Trump Jr. Compares Syrian Refugees to Poisoned Skittles

Donald Trump’s eldest son has caused uproar on social media by comparing Syrian refugees to the fruit-flavoured sweets Skittles.

Trying to suggest the US should not accept any refugees, Donald Trump Jr posted an image that asked:

“If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you, would you take a handful?”

“That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”

He added: “This image says it all. Let’s end the politically correct agenda that doesn’t put America first.”

The food analogy has been used before to imply that, if a few people in a group are bad, it would be dangerous to take a single one in.

The language in Donald Jr’s tweet was used in a post by conservative radio host Joe Walsh in August. Joe Walsh was a former single-term Congressman most remembered for being kicked off the air for using racial epitaphs to describe African Americans and for trying to incite violence against President Barack Obama.

But following the tweet by the Republican presidential candidate’s son, the company that owns Skittles, Wrigley, stepped in.

“Skittles are candy. Refugees are people,” said Denise Young, vice-president of corporate affairs for Wrigley America.

“We don’t feel it is an appropriate analogy,” she added. “We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.”

Meanwhile the photographer who took the picture of the Skittles said the picture was used without his permission and revealed that he was himself a former refugee.

(h/t BBC)

Reality

In the US, each year, you are far more likely to die due to choking on candy than due to a terrorist attack by a refugee. According to the US National Safety Council and Cato Institute you have a:

  • 1 in 3,408 chance of choking to death on food
  • 1 in 3,640,000,000 chance of being killed by a refugee in a terror attack

The fact is, the refugee resettlement program is the single most difficult way to enter the United States. So refusing refugees was truly about preventing some “Trojan horse” terrorist, it is such a highly ineffective policy that should put into question the very qualifications of this candidate.

Instead this follows a pattern of white supremacist from Donald Trump Jr. and his father and keeping brown people with different beliefs from them out of the country. Some examples include:

  • On March 3rd, Donald Trump Jr. appeared on a radio show and took questions from a known white supremacist.
  • On July 5th, Donald Trump Jr. liked a tweet by one of the worst and most active member of the “alt-right” neo-Nazi movement on Twitter.
  • On August, 29th, Donald Trump Jr. retweeted a post from known white supremacist Kevin MacDonald.
  • On September, 10th, Donald Trump Jr. shared a meme with him next to a white nationalist symbol.
  • On September, 15th, Donald Trump Jr. casually made a holocaust joke on a radio show.

Trump Jr. Claims Children In Europe Are Being Raped By Migrants Daily

Donald Trump Jr. on Wednesday defended his father’s position on banning refugees from countries where there is known to be terrorism, citing Europe — where he claims migrants rape children daily — as a dangerous example.

Trump Jr. was being interviewed on Facebook Live by a reporter for Salt Lake City’s local CBS affiliate when he made the allegation after being asked what he would say to citizens of Utah who were worried his father’s rhetoric on refugees.

“I think its an important thing, but I think we also have to be able to vet people who are coming in to our country,” Trump Jr. said, emphasizing the need for common sense policies.

“If you look at what’s happened in Europe as it relates to the migrant flows, you know, and you’re hearing about young children being raped daily, and you’re looking at countries that were very good and peaceful countries, the statistics are going through the roof in terms of those kind of attacks—we just have to be intelligent with what we’re doing,” he continued.

Trump Jr.’s comment comes after his tweet on Monday comparing refugees to skittles. Additionally, on Tuesday, he retweeted a Breitbart story titled: “Europe’s Rape Epidemic: Western Women Will Be Sacrificed At The Alter Of Mass Migration”

(h/t Buzzfeed)

Donald Trump Jr. Tweets Straight-Up White Nationalist Propaganda

Donald Trump Jr. on Tuesday morning decided to re-up a column from an anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant British activist blaring that “Western woman will be sacrificed at the alter of mass migration.”

After tweeting an anti-immigrant message featuring a white supremacist meme on Monday night, the eldest son of the GOP nominee tweeted:

Europe’s Rape Epidemic: Western Women Will Be Sacrificed At The Altar Of Mass Migration https://t.co/BkguApQqvQ via @BreitbartNews

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 20, 2016

He linked to a 2015 post from Anne-Marie Waters, a British activist and member of the fervently anti-immigration UK Independence Party, which she penned for Breitbart’s London offshoot.

In the post, Waters recounts being sexually harassed and intimidated by “Middle Eastern-looking men” across Europe to set the stage for her takedown of “suicidal” immigration polices that she says allow Muslim men to rape white women.

“In England, it’s been rape after rape – tens of thousands of young British girls are brutalised, tortured, beaten and raped by organised gangs comprised almost exclusively of Muslims,” she wrote.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s immigration polices “opened the door to the rape of German women,” Waters wrote. She went on to claim rape, sexual assault and “forced prostitution” are “rampant within the refugee camps in Germany.”

(h/t Talking Points Memo)

Reality

With the exception of an incident in Germany on New Years Eve in 2015, where there was a reported 5 rapes and 1,200 sexual assaults by “Arab or North African appearance,” and sexual assaults at a camp in Greece, there are no widespread reports to back up Waters’ claim.

