Trump slams Cohen, lauds Manafort after twin legal blows

U.S. President Donald Trump, in tweets about the stunning legal setbacks involving two of his former lieutenants, on Wednesday attacked the one who has turned on him and defended the one who has remained loyal.

Trump lashed out at former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen in a Twitter post by saying the campaign finance violations Cohen pleaded guilty to in federal court in New York on Tuesday were “not a crime” – even though prosecutors and Cohen agreed that they were. Trump made the claim without offering any evidence.

In another tweet, Trump said, “If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen.”

At the same time, Trump on Twitter praised former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was convicted on Tuesday of multiple counts of fraud, as a “brave man” for not cooperating with federal authorities.

Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges of tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations. He told a federal court in Manhattan that Trump directed him to arrange payments ahead of the 2016 presidential election to silence two women who said they had affairs with Trump.

Fox News released excerpts of an interview conducted with Trump on Wednesday in which the president said he knew of the payments “later on” but did not elaborate.

After first denying that he knew anything about the payments, Trump earlier this year acknowledged that he reimbursed Cohen for payments he made in late 2016 to Stormy Daniels, an adult-film actress whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. Daniels has alleged she had a relationship with Trump.

The president has insisted he paid Cohen out of personal funds and that the payments were not intended to benefit his campaign but to resolve a personal matter.

“They’re weren’t taken out of campaign finance. That’s a big thing,” Trump said in the Fox interview. “They didn’t come out of the campaign; they came from me.”

[Reuters]

Reality

This is a lie.

Trump was heard on a secret recording by Michael Cohen proving he knew at the time illegal hush payments were being made.

Donald Trump admits he’s sad about Manafort — but ‘it has nothing to do with collusion’

President Donald Trump spoke to the press after he landed in Charleston West Virginia Tuesday.

“Paul Manafort’s a good man. He was with Ronald Reagan. He was with a lot of very different people over the years,” Trump said. “I feel very sad about that. I still feel, you know, it is a very sad thing that happened.”

Trump then turned to repeat his talking point that there was no Russian collusion.

“This has nothing to do with Russia and collusion,” he said. “This started as Russian collusion. This has absolutely nothing to do. This is a witch hunt and a disgrace. This has nothing to do what they started locking out looking for Russians involved in our campaign. There were nothing.”

He then returned to praise Manafort, saying he feels bad. “He worked for Bob Dole. He worked for Ronald Reagan. He worked for many, many people. And this is way it ends up.”

He then blasted the efforts by the special counsel, which he characterized as a witch hunt.

“It was not the original mission. Believe me. It was something very much different. So, nothing to do with Russia and collusion. We continue the witch hunt. Thank you very much,” he said.

[Raw Story]

Reality

Sorry Trump fans but Manfort’s verdict has EVERYTHING to do with Russian collusion. Manafort refused to turn state’s evidence against Donald Trump regarding the 2016 Trump Tower meeting he attended with Trump Jr. & Jared Kushner. He wouldn’t play ball with Robert Mueller so now he goes to jail, or cooperates.

Trump got into a bizarre fight with Vietnam vets over the movie ‘Apocalypse Now’

A new report from the Daily Beast’s Asawin Suebsaeng claims that President Donald Trump got into a bizarre argument last year during a meeting with Vietnam veterans over the classic war movie “Apocalypse Now.”

According to Suebsaeng’s sources, the meeting between Trump and several Vietnam veterans was arranged by estranged former aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman, who at the time served as a liaison between the president and veterans’ organizations.

During the meeting, a dispute broke out over whether Robert Duvall’s character in “Apocalypse Now” used napalm or Agent Orange against Vietcong forces. Apparently, Trump falsely believed that it was Agent Orange that U.S. forces used against the enemy, despite the fact that the movie’s single most famous line is Duvall’s character saying, “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.”

“Multiple people — including Vietnam War veterans — chimed in to inform the president that the Apocalypse Now set piece he was talking about showcased the U.S. military using napalm, not Agent Orange,” Suebsaeng reports. “Trump refused to accept that he was mistaken and proceeded to say things like, ‘no, I think it’s that stuff from that movie.’”

