No justice!’: Trump blasts ‘rigged system’ that ‘destroyed’ Mike Flynn in second set of wild Saturday tweets

President Donald Trump took to Twitter again on Saturday evening to complain about the Department of Justice’s handling of ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn and to attack a favorite opponent, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

“So General Flynn lies to the FBI and his life is destroyed, while Crooked Hillary Clinton, on that now famous FBI holiday “interrogation” with no swearing in and no recording, lies many times…and nothing happens to her? Rigged system, or just a double standard?” he wrote.

He continued, “Many people in our Country are asking what the ‘Justice’ Department is going to do about the fact that totally Crooked Hillary, AFTER receiving a subpoena from the United States Congress, deleted and “acid washed” 33,000 Emails? No justice!”

He went on to — once again — insist that the Russia investigation is a “witch hunt” by way of offering a left-handed compliment to ABC News for suspending Brian Ross.

“Congratulations to @ABC News for suspending Brian Ross for his horrendously inaccurate and dishonest report on the Russia, Russia, Russia Witch Hunt. More Networks and ‘papers’ should do the same with their Fake News!” he said.

Earlier on Saturday, tweets from Trump’s account raised eyebrows by appearing to be an admission of obstruction of justice. The White House frantically walked that back by blaming Trump’s personal attorney John Dowd for the reckless tweet.

Observers say that Trump is acting more erratic and is constantly fuming about the Russia investigation.

Frequently when Trump is under pressure or feeling trapped, he makes his wildest and most outlandish accusations on Twitter in an attempt to change the subject. The tweets that are now blamed on John Dowd could place Trump in considerable legal jeopardy if they are proven to be his statements.

‘No justice!’: Trump blasts ‘rigged system’ that ‘destroyed’ Mike Flynn in second set of wild Saturday tweets

 

 

 

 

Donald Trump Celebrates Matt Lauer Firing On Twitter, Demands NBC News Be Investigated

President Donald Trump took time out this morning from “taking care of” North Korea’s Tuesday intercontinental ballistic missile launch, as he promised, cutting taxes for corporations, and killing Obamacare to tweet about NBC News’ bombshell announcement it had fired longtime Today show anchor Matt Lauer.

“Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for ‘inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,” tweeted Trump, who is now questioning the authenticity of NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood tape in which he got caught on a hot mic boasting he was so famous he could grab women “by the p*ssy,” and for which he went on national television to acknowledge and apologize for. Trump, as a candidate, also vowed to sue the dozen women who came forward saying he sexually harassed and/or assaulted them.

In his morning tweet, the President of the United States said executives at NBC and at parent Comcast should be fired for “putting out so much Fake News, adding “check out Andy Lack’s past!”

A couple hours later, Trump appeared to have remembered MSNBC is an operation of NBC News, and tweeted again, to ask if, now that Lauer is gone, the news operation will cancel “low rated Joe Scarborough” and fire MSNBC chief Phil Griffin.

“Investigate!” our country’s commander-in-chief demanded.

CNN already has said it will not attend the White House Christmas Party on Friday, to which the press traditionally is invited, because it would be inappropriate for the cable news network to be the guest of a man who has so ferociously attacked the First Amendment and CNN individually. We will keep you posted as to whether NBC News follows suit.

[Deadline]

Trump slams NFL: Anthem protesting ‘continues without penalty to the players’

President Trump slammed the National Football League on Friday for not implementing penalties for players who protest during the national anthem.

Trump said Friday the “hemorrhaging” NFL has allowed players to become “the boss.” His comments follow Thanksgiving games in which New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon knelt during the anthem.

“Can you believe that the disrespect for our Country, our Flag, our Anthem continues without penalty to the players. The Commissioner has lost control of the hemorrhaging league. Players are the boss!” Trump tweeted Friday morning.

A handful of players have continued to kneel during games as the NFL season enters its 12th week.

Trump, who had criticized players who kneel as a form of protest during the campaign, in September suggested NFL owners should fire players who kneel rather than stand during the national anthem. The comments, at a rally, started a feud between Trump and the players who began protesting in unity during the anthem at games.