Christie Falsely Claims Trump Hadn’t Talked ‘Birther’ for Years

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Sunday Donald Trump’s questioning of President Barack Obama’s birthplace was “done,” arguing falsely that Trump hasn’t talked about it for years and had put to rest any remaining questions Friday.

“The birther issue is a done issue. I’ve said it’s a done issue for a long time, and Donald Trump has said it’s a done issue now,” Christie, a top Trump supporter and the chairman of his transition team, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”

Though Trump had been asked whether he now believes Obama was born in the United States as recently as 2016 and hadn’t affirmed that position, Christie refuted Tapper’s questioning saying: “It’s just not true that he kept it up for five years.”

Tapper: “Sure he did.”

Christie: “It’s simply not true.”

Tapper: “It is true.”

Christie: “No, Jake. It wasn’t like he was talking about it on a regular basis … And when the issue was raised, he made very clear the other day what his position is.”

But of course, Trump for years elevated false claims that Obama wasn’t born in the United States, raising it repeatedly in interviews and on Twitter. In 2011, Obama released a copy of his birth certificate to put to rest what many considered fringe conspiracy theories aimed at undermining his legitimacy as president.

Trump had been asked whether he now believes Obama was born in the United States as recently as last week and hadn’t affirmed that position, until Friday.

Christie also said it was “an issue that Mrs. Clinton also injected” into the 2008 Democratic primary against Obama, which is false.

Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, stuck to a similar line in an interview with ABC’s Martha Raddatz on “This Week.”

“This is not what the American people are talking about. Donald Trump put this issue to an end yesterday in Washington, D.C.,” Pence said.

He also declared birtherism “over” and denied Trump has any responsibility it. “Throughout this campaign, he hasn’t been talking about it,” Pence said.

Tim Kaine, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, blamed Trump for “an incredibly painful five-year chapter.”

“When Donald Trump says the first African-American president is not a citizen, that is so painful to so many people who still have deep feelings about that dark chapter in American life,” Kaine told Tapper later on “State of the Union.”

“And he either believed what he said for five years, which showed that he’s either incredibly gullible or conspiratorial, or he didn’t believe it, in which case he was just trying to prey upon people’s darkest emotion,” he said.

And Kaine deflected questions about whether Hillary Clinton’s friend Sidney Blumenthal pushed birtherism quietly on the 2008 campaign trail.

“Sidney Blumenthal has categorically denied that, but Sidney’s not running for president. Let’s talk about Donald Trump,” Kaine said.

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway deflected questions about Trump’s history of birtherism Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Host John Dickerson asked: “Donald Trump advocated something for five years that was a lie. Why did he do that?”

Conway said: “Well, you’re going to have to ask him. But, again, I think that this is a sideshow now that the media seem obsessed with, John, respectfully. And, again, he put everything out on the table on Friday. Those are his words. He does things on his terms, on his time line.”

(h/t CNN)

Reality

The Wall Street Journal, of all places, compiled a list of every birther statement by Donald Trump proving that he did indeed keep up the false birther conspiracy theory for five years, even after President Obama released his long form birth certificate. However they missed a few so we added some to their list.

February 2011: In a speech at a conservative conference, Mr. Trump said: “Our current president came out of nowhere. Came out of nowhere. In fact, I’ll go a step further: the people that went to school with him, they never saw him, they don’t know who he is. It’s crazy.” [Politifact]

March 2011: Mr. Trump went on “The View” when he was first considering a run for the presidency and was asked if he believed Mr. Obama was born in the U.S. He responded: “Why doesn’t he show his birth certificate? And you know what? I wish he would… Nobody from those early years remembers him… There’s something on that birth certificate he doesn’t like.” [Mediaite]

April 7, 2011: Mr. Trump said: “Right now, I have some real doubts…His grandmother in Kenya said he was born in Kenya and she was there and witnessed the birth. He doesn’t have a birth certificate or he hasn’t shown it.” [“Today”]

April 19, 2011: “He doesn’t have a birth certificate or he hasn’t provided it. He’s given a certificate of live birth. It’s a much different instrument.”  Mr. Trump also said he sent investigators to Hawaii, though he gave no evidence of that.  [“ABC News”]

April 27, 2011: The White House publishes the long form of Mr. Obama’s birth certificate.