One veteran who was present at the meeting described it to Suebsaeng as “really f*cking weird.”

[Raw Story]

Trump celebrates as youth unemployment hits half-century low

President Trump on Friday celebrated summer youth unemployment reaching the lowest rate since 1966.

“Just announced, youth unemployment is at a 50 year low!” Trump tweeted Friday morning.

The Bureau of Labor statistics reported Thursday that the youth unemployment rate was 9.2 percent in July 2018. The number signified the lowest summer youth unemployment rate since 1966.

The youth labor force consists of 16 to 24-year-old who are seeking work. The youth workforce swells each summer as high school and college students seek summer jobs, and new college graduates pursue permanent employment.

[Washington Examiner]

Reality

But the labor-force participation rate stands at 60.6 percent, far below its peak of 77.5 percent in July 1989, the BLS added. This rate illustrates the share of 16 to 24 year olds who are working or looking and available for work.

For 16-to-19 year-olds in particular, participation is at a record low. Just 35 percent of that age group is looking for work or working—the lowest figure since record-keeping started in 1948.

Sanders cites inaccurate numbers to claim Trump has created more jobs for African-Americans than Obama

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday cited inaccurate data that she claimed showed President Trump has created hundreds of thousands of more jobs for African-American workers than former President Obama did in his entire term.

Sanders drastically deflated the number of jobs Obama created for African-Americans as part of a broader response to questions about whether Trump had ever used the “N-word.”

Asked if she could guarantee Americans will “never hear” Trump say the racial slur on a recording, Sanders said she “can’t guarantee anything” before highlighting economic gains made under Trump.

“This is a president who is fighting for all Americans, who is putting policies that help all Americans, particularly African-Americans,” Sanders said. “Just look at the economy alone.”

She claimed that the economy has added 700,000 new jobs for African-Americans in Trump’s first 18 months in office, which is accurate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Sanders then said Obama only oversaw the creation of 195,000 jobs for African-Americans during his eight years in office.

The latter number is far from accurate. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the economy added roughly 3 million jobs for African-Americans during Obama’s time in office.

Sanders did not immediately respond to questions from The Hill about the inaccurate information, or whether she meant to cite a different timeframe.

Bloomberg first reported on Sanders’s exaggerated answer from the podium.

Tuesday’s press briefing was largely dominated by questions about Trump’s rhetoric toward African-Americans, and particularly toward former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman.

Manigault Newman’s new book, “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House,” alleges Trump is a racist and a misogynist. She claims there are tapes of Trump using the “N-word” on the set of “The Apprentice.”

Trump has denied such tapes exist and tweeted Monday night that the racial slur has never been part of his vocabulary. He went on to attack Manigault Newman, who was once the highest ranking black official in his White House, as a “dog,” a “lowlife” and “wacky and deranged.”

[The Hill]

Media

Trump Trolls Democrats: ‘Please Do Not Distance Yourselves From Nancy Pelosi’

On Friday, President Donald Trump trolled the Democratic Party with a snarky tweet praising House Minority leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a frequent lightning rod for his criticism of the party.

“Democrats, please do not distance yourselves from Nancy Pelosi,” Trump wrote. “She is a wonderful person whose ideas & policies may be bad, but who should definitely be given a 4th chance. She is trying very hard & has every right to take down the Democrat Party if she has veered too far left!”

Trump has repeatedly bashed Pelosi, calling her — along with fellow frequent target Rep. Maxine Waters — “the unhinged FACE of the Democrat Party” and repeatedly using her name to throw shade at Democratic challengers in key races.

It is unclear what exactly prompted today’s tweet, however, it followed a long segment on Meet the Press talking about both Pelosi and the Democratic Party.

[Mediate]

Donald Trump Jr posts fake approval ratings graphic to falsely claim his dad is more popular than Obama

Donald Trump Jr. posted a fake graphic to Instagram on Wednesday to misrepresent his father’s approval rating.