The NFL said last month it has no plans to implement a ban on kneeling during the anthem. NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said the commissioner planned to speak to the teams and owners “about how to use our platform to both raise awareness and make progress on issues of social justice and equality in this country.”

[The Hill]

Trump calls LaVar Ball an ‘ungrateful fool’

President Donald Trump took to Twitter to continue to rail against LaVar Ball, the father of a UCLA basketball player who was detained for shoplifting in China.

At 5:25 am, ET, Trump rehashed his beef with Ball, who has been reluctant to thank the President for his role in his son’s release from China.

“It wasn’t the White House, it wasn’t the State Department, it wasn’t father LaVar’s so-called people on the ground in China that got his son out of a long term prison sentence – IT WAS ME. Too bad! LaVar is just a poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair,” Trump tweeted in part.

Trump called Ball an “ungrateful fool,” adding that getting his son home is “a really big deal.”

The tweets come after Ball said Monday in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo that he didn’t know what the President had done to get his son and two other UCLA basketball players out of China.

After Ball’s refusal to thank Trump in an interview with ESPN a few days after the players’ release, the President said he should have left the three players in jail.

LaVar Ball’s 39 most amazing lines on Donald Trump in Monday’s CNN interview
“Did he help the boys get out? I don’t know. … If I was going to thank somebody I’d probably thank President Xi (Jinping),” Ball said Monday night when asked about his back-and-forth with the President by CNN’s Chris Cuomo.

“It wasn’t like he was in the US and said, ‘OK, there’s three kids in China. I need to go over and get them.’ That wasn’t the thought process,” he told Cuomo.

Ball suggested Trump, who frequently brought up the conversation he had with Xi about the release during a trip to Asia, should stay quiet.

“If you help, you shouldn’t have to say anything,” he said. “Let him do his political affairs and let me handle my son and let’s just stay in our lane.”

[CNN]

Donald Trump criticizes NFL anthem idea

President Donald Trump continued to target NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and LaVar Ball, criticizing both in a series of tweets Wednesday.

Trump bashed a plan, as reported by The Washington Post, that would keep NFL teams in the locker room during the national anthem, saying it is “almost as bad as kneeling.”

According to the Post, some NFL owners believe that the league will change its policy during the offseason and keep players in the locker room to prevent demonstrations during the anthem. The Post report cites sources “familiar with the league’s inner workings.”

Players did not typically stand on the sideline for the national anthem until 2009, when the NFL changed its policy to bring the teams out before “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick launched the wave of protests during the anthem last season when he kneeled to protest police brutality against African-Americans and other inequality.

Trump has criticized Kaepernick on multiple occasions and made claims that players who protest during the anthem should be suspended or released.

Along with his tweet about the national anthem, Trump added fuel to his developing rivalry with Ball.

The president appeared to take full credit Wednesday for intervening on behalf of three UCLA men’s basketball players, including Ball’s son LiAngelo Ball, after they were arrested and accused of shoplifting during a team trip to China.

[ESPN]

Trump calls on NFL to suspend Raiders’ Marshawn Lynch

President Donald Trump took to Twitter to criticize Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch early Monday morning.

After photographs surfaced showing Lynch standing during the Mexican national anthem and sitting during the US national anthem at a game against the New England Patriots in Mexico City on Sunday, Trump called for his suspension.

“Marshawn Lynch of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders stands for the Mexican Anthem and sits down to boos for our National Anthem. Great disrespect! Next time NFL should suspend him for remainder of season. Attendance and ratings way down,” he tweeted.

The President and the NFL have butted heads over athletes’ decisions to kneel during the national anthem at games, with Trump calling on the league to fire players who protest during the anthem earlier this year.

This marks the second day Trump has taken to social media to criticize African-American athletes.

Trump helped negotiate the release of three UCLA basketball players, including LiAngelo Ball, accused of shoplifting in China. On Sunday, the President tweeted that he should have left the basketball players in jail, suggesting that Ball’s father was “unaccepting” of Trump’s efforts to negotiate the players out of China.