May 1, 2011: Mr. Obama opened the White House Correspondents’ Dinner with a “birth video” — taken from the start of the Disney movie”The Lion King.” He quickly turned to jokes at Mr. Trump’s expense. “Donald Trump is here tonight!  Now, I know that he’s taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald.  And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter –- like, did we fake the moon landing?  What really happened in Roswell?  And where are Biggie and Tupac?” [Transcript]

May 29, 2012: Mr. Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that “a lot of people don’t agree with that birth certificate. A lot of people do not think it’s authentic.” [Video/Transcript, CNN’s “The Situation Room”]

July 10, 2012: 

Aug. 22, 2012:

Aug. 29, 2012:

Oct. 11, 2012:

Oct. 24, 2012: Mr. Trump offered to pay $5 million to Mr. Obama’s charity of choice if the president releases his college and passport records. [YouTube video]

Oct. 31, 2012:

August 2013: Mr. Trump is asked about his “birther” comments. “I think that resonated with a lot of people.” Did he still question if Mr. Obama was born in the U.S.? “I have no idea. I don’t know. Was there a birth certificate? You tell me. … Nobody knows.” [ABC’s “This Week”]

Dec. 12, 2013: 

Feb. 27, 2015: At the Conservative Political Action Conference, Mr. Trump questioned whether Mr. Obama’s long-form birth certificate that’s posted on the White House’s website is real. He also said Hillary Clinton and Sen. John McCain also wanted to see his birth certificate but the White House only posted one in response to Mr. Trump. [Video (24:37)]

July 2015: When asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper if he accepts that Mr. Obama was born in the U.S., Mr. Trump said, “I really don’t know. I don’t know why he wouldn’t release his records, but you know, honestly, I don’t want to get into it.”[CNN]

September 2015: On “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Mr. Colbert asked Mr. Trump, “Barack Obama, born in the United States?” Mr. Trump said: “I don’t talk about it any more.” [Video, “The Late Show”]

Sept. 17, 2015: At a town-hall event, Mr. Trump didn’t denounce a comment from an attendee who said Mr. Obama isn’t an American. The man said,”We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American.” Mr. Trump interrupted, saying, “We need this question.” [Video (16:40)]

Jan. 26, 2016: In an interview, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer discusses whether Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican presidential candidate, is a natural-born citizen. Mr. Blitzer  said: “Your critics are saying you’re doing to Ted Cruz what you tried to do to President Obama, where he was born, his birth certificate…” Mr. Trump said: “Who knows about Obama, who cares right now.”  [Video, CNN’s “The Situation Room”]

Sept. 15, 2016: In an interview published by the Washington Post, Mr. Trump declined to say whether he believed the president was born in Hawaii. “I’ll answer that question at the right time,” he said. “I just don’t want to answer it yet.” Later in the day, the Trump campaign put out a statement, referring back to 2011: “Having successfully obtained President Obama’s birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States.”  [WSJ]

Sept. 16, 2016:  Mr. Trump briefly addresses the issue at an event at his new hotel in Washington. “President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period. Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again.” In his remarks, he also falsely blamed Hillary Clinton for the birther controversy. [WSJ]

 

 

 

Trump Drops ‘Birther’ Theory, but Floats a New False One: Clinton Started It

Donald Trump finally admitted Friday that “President Barack Obama was born in the United States,” reversing himself on the issue that propelled him into national politics five years ago.

Trump sought to end his longstanding attempt to discredit the nation’s first African-American president with just a few sentences tacked on at the end as he unveiled his new hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington.

But the issue isn’t likely to die down any time soon — especially as Trump continues to falsely blame Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for starting the “birtherism” controversy. Clinton said earlier Friday that Trump’s acknowledgment of Obama’s birthplace doesn’t go far enough and that he must also apologize.

“For five years, he has led the birther movement to delegitimize our first black president,” Clinton said at an event in Washington. “His campaign was founded on this outrageous lie.”

Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961.

Trump offered no apologies for his leading role in the birther movement and didn’t explain what drove him to change his mind. The President dismissed Trump’s criticism Friday, joking with reporters at the White House and saying, “I was pretty confident about where I was born.”

Speaking at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, Friday, First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the controversy head on.

“There were those who questioned and continue to question for the past eight years up through this very day whether my husband was even born in this country,” she said. “Well, during his time in office, I think Barack has answered those questions with the example he set by going high when they low.”

Rep. G.K. Butterfield, a North Carolina Democrat who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, called Trump a “disgusting fraud.”

Birtherism controversy

The birtherism controversy exploded the previous night when Trump said in an interview with The Washington Post that he still wasn’t prepared to acknowledge Obama’s birthplace. Within a few hours, the campaign released a statement — attributed to his spokesman — that said Trump now believes Obama was born in the United States.

Trump finally said the words out loud Friday morning.

“President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period,” Trump said, ignoring reporters’ questions despite earlier indications he would hold a press conference. “Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again.”

The developments over the past day were steeped in political motivations. With 53 days before the presidential election, Trump is moving into a margin of error race with Clinton and trying to broaden his appeal while maintaining his grip on the GOP base. Trump has tried to improve his dismal standing among minority voters and moderate Republicans in recent weeks, many of whom see birtherism as racially motivated and an insult to Obama.

He is also aiming to take the issue of Obama’s birthplace and legitimacy off the table by the time of the crucial debate with Clinton September 26.

Trump has declined other opportunities during the past two weeks to refute his original birtherism.

When local Philadelphia TV station WPVI asked Trump on September 2 about his past statements, Trump replied: “I don’t talk about it anymore. I told you, I don’t talk about it anymore.”