It was unclear who made the fake graphic that the president’s eldest son shared in an Instagram post that has not yet been deleted, but in it his father’s 40 percent approval rating is clearly visible below a photoshopped 50%.

“I guess there is a magic wand to make things happen,” Junior said, referring to his father’s accomplishments.

Donald Trump remains the least-popular president of all time.

The fakery was called on out the Instagram post and on Twitter.

[Raw Story]

Trump Falsely Claims His Approval Rating is Better Than Obama’s at This Point in Presidency

President Donald Trump gave himself a pat on the back for his approval ratings on Saturday,  prompting reporters to call out his misleading claim that he had outdone his predecessor Barack Obamain the polls.

Trump made the assertions in a tweet Sunday, stating, “Presidential Approval numbers are very good – strong economy, military and just about everything else. Better numbers than Obama at this point, by far.”

However, CNN’s Ryan Lizza called Trump’s bluff, using Gallup data to back him up.

Lizza was joined by Toronto Star Washington correspondent Daniel Dale, who went as far as labeling the president’s claim a total lie, pointing to polling numbers from RealClearPolitics as evidence.

CNN’s Brian Stelter also pointed out that while Trump may be praising poll numbers on Sunday, just last night “He claimed that polls are used for vote ‘suppression’ purposes.”

[Mediaite]

Trump: I ‘destroy’ careers of Republicans who say bad things about me

Donald Trump bragged about his prowess in defeating the Republicans who oppose him, saying at an Ohio rally that he “destroys” the careers of GOP politicians who dare defy him.

“How do you get 100 percent of anything? We always have somebody who says ‘I don’t like Trump, I don’t like our president, he destroyed my career,’ ” Trump said.

“I only destroy their career because they said bad things about me and you fight back and they go down the tubes and that’s OK,” he added.

Trump didn’t name names, but he’s on a winning streak in GOP primaries, as candidates he’s backed have repeatedly defeated those he sided against.

The most notable example was Rep. Mark Sanford, the former South Carolina governor who lost a GOP primary for reelection to his House seat earlier this summer.

Trump tweeted his opposition to Sanford on election day, needling him over a past controversy in which he disappeared from public view to, according to his staff, hike the Appalachian Trail. Sanford, married at the time, was actually in Argentina seeing a woman with whom he was having an affair.

Trump also recently backed Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp over Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in a GOP primary, and saw Kemp win.

But Trump hasn’t always been on the winning side. He backed former Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) last year but saw Roy Moore pull off a primary victory.

Still, the recent successful primary picks have put Trump’s stamp further on the GOP, suggesting it has become Trump’s party.

Two GOP senators who have repeatedly criticized Trump, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee, are also not running for reelection.

[The Hill]

Media

Trump on ‘elite’: I became president and it’s driving them crazy

President Trump on Saturday renewed his jab at the “elite,” saying that his election to the presidency was “driving them crazy.”

“You are the elite. You’re smarter than they are … you’ve got everything going … the elite? They’re more elite than me?” Trump said while addressing a campaign rally crowd in Ohio, where he is seeking to help Republican Troy Balderson ahead of a special election for the House on Tuesday.

“I have better everything than they have,” Trump said to roars from the crowd.

“I became president and they didn’t,” he said to more cheers and applause, for which he paused.

“And it’s driving them crazy,” he said to louder applause.

It’s not the first time Trump has brought up the “elite” as an opponent.

Trump had previously derided the elite at campaign rallies in Minnesota and North Dakota, calling the group “stone cold losers” at a June rally in Fargo, N.D.

“I’m smarter than they are. I became president and they didn’t. And I’m representing the best people on earth, the deplorables,” Trump said at another June rally in Duluth, Minn., referencing the term former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton used to describe then-candidate Trump’s base during the 2016 campaign.

Trump, speaking at his third campaign rally of the week, visited Ohio to boost Balderson in his bid to represent the state’s 12th District.

Balderson is in a dead heat with Democrat Danny O’Connor in a district that Trump won by 11 points in 2016.

[The Hill]

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