Trump declares New York Times ‘enemy of the people’

President Trump on Wednesday labeled The New York Times “a true enemy of the people” one day after an extensive report detailing the ways in which he has sought to influence the investigations into his presidency and allies.

“The New York Times reporting is false,” Trump tweeted. “They are a true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”

The president’s tweet did not refute any specific reporting from the Times, but marked yet another escalation in his sustained attacks on his hometown paper and the media as a whole.

New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger issued a statement hours later condemning the president’s use of the term “enemy of the people” as “dangerous” and inaccurate.

“It is particularly reckless coming from someone whose office gives him broad powers to fight or imprison the nation’s enemies,” Sulzberger said. “As I have repeatedly told President Trump face to face, there are mounting signs that this incendiary rhetoric is encouraging threats and violence against journalists at home and abroad.”

Sulzberger, who has met with Trump on at least two separate occasions in the past year, noted that past presidents have complained about coverage of their administration, but “fiercely defended” the free press.

Trump’s latest diatribe against the Times came after the newspaper reported Tuesday that Trump asked then-acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker late last year to put U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in charge of the investigation in New York’s Southern District into Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen.

Berman, an ally of Trump who donated to his 2016 campaign, had been recused from the investigation, and Whitaker did not act on Trump’s request.

Trump denied that he requested Berman be put in charge of the investigation when asked about it Tuesday afternoon.

“I don’t know who gave you that,” Trump said, calling the report “fake news.”

A Justice Department spokeswoman said in a statement that the White House has not asked Whitaker to interfere in investigations, pointing to his congressional testimony from earlier this month indicating as much.

Trump has a well-documented track record of attacking the press, and the Times in particular. He has called negative coverage of him and his administration “fake news” and referred to reporters and news outlets as the “enemy of the people.”

[The Hill]

Trump Cheers on Covington Student’s Lawsuit Against Washington Post: ‘Go Get Them Nick!’

President Donald Trump issued a tweet cheering on the defamation lawsuit a Kentucky high school student filed against The Washington Post for the paper’s coverage of his encounter with a Native American activist last month.

The lawsuit, according to the Post, claims the paper “targeted and bullied” 16-year-old Nicholas Sandmann“because it wanted to advance its well-known and easily documented, biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump.”

“Go get them Nick,” Trump tweeted to the MAGA hat-wearing student. “Fake News!”

The suit was filed by Sandmann’s parents, according to the Post, who are seeking $250 million in damages — the sum Jeff Bezos paid for the paper when he bought it in 2013.

[Mediate]

Frazzled and furious Trump attacks McCabe, Mueller and the media in hours-long Twitter meltdown

President Donald Trump closed Presidents Day weekend with a repeat performance of his late Sunday night into early Monday morning tweetstorm. For the second night in a row the President was up late Monday launching angry – and this time, juvenile – tweets, attacking his favorite targets: the Mueller investigation, former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and, as usual, the media.

And accusing some, like McCabe, of “Treason!”

Trump was clearly watching Fox News’ Sean Hannity when he tweeted that attack, and clearly he liked the “lying & leaking” part because about 30 minutes later, this juvenile attack:

Less than nine hours later, Trump was back with the attacks, again, quoting Fox News:

And then, minutes later, the media:

And then, the Democrats. Trump has literally no idea how the U.S. court system works. He thinks California has the option of filing a lawsuit in, say, Maine. They don’t. The 9th Circuit has jurisdiction over California, but Trump doesn’t understand that, so he displays his ignorance time and time again. But he’s also wrong: it’s 16 states, not cities, led by California.

“As I predicted, 16 cities, led mostly by Open Border Democrats and the Radical Left, have filed a lawsuit in, of course, the 9th Circuit! California, the state that has wasted billions of dollars on their out of control Fast Train, with no hope of completion, seems in charge!”

All in all, 10 tweets in 10 hours, including, quite ironically – and an amazing self-own – this:

[Raw Story]


Trump Urges ‘Retribution’ Against Saturday Night Live and ‘Many Other Shows’

Donald Trump‘s Sunday morning rage-tweet began with the suggestion of “retribution” against Saturday Night Live after the sketch show lampooned his “national emergency” press conference, in a pair of tweets that could serve as the script for next week’s show.

Trump slammed SNL and “many other shows,” called for “retribution,” and suggested that comedy shows be investigated for “collusion”:

Saturday night’s episode of SNL featured a cold-open that tore into the press conference at which Trump admitted his national emergence was not a national emergency while he was declaring a national emergency. There was also a biting segment during Weekend Update in which Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi rubbed Trump’s nose in the border compromise deal.