He repeated the same line when asked about it during a gaggle with reporters aboard his plane last week.

And in an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly last week, Trump again said, “I don’t bother talking about it.”

Trump’s extraordinary attempt to prove Obama was not a natural-born US citizen and was therefore not qualified to be president started on the conservative fringe but gathered momentum and became a major issue. The White House initially tried to ignore the birtherism movement as the work of conspiracy theorists, but Trump’s huge media profile propelled the issue through conservative media and it eventually gained traction.

The saga only ended in a surreal and extraordinary moment in American politics when the sitting President went to the White House briefing room in April 2011 and produced his long-form birth certificate.

‘Sideshows and carnival barkers’

“We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers,” Obama said at the time, in a clear reference to Trump.

In his statement Thursday night, Trump spokesman Jason Miller said, “Mr. Trump did a great service to the President and the country by bringing closure to the issue that Hillary Clinton and her team first raised.”

He was referring to a controversy from the 2008 Democratic primary fight between Obama and Clinton. In a March 2008 interview with “60 Minutes,” Clinton said she took then-Sen. Obama’s word that he was not a Muslim, but when pressed if she believed he was, she replied, “No. No, there is nothing to base that on — as far as I know.”

Clinton, however, was not questioning Obama’s birthplace.

Clinton slammed Trump’s comments to the Post while speaking at a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute event in Washington Thursday, saying he needs to stop his “ugliness” and “bigotry.”

“He was asked one more time: Where was President Obama born? And he still wouldn’t say Hawaii. He still wouldn’t say America. This man wants to be our next president? When will he stop this ugliness, this bigotry?” she said. “This is the best he can do. This is who he is. And so we need to decide who we are.”

Clinton’s campaign later tweeted, “President Obama’s successor cannot and will not be the man who led the racist birther movement. Period.”

The ‘birther’ controversy

Trump’s embrace of the birther controversy seemed outlandish when it began. In retrospect, it looks like a template for the fact-challenged approach he has adopted in his presidential campaign.

After Obama’s news conference, the real-estate developer claimed credit for getting the President to produce evidence of his birthplace.

“Today I’m very proud of myself because I’ve accomplished something that nobody else was able to accomplish,” Trump said in New Hampshire, after Obama’s news conference.

In subsequent years, Obama poked fun at the birtherism controversy and used it to ridicule Trump, most memorably in a savage takedown at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner in 2011.

“Now, I know that he’s taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald,” Obama said.

“And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter — like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?”

(h/t CNN)

Reality

The first idea that Barack Obama was not a naturally born citizen can actually be traced back to 2004 with the loony racist ravings of Judah Benjamin and Andy Martin. But the origins of the birther conspiracy theory for the 2008 presidential cycle did indeed start with supporters of Hillary Clinton, but there is no evidence that it came from Clinton directly. Most of the noise from the idiot birther conspiracy theorists came after Jun 13, 2008, days after Clinton ended her campaign on June 7, 2008.

While it is true there was some hand from Clinton supporters who were not associated with her campaign, the idea that she started it or was “all in” as Trump previously claimed, is pure fiction.

Trump Defiant, Won’t Say Obama Was Born in United States

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said in an interview in Canton, Ohio that he remains unwilling to say that President Obama is born in the United States, that he is more bullish than ever on his chances to win and that he is not exploring the launch of a new media company in case he loses the race.

Trump also made a far-from-subtle push — in the interview and in a letter from his doctor released Thursday — to be seen as vigorous and healthy as his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, returned to the campaign trail after being treated for mild pneumonia.

In the interview, conducted late Wednesday aboard his private plane as it idled on the tarmac here, Trump suggested he is not eager to change his pitch or his positions even as he works to reach out to minority voters, many of whom are deeply offended by his long-refuted suggestion that Obama is not a U.S. citizen. Trump refused to say whether he believes Obama was born in Hawaii.

“I’ll answer that question at the right time,” Trump said. “I just don’t want to answer it yet.”

When asked whether his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, was accurate when she said recently that he now believes Obama was born in this country, Trump responded: “It’s okay. She’s allowed to speak what she thinks. I want to focus on jobs. I want to focus on other things.”

He added: “I don’t talk about it anymore. The reason I don’t is because then everyone is going to be talking about it as opposed to jobs, the military, the vets, security.”

In the interview, Trump defended his wife’s immigration history; attacked targets including CNN host Anderson Cooper and Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.); and said he had been “respectful” since Clinton fell ill but “that doesn’t mean that I’m going to stay there.”

Sitting in his plush, cream-and-gold cabin as his top aides looked on, Trump began by repeatedly recounting his poll numbers, which have ticked up nationally and in some key states.

Trump said a possible turning point in the race came last week when Clinton said that “half” of his supporters belonged in a “basket of deplorables” — a remark she has since said she regrets.

“It’s the single biggest mistake in this political cycle, a massive comment, bigger than 47 percent,” Trump said, a reference to Mitt Romney’s controversial 2012 statement at a fundraiser about voters who receive government benefits or pay little in taxes. “When I first heard it, I couldn’t believe that she said it.”