“Shoplifting is a very big deal in China, as it should be (5-10 years in jail), but not to father LaVar,” Trump said later on Sunday. “Should have gotten his son out during my next trip to China instead. China told them why they were released. Very ungrateful!”

[CNN]

Trump tweets he should have left UCLA players in Chinese jail

President Trump says he should have left three UCLA basketball players accused of shoplifting in China in jail.

Mr. Trump’s tweet Sunday comes after the father of player LiAngelo Ball minimized Mr. Trump’s involvement in winning the players’ release in comments to ESPN.

“Who?” LaVar Ball told ESPN on Friday, when asked about Mr. Trump’s involvement in the matter. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”

Mr. Trump has said he raised the players’ detention with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the leaders’ recent meeting in Beijing.

The players returned to the U.S. last week. They have been indefinitely suspended from the team.

The younger Ball, along with fellow freshmen Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, aren’t with the rest of the No. 23 Bruins, who are in Kansas City to play in the Hall of Fame Classic on Monday and Tuesday. The trio isn’t allowed to suit up, be on the bench for home games or travel with the team.

The players were arrested and questioned about stealing from high-end stores next to the team’s hotel in Hangzhou, where the Bruins stayed before leaving for Shanghai to play Georgia Tech.

UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said last week that the players stole from three stores.

Speaking on Wednesday, all three players thanked the U.S. government and Mr. Trump for working to secure their release.

“To President Trump and the United States government, thank you for taking the time to intervene on our behalf. We really appreciate you helping us out,” Riley said. Ball, whose brother is a rookie on the Los Angeles Lakers, said he “didn’t exercise my best judgment and I was wrong for that.”

“As long as my boy’s back here, I’m fine,” LaVar Ball told ESPN. “I’m happy with how things were handled. A lot of people like to say a lot of things that they thought happened over there. Like I told him, ‘They try to make a big deal out of nothing sometimes.'”

“I’m from LA. I’ve seen a lot worse things happen than a guy taking some glasses. My son has built up enough character that one bad decision doesn’t define him. Now if you can go back and say when he was 12 years old he was shoplifting and stealing cars and going wild, then that’s a different thing,” he said.

“Everybody gets stuck on the negativity of some things and they get stuck on them too long. That’s not me. I handle what’s going on and then we go from there.”

[CBS News]

Trump calls Hillary Clinton the ‘worst’ loser ever, after she says he’s ‘disgraced’ the office

President Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are at it again.

Trump lashed out at his former rival on Saturday, calling Clinton “the worst (and biggest) loser of all time,” after the ex-Democratic nominee made pointed criticisms in a series of interviews about Trump’s political and moral legitimacy.

The president tweeted: “Give it another try in three years,” in an apparent attempt to bait Clinton to run for president again.

The president’s remarks followed two interviews on Friday, in which the former Democratic nominee differentiated between sexual assault accusations against GOP Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore and Democratic Sen. Al Franken. Clinton questioned why Trump was never hurt by past allegations from women that he behaved improperly, and tried to cast doubt on the legitimacy of Trump’s win by invoking Russia’s suspected meddling in the 2016 general election.

In an interview with Mother Jones, Clinton said she can’t explain why Trump’s candidacy was not affected by the allegations or his bullying of his rival candidates on the campaign trail.

“I don’t understand a lot about how he got away with so many attacks and insults and behaviors that allowed him to win the presidency,” the publication reported Clinton as saying.

Trump has always denied allegations made by several women to the New York Times before the election, and around the time of the release of the infamous 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape. In the second presidential debate, Trump admitted to bragging on the tape about kissing and groping women, but said he actually never did any of those things.

On WABC radio, Clinton said the Franken situation differs from Moore because the Minnesota senator apologized, and said he would “gladly cooperate” with an ethics investigation. “I don’t hear that from Roy Moore or Donald Trump,” Clinton said. “Look at the contrast between Al Franken, accepting responsibility, apologizing, and Roy Moore and Donald Trump who have done neither.”