This is not the first time Trump has levelled accusations of “collusion” and suggested action against this particular television program. In December, Trump said that SNL and “unfair news coverage” should be “tested in courts.”

It is unclear what, exactly, Trump wants investigated, or what “retribution” he thinks is in order, but the First Amendment appears to protect comedy shows, even if they all make fun of the same guy.

[Mediaite]

Trump just declared a national emergency at the border

After battling for weeks over funding for a border wall, overseeing the longest government shutdown in US history, and finally signing on to a deal to fund the government, President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency over a contrived crisis at the US-Mexico border.

On Friday, Trump invoked his power to declare a national emergency in a unilateral effort to make progress on the border wall Congress has thus far denied him. He initially demanded $5 billion for the construction of about 200 miles of barrier at the border, and Democrats in Congress have repeatedly refused to go anywhere near that figure. He got about $1.3 billion for border fencing in the deal he finally agreed to, a far cry from the desired amount. So he’s going with a national emergency to get more.

“We’re going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border, and we’re going to do it, one way or another, we have to do it,” he said in a speech at the White House Rose Garden on Friday.

Trump will try to cobble together funds from a number of areas and redirect them toward border wall construction. White House officials ahead of the announcement on Friday said he would redirect about $600 million from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund, an account funded by money seized by the US government; $2.5 billion from the Department of Defense’s counter-drug activities; and $3.6 billion from other military construction accounts. Trump won’t try to take anything from disaster relief.

“I didn’t need to do this,” Trump said on Friday. “But I’d rather do it much faster.”

That the president has finally decided to declare an emergency isn’t entirely surprising — he has been wavering on the idea for weeks.

So why declare a national emergency in addition to the spending deal? The short answer is that Trump doesn’t want to admit he lost. He’s already getting less for border fencing than was in the original spending bill he refused to sign in December — and caused a 35-day government shutdown over — so he’s looking to executive action instead.

There has been some debate about whether Trump can indeed declare an emergency at the border considering there isn’t really one, and the answer, at least initially, seems to be that he can.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor on Thursday that he would support the emergency declaration.

[Vox]

A Trump Supporter Attacked Journalists After The President Blasted The Media At His Texas Rally

A man wearing a Make America Great Again hat barreled into the press pit at Trump’s rally in El Paso, Texas, Monday night and started shoving reporters, knocking over their equipment, and yelled “fuck the media,” minutes after the president had lashed out at journalists.

About half way through his lengthy, campaign-style speech, Trump ridiculed the media for “refusing to acknowledge” his administration’s successes, invoking loud boos and jeers from the crowd.

“I guess 93% of the stories are negative. No matter what we do, they figure out a way to make it that,” the president said, rattling off topics, such as North Korea, the economy, and manufacturing, which he feels that the media has unfairly skewed.

As Trump went on touting how his successes, a man in a red MAGA hat suddenly burst toward the group of reporters and photographers who were covering the speech, pushing them over, knocking their cameras and tripods, and repeatedly yelling, “fuck the media.”

“I was trying to tweet and watch the president and all of the sudden the riser started shaking and two tripods in front of me fell on top of one another and then a guy almost fell on me,” Yasmine El-Sabawi, a producer with TRT World, a Turkish news channel, told BuzzFeed News.

A photographer dropped his camera as she and other reporters quickly tried to figure out what was happening.

“Then it set in that someone was here who wasn’t supposed to be here and then you saw the red hat and it sinks in and you get it,” El-Sabawi said.

The attacker “went straight for the BBC camera man,” El-Sabawi added.

Several members of the BBC who were at the rally shared their footage and accounts on Twitter.

In one clip, a BBC camera steadily trained on Trump’s podium suddenly falters and blurs. Eleanor Montague, the outlet’s Washington editor, tweeted that it was because he was “attacked by a Trump supporter.”

“The crowd had been whipped into a frenzy against the media by Trump and other speakers all night,” she wrote.

Trump: ‘Some of the Most Dishonest People in Media Are the So-Called Fact-Checkers’

President Donald Trump used part of his Monday night rally in El Paso, TX to rail against a particular branch of the media: fact checkers.

As Trump slammed former president Barack Obama‘s “you can keep your doctor” promise from the Affordable Care Act, he accused fact-checkers of never calling out the falsity of that claim.

“Where are the fact-checkers? Some of the most dishonest people in media are the so-called ‘fact-checkers’…That didn’t turn out to be what he said.”

Trump’s remarks come after he got on Twitter earlier today and parroted Fox News opinion host Jesse Watters who said “the fact-checkers have become fake news.”