Clinton and her campaign argue that some Trump backers are racist and misogynistic and have sought to link him to the “alt-right” movement of self-avowed white nationalists, many of whom have rallied around his candidacy.

Trump was a leading and vocal proponent of the debunked conspiracy theory that the nation’s first black president was born overseas and thus not eligible for the White House. Obama released his long-form Hawaiian birth certificate in 2011, but Trump has never disavowed his earlier claims.

(h/t Washington Post)

Reality

First of all, President Obama was born in Hawaii. Shut up.

The first idea that Barack Obama was not a naturally born citizen can actually be traced back to 2004 with the loony racist ravings of Judah Benjamin and Andy Martin. But the origins of the birther conspiracy theory for the 2008 presidential cycle did indeed start with supporters of Hillary Clinton, but there is no evidence that it came from Clinton directly. Most of the noise from the idiot birther conspiracy theorists came after Jun 13, 2008, days after Clinton ended her campaign on June 7, 2008.

While it is true there was some hand from Clinton supporters, the idea that she started it or was “all in” as Trump claimed, is pure fiction.

Trump Says Fed Policy He Supported is Now a Partisan Conspiracy

In May, Donald Trump thought the Federal Reserve handled interest rates exactly right.

“Right now I am for low interest rates, and I think we keep them low,” he told CNBC.

Today, he said Fed chair Janet Yellen’s interest rate decisions proved she was “obviously not independent” from the White House and was, in fact, a partisan conspirator out to help Democrats.

“It’s staying at zero because she’s obviously political and she’s doing what Obama wants her to do,” Trump told CNBC on Monday. “And I know that’s not supposed to be the way it is, but that’s why it’s low.”

In an interview last week with Reuters, Trump said the low rates had created a “false economy,” adding, “at some point the rates are going to have to change.”

What changed between May and today? Nothing. The Fed has the same policy of low interest rates that Trump gushed over just four months ago. They last voted to raise rates in December 2015, the first time in nearly a decade, although there’s speculation among analysts that they could raise them this month.

Like a lot of Trump’s flip-flops, it’s not clear what prompted the shift. But it’s hard to reconcile Trump’s comments from springtime, where he warned of terrible economic consequences from an interest rate hike, with his comments today.

Trump repeated his strong support for a low interest rate policy throughout his May interview with CNBC, warning that “one point more, even, is devastating” and that “we have to be very, very careful” about making changes as a result.

While he said he planned to replace Yellen when her term expired, he described her at that time as a kindred spirit on the issue.

“She is a low interest rate person, she has always been a low interest rate person, and I must be honest — I am a low interest rate person,” Trump told CNBC on May 5. “If we raise interest rates and if the dollar starts getting too strong, we’re going to have very major problems.”

He gave Fortune a similar assessment in April, saying a rate increase would be “scary” for the economy.

“The best thing we have going for us is that interest rates are so low,” Trump said. “There are lots of good things that could be done that aren’t being done, amazingly.”

On Monday, those substantive arguments for low interest rates had disappeared in favor of wild accusations of shady behavior around the same course of action.

“She’s keeping them artificially low” to boost Obama, he said. “Watch what’s going to happen afterwards, it’s a very serious problem. And I think it’s very political. I think she’s very political. And to a certain extent, I think she should be ashamed of herself.”

This isn’t the first time Trump has lurched erratically between extremes on the issue. He also accused Yellen of refusing to raise rates for political reasons last November.

“Janet Yellen should have raised the rates,” Trump told reporters. “She’s not doing it because the Obama administration and the president doesn’t want her to.”

The Fed voted to raise rates the next month.

Bumps in the economy tend to hurt the party in power, and partisans often grumble around election time that low interest rates are helping incumbents. Already, markets have been shaky this week as investors increasingly believe the Fed might announce a rate increase, which could slow growth in the short term in order to guard against inflation.

Whatever his motive, Trump’s comments drew a brush-back from Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari, who is a Republican.

“Politics simply does not come up,” Kashkari said on CNBC Monday. “We look at the economic data and … everyone around the table is committed to achieving our dual mandate of employment and inflation.”

(h/t NBC News)

Reality

With the many other flip-flops since becoming the Republican party’s nominee, Trump rejected almost every stance that his supporters loved which separated him from the other Republican primary candidates.

Donald Trump Refuses to Talk About His Role in the Racist Birther Movement

Years after the issue was debunked, Donald Trump still refuses to back away from the birther conspiracy he helped fuel.

“I don’t talk about it,” Trump told NBC’s Ali Vitali on Monday.

Trump made similar comments to “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert last year.

(h/t Huffington Post)

Reality

First of all, President Obama was born in Hawaii. Shut up.

And second, Donald Trump rose to political fame with the questioning of the legitimacy of America’s first black President, with a clear origin in racial prejudice.

