Trump Blasts ‘Crazed & Stumbling Lunatic’ Tom Steyer Days After He Was Targeted By Bomb

Mere days ago, President Donald Trump was calling for a new “tone and civility” in politics after the arrest of a man accused of mailing pipe bombs to several top Democratic leaders. On Sunday, that was all out the window as he slammed Democratic donor Tom Steyer following an interview with CNN. Steyer was the intended recipient of one of the more than a dozen pipe bombs that were sent to Trump critics.

On Sunday, Steyer talked on CNN about the “political violence” that Trump and the Republican Party had created across the country. Shortly after the interview, Trump took to Twitter to blast the billionaire Democratic activist. “Just watched Wacky Tom Steyer,” Trump wrote. “He comes off as a crazed & stumbling lunatic who should be running out of money pretty soon. As bad as their field is, if he is running for President, the Dems will eat him alive!”

Steyer, who has repeatedly called for Trump’s impeachment, hit back at the president on Twitter. “It is unthinkable that in the midst of the horrible political violence our president would resort to name-calling instead of repairing the damage to the fabric of our country,” Steyer wrote.

During the interview with CNN, Steyer said that while there had been “bad behavior” by members of both parties, he noted Republicans are less likely to condemn those who say violent things. “You don’t find prominent Democrats who are leading chants with violent overtones like ‘Lock her up,’ ‘CNN sucks’ ― all the kinds of attempts to play to people’s strongest emotions,” Steyer said. “That creates an atmosphere where anything can bubble up and anything is bubbling up.”

[Slate]

FBI unable to find photos of Comey, Mueller ‘hugging and kissing’ as Trump claimed

The FBI says it was unable to locate any photos of former FBI Director James Comey and special counsel Robert Mueller “hugging and kissing” after President Trump claimed he could provide 100 such images.

BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold on Tuesday shared the Justice Department’s response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request he filed with the bureau asking for photographs of Mueller and Comey “hugging and kissing each other.”

The FBI said in response that its search did not turn up any records corresponding with Leopold’s request.

The bureau noted that there are three categories of law enforcement and national security records protected from FOIA requests, but added that the disclosure “should not be taken as an indication that excluded records do, or do not, exist.”

Comey, who was fired as FBI director in May 2017, joked on Tuesday that his wife was “so relieved” to hear the results.

The Justice Department’s response was dated Oct. 17, just six weeks after Trump claimed in a Sept. 4 interview with The Daily Caller that Mueller and Comey, who worked together at the FBI, are “best friend[s]” as part of a broader complaint about alleged conflicts of interest Mueller has in his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“He’s Comey’s best friend,” Trump told the conservative publication. “And I could give you 100 pictures of him and Comey hugging and kissing each other. You know, he’s Comey’s best friend.”

The president has frequently railed against Mueller’s investigation, claiming repeatedly that he did not collude with Russia in the 2016 election, suggesting the special counsel’s office is biased against him and questioning why Mueller is not investigating Democrats.

Trump interviewed Mueller for FBI director after firing Comey last year, but ultimately appointed current FBI Director Christopher Wray to the post.

It’s unclear if Trump made the decision before Mueller was named special counsel in May 2017.

Comey and Mueller have a working relationship dating back to the early 2000s, when they both served at the Justice Department.

There is no evidence to suggest that Comey and Mueller are “best friends” or that their relationship has influenced the special counsel’s investigation.

[The Hill]

The Trump administration reportedly wants the government to revoke civil rights protections from transgender people

The Trump administration is weighing making its biggest attack on transgender rights yet in a maneuver that would strip federal recognition of the gender identity of some 1.4 million Americans — and require genetic testing in some cases to match a person’s gender with the sex they were assigned at birth.

Erica Green, Katie Benner, and Robert Pear of the New York Times reported on Sunday that the Department of Health and Human Services is floating a memo that would establish the legal definition of sex under Title IX — the federal civil rights law that bans discrimination in education on the basis of gender — that would render immutable the sex of a person at birth. In other words, the government would not recognize a person’s gender other than the one based on their genitalia when they’re born.

Per the Times:

The department argued in its memo that key government agencies needed to adopt an explicit and uniform definition of gender as determined “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.” The agency’s proposed definition would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with, according to a draft reviewed by The Times. Any dispute about one’s sex would have to be clarified using genetic testing.

According to the Times, it would “eradicate federal recognition” of some 1.4 million transgender Americans.

HHS is preparing to formally present the new definition to the Justice Department before the end of the year, and if the department decides the change is legal, it could be enforced across Title IX laws and government agencies, including the Departments of Education, Justice, Health and Human Services, and Labor.