To put some perspective on Trump’s complaints, Politifact has figured that approximately 70 percent of Trump’s political statements are factually-challenged to varying degrees, plus Washington Post‘s fact-check finds that Trump has made 8,158 false or misleading claims throughout his presidency so far.

[Mediaite]

Trump Quotes Inane Media Criticism From Fox News Host Jesse Watters: ‘So True!’

President Donald Trump quoted a mind-numbingly inane piece of media criticism from a Fox News host Monday morning in an attempt to undermine fact-checkers.

Jesse Watters, who hosts a Saturday night show on Fox News, kicked off last week’s iteration with a lazy generalization: “The media fact-checkers are lying to you.”

Watters’ dismissal of fact-checkers relied on reports that Trump’s recent false claims about violent crime in El Paso were false. Watters took issue with a specific headline from Vox, which he called a “distortion.”

“The fact-checkers have become fake news,” he declared confidently.

Trump parroted the remark on Twitter Monday, calling it “So True!”:

Fact checkers can slip up — we’ve chronicled bad fact-checking on this very site — but to dismiss the entire practice as “fake” is, of course, remarkably stupid. There’s no doubt why Watters is taking aim at fact-checkers, however, and why the president is parroting his attack. The Washington Post‘s running fact-check found that in his first two years in office, Trump made a mind-blowing 8,158 false or misleading claims. That’s an average of 5.9 PER DAY.

[Mediaite]

Trump says Democrats ‘cannot legitimately win’ 2020 presidential election

Donald Trump has claimed the Democratic Party “cannot legitimately win” the 2020 presidential election, in an angry tweet condemning congressional oversight of his administration.

“The Democrats in Congress yesterday were vicious and totally showed their cards for everyone to see,” Mr Trump tweeted on Saturday morning.

“When the Republicans had the Majority they never acted with such hatred and scorn! The Dems are trying to win an election in 2020 that they know they cannot legitimately win!”

The US president’s comment, in response to a grilling of his acting attorney general by the House judiciary committee, echoed similar ones he made in 2016 when he threatened to not accept the results of the “rigged” presidential election should he have lost.

Ned Price, a former special assistant to President Barack Obama, accused Mr Trump of launching an early bid to sow doubts about the legitimacy of next year’s vote.

“The first two sentences are laughable. The third is frightening—especially the use of the adverb “legitimately”, he tweeted.

“He’s setting the stage, months in advance, to be able to say the 2020 election was stolen. It’s fair to start asking whether Trump would cede power peacefully.”

Prominent lawyer and Trump critic David Leopold accused the president of attacking “the legitimacy of the 2020 election which he increasingly expects to lose”.

“That’s what thugs in power do,” he added.

Sam Vinograd, a former director on the National Security Council, said Mr Trump was aligning with Russia in “undermining confidence” in American democracy.

Mr Trump went on to claim on Twitter, without providing evidence, that America would be in recession if he had lost the election to his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

“We have a great economy DESPITE the Obama Administration and all of its job killing Regulations and Roadblocks,” he wrote. “If that thinking prevailed in the 2016 Election, the U.S. would be in a Depression right now! We were heading down, and don’t let the Democrats sound bites fool you!”

The president’s outburst came the day after Matthew Whitaker, the acting attorney general, was repeatedly pressed by judiciary committee members on his relationship with the White House and his views on Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation.

Mr Whitaker, an appointee of Mr Trump, at one point caused the committee and audience members to gasp in disbelief when he avoided answering a question from the chairman by telling him his time had run out.

“Mr Chairman, I see that your five minutes is up,” he said in response to Jerrold Nadler.

The heated exchange arrived after the committee chairman asked Mr Whitaker whether he had “ever been asked to approve any request or action to be taken by the special counsel”.

[Independent]

Donald Trump praises ‘economic rocket’ North Korea with summit announcement

In a pair of tweets, Mr Trump said his representatives had just left North Korea after a “productive meeting” about the February 27-28 summit which he revealed would held in Hanoi, Vietnam.

“I look forward to seeing Chairman Kim & advancing the cause of peace!” he tweeted.

“North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong-un, will become a great Economic Powerhouse. He may surprise some but he won’t surprise me, because I have gotten to know him & fully understand how capable he is.”

The President also appeared to reference his previous mocking of Mr Kim as the “Little Rocket Man”. 

The President had previously announced Vietnam as the summit location, but the city had not been identified. 

It will be the pair’s second summit, the first coming last June in Singapore. Mr Kim pledged then to work toward the “complete denuclearisation” of the Korean Peninsula, without providing a clear timetable or roadmap.

[ABC]

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