In March 2011 when Trump appeared on “The View” and asked the panel, “Why doesn’t he show his birth certificate?” While on Fox News’s “On the Record,” Trump demanded, “I want to see his birth certificate.” In an interview with NBC’s “Today Show,” he revealed, “I’m starting to think that he was not born here.”

And in the most irony of ironies, Trump has refused to release his own birth certificate and passport information.

2011 Birther Study on Racism

A 2011 study of birthers in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology showed racial prejudice played a substantial role in those who believed the claims that Obama wasn’t an American.

“The influence of racial prejudice in contemporary U.S. society is typically manifested in subtle, indirect forms of bias. Due to prevailing norms of equality, most Whites attempt to avoid appearing biased in their evaluations of Blacks, in part because of a genuine desire to live up to their egalitarian standards, but also because of concern regarding social censure. As a consequence, Whites’ prejudice is more likely to be expressed in discriminatory responses when these actions can be justified by other factors.”

The New Birthers: Trump Pushes Hillary Clinton Health Conspiracy

From Donald Trump and his top surrogates to the right-wing media and its engine rooms of outrage in the blogosphere, Hillary Clinton’s opponents are ramping up efforts to sow doubt over the candidate’s health.

The campaign — which goes back years — has escalated to shouting over the summer, as Trump spiraled in the polls while mostly failing to connect with voters outside his base demographic. Now, as the race enters a crucial phase, there has been a growing push to fundamentally undermine Clinton’s candidacy.

Much in the way “birthers” (Trump was among the most prominent) sought similar ends by questioning President Barack Obama’s citizenship, the “healthers” are using junk science and conspiracy theories to argue that Clinton is suffering from a series of debilitating brain injuries.

In an interview on “Fox News Sunday” this weekend, former New York City mayor and Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani first accused the mainstream media of hiding evidence, then encouraged doubters to “go online and put down ‘Hillary Clinton illness.'”

There is absolutely no credible evidence to backstop any of these claims, including on the “videos” Giuliani cited. Clinton’s physician — the only person to speak on the record who has actually examined her — has repeatedly affirmed the former secretary of state’s health and fitness for the highest office in the land.

During an appearance Monday night on the Jimmy Kimmel show, Clinton called the GOP claims about her health a “wacky strategy.”

“I don’t know why they are saying this,” she said. “I think on the one hand, it is part of the wacky strategy, just say all these crazy things and maybe you can get some people to believe you.”

But for those who want to believe, the structure of the lie borders on impenetrable — baked into its “medical” assertions is the tightly held belief that the press is in cahoots with Clinton, protecting her political prospects by working overtime to hide her imagined ailment.

(h/t CNN)

Reality

The facts, though, tell a very different story. This is it.

The roots of the health conspiracy theory go back to late 2012

Days before she was first scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill about the Benghazi terror attack in December 2012, Clinton suffered a concussion after becoming dehydrated and fainting. Her appearance, scheduled for December 20, was pushed back as she recovered.

In a bit of dark irony, Clinton’s political opponents then, most notably the Republican former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, suggested that Clinton was faking it — that the secretary of state, as Bolton put it, had come down with a “diplomatic illness” in order to avoid the congressional inquiry.

In the weeks after the injury, Clinton would be hospitalized and prescribed blood thinners to dissolve a blood clot located in a vein behind her right ear. The diagnosis was made during a follow-up exam related to her concussion. The clot did not, per Clinton’s doctors, result in a stroke or any other neurological complications.

On January 23, 2013, a little more than a month after she was first slated to appear before Congress, Clinton testified at length to Senate and House committees about the Benghazi attacks.

Karl Rove helped plant the seeds in 2014

In May 2014, more than a year after Clinton left the State Department, Republican strategist Karl Rove made headlines by suggesting Clinton had suffered brain damage in 2012.

“Thirty days in the hospital? And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury?” he said, according to a New York Post report. “We need to know what’s up with that.”

Rove would attempt to walk back his comments a day after they were made public, telling Fox News of the brain damage comment that he “never used that phrase.”

He also conceded that Clinton had not, as he first said, spent a month in the hospital. She was there for about three days. Politifact also slapped a “False” tag on Rove’s claim that Clinton’s prismatic glasses indicated her injuries had been worse than initially let on.

The talk would mostly die down over the next year. In July 2015, Clinton’s longtime physician, Dr. Lisa Bardack, delivered her a clean bill of health.

“(Clinton) had follow-up testing in 2013, which revealed complete resolution of the effects of the concussion as well as total dissolution of the thrombosis,” Bardack wrote. “Mrs. Clinton also tested negative for all clotting disorders.”

The alleged ‘seizures’

The rumors have traveled with remarkable speed through the pipeline connecting small conservative and right-wing blogs to larger outlets like Breitbart, Infowars and Fox News.

First, there was the muffin shop.

During a June photo op in Washington, Clinton turned back reporters’ questions with what AP correspondent Lisa Lerer in a first person account titled “Video proves Clinton suffering seizures? Not so, I was there,” described as “an exaggerated motion, shaking her head vigorously for a few seconds.”

