Mesa, addressing thousands of supporters in a rambling speech that lasted more than an hour. Trump mostly stuck to this usual stump speech – attacking Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton, and the media.

But in the latter part of his address, he made note of a sharp rise in local crime rates. We wanted to check out his claims.

Claim #1: Crime is up. 

“In Los Angeles, homicides are up 10.2 percent,” Trump said. “Rapes are up 8.6 percent. Aggravated assaults are up 26.5 percent,” he told the raucous crowd. “Your crime numbers, they’re going through the roof, and we can’t have it anymore.”

Trump’s statistics are correct. He was citing LAPD statistics. Crime rates did rise significantly last year in Los Angeles and other major cities. However, what he leaves out is that crime levels are far below historic rates.

Last year, the city recorded 280 homicides. That was 26 more than 2014. But in 1990, there were 1,100 murders in Los Angeles.

“When you look at the long-term trends in Los Angeles, the arrows are pointing in the wrong direction for any sort of crime increase,” said Franklin Zimring, director of the criminal justice research program at Boalt Hall’s Earl Warren Legal Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. “Homicides are not just lower, but vastly lower.”

Claim #2: Illegal immigration is to blame for the crime spike

Trump was on much less solid ground when he blamed the crime spike on illegal immigration from Mexico.

To underscore his point, he opened his speech by ceding his podium to Jamiel Shaw Sr., whose son was shot and killed in Los Angeles by an immigrant in 2008. He also invited to the stage other locals whose loved ones were killed by immigrants.

As he has his entire campaign, Trump vowed to crack down on what he describes as a flood of illegal immigrants.

“We are going to build the wall,” Trump added. “Mexico is going to pay for the wall.”

What Trump never mentions is that government statistics show a sharp drop in illegal immigration.

The United States Border Patrol reported 337,117 apprehensions nationwide last fiscal year, compared to 486,651 the year before, a 30 percent decline.  That’s also a nearly 80 percent decline since the peak of apprehensions in fiscal year 2000, when more than 1.6 million apprehensions were made.

A 2015 Pew Research Center study also found that between 2009 and 2014, more Mexican nationals left the U.S. than came. The study found that an estimated 1 million Mexican nationals (including their U.S.-born children) left the U.S. to return to Mexico, but less than 900,000 migrated to the U.S. in the same time period.

Zimring also points out that decades of academic research has shown new immigrants tend to be law abiding.

“First generation immigrations of all kinds have extremely low crime rates,” said Zimring.

(h/t NPR)

Trump Protesters Get Violent and Throw Rocks at Car

Protesters attack car outside of Trump rally in Costa Mesa, CA.

Protesters outside of Trump’s rally in Costa Mesa, CA have a heated exchange with a truck passing by which turns violent.

Reality

Violence has no place in our political process and should be condemned from all sides.

Donald Trump says a lot of divisive and hateful statements, escalation of tensions may only seem natural. However as a protester, engaging in violence only plays into the hands of Donald Trump and his supporters. It gives them justification for their false sense of being victimized and allows them to paint the opposition as “thugs” and side-step our real and valid arguments.

Media

 

Donald Trump’s Lawyers Argue Calling Strategist a ‘Dummy’ is Not Defamatory

Calling a person a “loser” and a “major dummy” with “zero credibility” is not defamatory, Donald Trump’s lawyers say.

In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, lawyers for Trump, his campaign and his ousted campaign manager say Cheryl Jacobus‘ defamation suit against them should be tossed because their statements that she’s a “dummy” and opportunist who begged for a job with his campaign “are protected opinion speech” — and “hyperbole” should be expected from a presidential candidate.

Jacobus’ $4 million lawsuit says it was the Trump campaign that approached her to work as its political director, and she turned the job down because she feared the now-canned campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was a “powder keg.”

But, her suit notes, that didn’t stop Lewandowski from going on MSNBC in January and smearing her after she criticized the campaign on TV, saying she “came to the office on multiple occasions trying to get a job from the Trump Campaign, and when she wasn’t hired clearly she went off and was upset by that.”

And Lewandowski’s boss, the now presumptive GOP presidential nominee, went after Jacobus soon after, tweeting to his millions of followers that “@cherijacobus begged us for a job. We said no and she went hostile. A real dummy!”

In a later tweet, Trump again said she’d “begged” for work and they “turned her down twice.”

The strategist’s suit says she was defamed by their phony insistence she’d begged them for work and then turned on them when she didn’t get it.

In their late Monday filing, lawyers for team Trump said they didn’t do anything wrong.

Because Jacobus, a GOP political strategist, had said negative things about them in TV interviews, “any responsive opinions expressed by the defendants” about her motivations “are protected opinion speech in the heated national public debate that accompanies a presidential campaign, where the listening public anticipates fiery opinions, up-and-back-rhetoric, and hyperbole.”

And she might indeed have had a bias against the campaign, they claimed.

“It is indisputable that plaintiff’s motivations for criticizing the Trump campaign (and even labelling the campaign as liars) are uniquely within her own head. Any reflexive and responsive statements by defendants speculating about her motivations or biases can, therefore, only be opinion as well,” their filing says.

There “could have been an infinite array of possible motivations for plaintiff’s criticism of Mr. Trump and the Trump campaign.”

It also argues the statements were not defamation because of where they were made.

“Furthermore, the alleged defamatory statements were made via Twitter and on a morning talk show, which are both known as mediums for parties’ expressing their opinions,” their filing says.

Jacobus’ suit says the allegations harmed her personally and professionally — leading to fewer TV bookings and an onslaught of vicious online threats from Trump supporters.

Jacobus’ lawyer, Jay R. Butterman, said the focus by Trump’s attorneys on the “loser” and “major dummy” slams were a smokescreen designed to distract from what Trump and Lewandowski actually did to his client — falsely portray her as an unprofessional and vindictive spurned job applicant.

“It’s absolutely a red herring,” Butterman said. “They’re emphasizing these blunt attacks while ignoring the damaging statements regarding her professional ability — that she begged for a job.”

He noted one of the Trump tweets came after the campaign had been sent a cease and desist letter about the bogus claims.

“It is our opinion that Donald Trump’s motion to dismiss is a cowardly act of a man who, in repeating his libels against Ms. Jacobus after he received a cease and desist clearly explaining the falsity of his statements, dared her to sue him. Now, as Ms. Jacobus has bravely confronted Donald Trump and his smears, he hides behind technical arguments and claims that anything he says must be deemed merely his ‘opinion,’” Butterman said.

“He asks the courts to grant him the unique ability to intentionally and recklessly disregard the truth or falsity of his statements. Donald Trump, a shrill critic of our nation’s First Amendment rights, now cowers behind those very rights,” the lawyer said, adding that Trump’s “statements smearing Ms. Jacobus are clear and unquestionable claims of facts, which are just as clearly false and defamatory.”

(h/t New York Daily News)

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