The president has been blasting Franken, while trying to stay out of the Moore situation. Trump’s has said the voters of Alabama should decide on whether to elect Moore in next month’s special election.

The former secretary of State — appearing to promote her new book “What Happened” — also told WABC radio that Trump has “disgraced the office” of the presidency. “I didn’t think he’d be as bad as he turned out to be,” she added.

Clinton, also a former senator from New York and first lady, called the GOP tax reform plan “bad policy” that’s “downright cruel” to working Americans. “I will predict to you that a number of Republican members of Congress who voted for it, will lose their seats in 2018.”

[CNBC]

Trump reverts to campaign-trail name-calling in Twitter rant calling for probe of DNC

President Trump issued a flurry of tweets over a five-hour span Friday urging the Justice Department to investigate Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee over a joint fundraising agreement they signed in August 2015.

Trump’s accusations follow publication by Politico of an excerpt from former acting DNC Chair Donna Brazile’s upcoming book. Brazile alleges she found “proof” that the 2016 Democratic primary was rigged in Clinton’s favor.

Previous presidents have avoided even seeming to direct the Justice Department on whom to investigate — but not Trump.

Trump reverted to his campaign-trail name-calling of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), again referring to her as “Pocahontas.”

He also in one post called Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) “Crazy Bernie.” Trump has described this kind of rhetoric as “modern day presidential.”

Trump’s epic Twitter rant took place in the hours and minutes before he was set to depart the South Lawn via Marine One for his Air Force One flight to Hawaii to kick off his 12-day swing through Asia.

Implicit in the messages was more criticism of Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, though Trump did not mention the nation’s top prosecutor by name.

Asked later Friday if he would fire the attorney general if he doesn’t investigate Trump’s Democratic political rivals, the president said, “I don’t know.”

Two White House officials quickly cautioned against reading too much into Trump’s comments, reiterating that he has no plans to fire Sessions. And although the White House maintains that Trump’s tweets are “official record,” it says Trump has not ordered Sessions or the FBI to do anything related to Democrats.

The aides said the tweets were a media savvy way to deflect attention from the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

This week, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates, who also had a role in the campaign, were indicted on 12 counts, and former Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying about his dealings with Russians who were offering “dirt” on Clinton.

[Los Angeles Times]

The Justice Department Declares War on Attorneys Who Dare to Oppose the Trump Administration

On Friday, the Department of Justice filed an astonishing appeal with the Supreme Court, urging the justices to intervene in the Jane Doe case that seemed to have ended last week. Doe, an undocumented 17-year-old in a federally funded Texas shelter, was denied abortion access by the Trump administration, which argues that it can force undocumented minors to carry unwanted pregnancies to term. On Oct. 24, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that Doe must be allowed to terminate her pregnancy, which she did the next day. Now the DOJ is urging the Supreme Court to vacate that decision—and punish the ACLU attorneys who represented Doe.

Make no mistake: With this filing, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department has declared war on attorneys and groups who dare to oppose it in court.

Because Doe obtained her abortion, Friday’s appeal might seem pointless, presenting no live controversy for the justices to adjudicate. But the DOJ has three goals here. First, it wants the Supreme Court to punish the D.C. Circuit for issuing a decision that it believes to be egregiously wrong by wiping the entire ruling off the books. Second, the DOJ wants to eradicate a decision that sets a legal precedent it despises. Doe’s lawsuit was initially brought as part of a class action, and the ACLU will continue to litigate its broader claim against the Trump administration’s absolute bar on abortion access for undocumented minors. As long as the D.C. Circuit’s decision remains on the books, those lawsuits are almost guaranteed to succeed. The Justice Department wants it gone so that it can litigate this issue anew.

Third, and most importantly, Friday’s appeal is a flagrant effort to crucify the individual attorneys who represented Doe, and to terrify likeminded lawyers into acquiescence. The DOJ thus asks the Supreme Court to force Doe’s lawyers to “show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken” against the ACLU—either by the court itself or by state bars—for “material misrepresentations and omissions” designed to thwart an appeal.