“After the exchange,” Lerer wrote, “(Clinton) took a few more photos, exited the shop and greeted supporters waiting outside.”

End of story? Not quite.

More than a month later, pro-Trump blogger Jim Hoft picked up the video and, on his Gateway Pundit site, ran a headline blaring, “Wow! Did Hillary Clinton Just Suffer a Seizure on Camera?” She had not, of course, as had been clear to everyone present. But the video soon went viral. Less than a week later, after Clinton delivered her convention address, he was back at it, publishing a GIF of the nominee’s amused face (there were a lot of balloons falling) under a similar title: “Wow! Media Missed This=> Did Hillary Suffer Another Seizure After Her DNC Speech?”

In the coming days and weeks, conservative media and the Trump campaign itself began to pick up the thread. Fox News host Sean Hannity, an unabashed supporter of the GOP nominee, dove in with particular gusto, gathering panels of “experts” to examine video clips of Clinton coughing and, again, batting her head at the D.C. muffin shop.
None of the physicians convened by Hannity had examined Clinton and at least one, Fox News medical correspondent Dr. David Samadi, is a urologist. When an actual neurologist, Dr. Fiona Gupta, joined the group, she mostly dismissed Hannity’s questions, saying, “It’s just so hard to speculate based on snippets (of video).”

When he pressed on (“It almost seems seizure-esque to me”), another Fox News contributor, Dr. Marc Siegel, an internist, pushed back.

“Well I’m not a neurologist,” Siegel said, “and I don’t think that necessarily looks like a seizure.”

The ‘fall’

At around the same time Hannity was hosting his panels, a blog called the American Mirror and the Drudge Report gave a boost to a photograph that had been floating around for months. Taken back in February, the image shows Clinton being helped up a flight of stairs outside a halfway house in in North Charleston, South Carolina.

“The questionable health condition of Hillary Clinton should be a major issue of the 2016 campaign,” the American Mirror post begins. “The latest evidence comes in the form of Clinton being helped up a set of stairs by multiple individuals outside what appears to be a home.”

But the Getty Images photo caption — filed months earlier — tells a very different story.

It reads: “Democratic Presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton slips as she walks up the stairs into the non-profit SC Strong, a 2 year residential facility that helps former felons, substance abusers, and homeless move into self-sufficiency.

The “syringe” and fake medical records

As the conspiracy theories took flight, boosted by Trump’s repeated assertions that Clinton is too chronically tired or weak to handle the White House workload, “questions” from right-wing bloggers and gadflies about Clinton’s security detail began to focus in on a single piece of equipment carried by one agent.

On Twitter and on assorted blogs, conspiracy theorists began to focus on images they believed to show, as one headline put it, “Hillary’s Handler Carrying Auto-Injector Syringe For Anti-Seizure Drug Diazepam.”

But again, this was simply not the case. Hannity broadcast the story to his millions of viewers, citing the Gateway Pundit and its sources, with no evidence of his own.

Indeed, the Secret Service has weighed in repeatedly when asked. On Monday morning, spokeswoman Nicole Mainor dismissed the report in an email to CNN.

“The item in the Detail Leader’s hand is a flashlight,” she said.

The rumors took a more serious turn around this time, when a since-deleted Twitter account called @HillsMedRecords shared what purported to be leaked medical record showing Clinton having been diagnosed with early-onset dementia. Snopes.com, a fact-checking website, quickly snuffed them out and Clinton’s doctor — whose letterhead was used in the images featuring the fake reports — put out a statement explaining that the documents are “false, were not written by me and are not based on any medical facts.”

The Trump-Breitbart connection

Breitbart News has been a house organ for Trump since the early days of his run, but the union became more formal last week when the media company’s executive chairman, Steve Bannon, was hired as campaign CEO.

It has also been among the most consistent and highly trafficked peddlers of the conspiracy theories surrounding Clinton’s health. When she was slightly late returning to a debate stage in December — there had been a hold up entering the bathroom — Breitbart published a story weeks later citing “a law enforcement source with inside connections” who said Clinton “was missing from the stage due to health issues stemming from a previous brain injury.”

Trump himself has begun to allude more and more baldly to these suggestions, most notably in a pair of speeches last week when he questioned Clinton’s “mental and physical” stamina. On Friday, he tweeted: “#WheresHillary? Sleeping!!!!!”

All this as Drudge doubled down by bannering its site with an absurd Heat Street post, titled, “MUST SEE: Photos of Hillary Clinton Propped Up on Pillows.” The images, with arrows superimposed to point out the pillows, show Clinton — fully alert, engaged, sometimes addressing large audiences — in the presence of small pillows that she sometimes placed behind her back when she was seated.

By the end of last week, at least one prominent Republican Trump supporter had heard about enough. After “Fox and Friends” played a clip of Dr. Drew Pinsky, of “Celebrity Rehab” semi-fame and HLN host, discussing his “grave concern” for Clinton, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich lost his patience.

“With all due respect to television doctors, when you have a doctor who has never seen the patient begin to give you a complicated, fancy-sounding analysis based on what?” Gingrich said.

“I mean, I would be very cautious and I would recommend to doctors for professional reasons to be very cautious deciding you’re going to start analyzing people.”

Reality

The sad truth is that Trump and his campaign continues to promote baseless conspiracy theories even in the face of overwhelming evidence. From a rigged election, to a link between vaccines and autism, to climate change denial, there seems to be no conspiracy theory they won’t try to push on voters who may not be informed of the facts or may be intentionally adverse to accepting new information that does not conform to their preconceived beliefs.

Trump’s First TV Ad Cites Known White Supremacist Organization for Anti-Immigrant Stats

Donald Trump is out with his first TV ad of the general election, and it’s predictably dishonest: an image of “Hillary Clinton’s America” being flooded with refugees and “illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes” while “the system stays rigged against Americans.” The ad has drawn comparisons to the infamous anti-immigrant ad that California Gov. Pete Wilson ran in 1994 as he was trying to push through a ballot measure imposing draconian penalties on undocumented immigrants.

The ad, also unsurprisingly, cites the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), the group whose reports provide a constant stream of ammunition to anti-immigrant politicians despite its troubling roots in white nationalism and history of skewing the facts.

The CIS citation comes about 10 seconds into the ad, when the narrator warns that in Clinton’s America, “illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay, collecting Social Security benefits, skipping the line.”

The ad’s citation appears to be referring to an April 14 CIS article on the implications of U.S. v. Texas, the Supreme Court case on President Obama’s DAPA and expanded DACA executive actions, which extended temporary deportation relief to some people brought to the country as children and some of their parents. This appears to be where the Trump campaign got the “collecting Social Security benefits” line, which it dishonestly links to its smear of “illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes” (the DAPA and DACA programs bar people convicted of most crimes from eligibility). Those who receive eligibility to work under the programs do become eligible for Social Security, which they pay into like nearly every other American worker, under rules that existed long before President Obama took office.

It’s telling that the Trump campaign is getting its arguments about immigration policy from CIS. The group is one of a large network of anti-immigrant organizations started by John Tanton, an activist with white nationalist leanings and a troublingly extreme “population control” agenda including such things as supporting China’s brutal one-child policy.

CIS itself is more conservative in its rhetoric than its founder—allowing it to gain a foothold among members of Congress and others eager for research supporting an anti-immigrant agenda—but the agenda it promotes is one that demonizes immigrants.

As RightWingWatch.org noted in a recent report on CIS and its fellow Tanton-linked organizations, CIS has been a proponent of the idea “that instead of embracing a moderate position on immigration in order to win back Latinos who favored George W. Bush, the GOP should put its energy and resources into expanding its popularity and increasing turnout among white voters, in part by scapegoating people of color”—a strategy that Trump’s campaign is putting to the test:

CIS spokespeople regularly make this argument, along with another one that has long been popular among white nationalists: that Latino immigrants will never vote Republican because they are inherently liberal. During the debate over the “Gang of Eight” bill, CIS Executive Director Mark Krikorian argued that the GOP shouldn’t bother trying to increase its share of the Latino vote because “generally speaking, Hispanic voters are Democrats, and so the idea of importing more of them as a solution to the Republican Party’s problems is kind of silly.” In another interview, Krikorian argued that immigration reform would “destroy the Republican Party” and ultimately “the republic.” The next year, he charged that Democrats were using immigration as “a way of importing voters” and to “create the conditions, such as increased poverty, increased lack of health insurance, that lead even non-immigrant voters to be more receptive to big government solutions.” At one point, Krikorian told Republicans that they should oppose immigration reform simply to deny President Obama a political victory.

Steven Camarota, the research director at CIS, has said that the current level of legal immigration “dooms” conservatives. Stephen Steinlight, a senior policy analyst at CIS, has said that immigration reform would lead to “the unmaking of America” by “destroying the Republican Party” and turning the U.S. into a “tyrannical and corrupt” one-party state. He explained that Latinos aren’t likely to vote Republican because they “don’t exemplify ‘strong family values,’” as illustrated by high rates of “illegitimacy.” More than a year before Donald Trump made national headlines by calling for a ban on all Muslim immigration, Steinlight said that he would like to ban Muslims from coming to the country because they “believe in things that are subversive to the Constitution.”

Steinlight summed up the argument in 2005, when he said that immigration threatens “the American people as a whole and the future of Western civilization.” More recently, Steinlight told a tea party group in 2014 that the “Gang of Eight” immigration reform bill amounted to “a plot against America ” because it would turn the U.S. into a Democrat-led “one-party state” where citizens would “lose our liberty” and “social cohesion.” Steinlight has happily fed into some of the more vitriolic tea party hatred of President Obama, saying that the president should not only be impeached for his handling of immigration, but that “ being hung, drawn and quartered is probably too good for him .” On another occasion, Steinlight said that he’d like to attack religious leaders who support immigration reform with “a baseball bat.”

(h/t RightWingWatch.org)

Media

1 20 21 22 23 24 27