In other words, the DOJ is using the full weight of a government agency to threaten professional ruin upon the lawyers who defended Jane Doe’s constitutional right to abortion access.

The DOJ claims that after the D.C. Circuit ruled in Doe’s favor on Oct. 24, government attorneys believed they had until Oct. 26 until Doe got her abortion. Under Texas law, women must obtain “counseling” at least 24 hours before terminating her pregnancy, and this counseling must be performed by the same physician who performs the procedure. Doe had already received this counseling from a Texas doctor when the D.C. Circuit issued its decision. According to the DOJ, ACLU lawyers told the government that this physician would not be working and that Doe would receive another counseling appointment on the morning of October 25, and get the abortion to October 26. Government lawyers asked to be kept informed of the timing of the procedure, and they claim that ACLU lawyers agreed to comply with their request. They also say that the DOJ planned to ask for a stay on Oct. 25—but on that same morning, ACLU attorneys arranged for Doe to visit the doctor who had already counseled her, allowing him to perform the procedure.

Put differently, the government argues that the ACLU owed government lawyers a notification of when Doe’s legal abortion would occur. The end goal here seems to have been to try to continue to block the abortion until it would be illegal to terminate, even though she had secured an unqualified right to do so. (Doe was 16 weeks pregnant by that point; Texas bans abortion after 20 weeks, and the government had already delayed the abortion by a month.) The DOJ also claims that Doe’s lawyers had the responsibility to keep answering their phone calls to update them on her status: “Efforts to reach respondent’s counsel were met with silence, until approximately 10 a.m. EST, when one of her lawyers told the government that Ms. Does had undergone an abortion.”

What really seems to enrage the DOJ, however, is that Doe didn’t attend a second counseling session—which would have been duplicative and wasteful, and caused her yet more needless delay—because the physician who counseled her the first time later agreed to perform the procedure. If ever there were an indicator of the un-distilled bad faith at work here, it’s government lawyers insisting that a non-person with no rights undergo a second round of the same counseling, not for the purposes of medical advice, but so that they would have more time to thwart her choice.

These allegations of wrongdoing are laughably flimsy and outwardly vindictive. Even under the DOJ’s contorted narrative, it’s obvious that the ACLU simply acted efficiently, and the Trump administration is bitter and embarrassed that it lost. The government argues that the ACLU “at least arguably had an obligation to notify the government” that Doe would terminate on Oct. 25—an “incredibly significant development.” But that’s just not how this works. The government had sufficient time to ask the Supreme Court to stay the D.C. Circuit’s decision before Doe terminated. In fact, Texas was already prepared with its own amicus brief backing the DOJ. But the government didn’t act in time. And it’s not the ACLU’s fault that its client secured her constitutional rights while the government dallied in its efforts to exert control of her reproductive capacities. This week-late effort to blame the ACLU for its “arguable” responsibility to ensure that the government could continue to harm their client is not just an effort to save face, but also an attempt to warn attorneys that zealous effectuation of their duties to the clients will now be punished.

The Justice Department’s crusade against the ACLU is especially galling in light of the fact that there was sanctionable misconduct here—on the part of the government itself. Scott Lloyd, the official who blocked Doe and other minors from abortion access, likely violated a long-standing federal settlement agreement in his anti-abortion crusade. Under this agreement, undocumented minors like Doe must be allowed access to family planning services, which Lloyd intentionally and repeatedly withheld. He even instituted his anti-abortion views as official government policy in obvious violation of the federal settlement.

If anyone deserves to be punished here, it is surely Lloyd, who flouted the law for purely ideological purposes. But instead of investigating its own employee for potential misconduct, the government is going after Doe’s ACLU attorneys for defending her constitutional rights. This is a shocking assault on the nation’s civil rights attorneys, and an unprecedented effort by the DOJ to slander and shame those attorneys who defend their clients’ rights against the government’s abuse of the law. After today, lawyers who question the Trump administration’s legal views should be aware that they have targets on their backs.

[Slate]

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