The effects could be far-reaching — it could impact which locker rooms and bathrooms transgender students could use as well as which sports teams students join or what happens to single-sex classes, the Times points out. If enacted, it could even require some people to produce DNA tests as part of their educational experience — an unprecedented step to enforce a biological definition of gender.

The Trump administration has been terrible on transgender rights

The Obama administration worked to advance transgender rights and loosen federal regulations to allow for more gender fluidity including defining gender identity as protected by Title IX. President Donald Trump and his administration have taken steps to reverse that.

Soon after taking office, the Trump administration sent out a letter officially revoking Obama-era guidance on protecting trans students in federally funded schools, saying it was federal overreach. Trump has sought to ban transgender people from serving in the military, rescinded a memo protecting trans workers, and stripped protections for trans prisoners. It has also worsened protections for transgender people in health care.

Trump on the campaign trail said he would embrace LGBTQ people and said he would “fight” for them while Hillary Clinton would bring in “more people that will threaten your freedoms and believes.” But as Vox’s German Lopez pointed out, he’s done quite the opposite:

As president, Trump has acted more or less how you would expect a typical anti-LGBTQ Republican to act. Maybe that reflects his own opinions. Maybe it reflects the views of the people he’s surrounded himself with in his administration, including Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, both of whom have very long histories of anti-LGBTQ causes.

This new assault on transgender people — and one that includes genetic testing — is just the latest chapter.

[Vox

]

Trump Talks Fighting Joe Biden: ‘He’d Be Down Faster’ Than Greg Gianforte Could ‘Take Him Down’

President Donald Trump fired off tough words at Joe Biden at a rally on Thursday night, boasting he would knock him down faster than Rep. Greg Gianforte could, the Montana Republican who attacked a reporter during his campaign for Congress.

After praising Gianforte for body slamming Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs, a crime for which the lawmaker was just sentenced, Trump brought up his feud with former Vice President Biden.

“How about Sleepy Joe Biden,” Trump said, while listing off his potential 2020 competitors. “Remember he challenged me to a fight.”

“And when I said he wouldn’t last long, he’d be down faster than Greg would take him down,” Trump continued. “He’d be down so fast. Remember? Faster than Greg. I’d have to go very fast. I’d have to immediately connect.”

During the 2016 campaign, Biden criticized Trump’s “disgusting assertion” about groping women on the access Hollywood Tape.

“The press always asks me: don’t I wish I were debating him,” Biden said in a speech. “No, I wish we were in high school—I could take him behind the gym. That’s what I wish.”

Those comments prompted a war of words between the two, with Trump saying Biden would “go down fast and hard, crying all the way.” Biden eventually said he regretted his comments.

[Mediaite]

Trump calls Stormy Daniels ‘Horseface’ as defamation suit dismissed.

President Donald Trump lashed out at adult-film star Stormy Daniels and her attorney Tuesday morning, vowing to “go after” the pair, who he referred to as “Horseface and her 3rd rate lawyer.”

The tweet from Trump comes a day after a federal judge in California handed the president a rare legal victory in his ongoing legal battles with Daniels.

Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti – who has been teasing a possible run for president against Trump in 2020 – wasted little time in responding in kind to the insults, calling Trump a “disgusting misogynist and an embarrassment to the United States.”

“Bring everything you have,” Avenatti crowed, “because we are going to demonstrate to the world what a complete shyster and liar you are.”

Also firing back on her (usually) not-safe-for-work Twitter feed, Daniels wrote, “Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present your president.”

“[H]e has demonstrated his incompetence, hatred of women and lack of self control on Twitter AGAIN!” Daniels wrote.

The barrage of Twitter barbs follows a ruling Monday by US District Court Judge S. James Otero that dismissed Daniels’ defamation claim, one of two lawsuits she filed against the president.

Otero ruled that a tweet Trump sent earlier this year mocking Daniels’ credibility was free speech protected by the First Amendment.

The judge noted that Daniels had “sought to publicly present herself as an adversary” to Trump, and that to deny him the ability to engage in responding to her allegations “would significantly hamper the office of the President.”

An attorney for the president, Charles Harder, characterized that ruling in a statement as “a total victory for President Trump and a total defeat for Stormy Daniels.”

The court also ordered Daniels to pay Trump’s legal fees and costs associated with defending the lawsuit. The amount has yet to be determined.

Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti quickly filed a notice of an intention to appeal the ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The dismissal of the defamation claim has no bearing on Daniels’ separate lawsuit challenging the validity of the non-disclosure agreement she signed in 2016 to keep quiet about her allegations of a sexual tryst with Trump in 2006.

Trump has denied her allegations.

The defamation claim from Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, was originally filed in New York federal court earlier this year. The lawsuit claimed Trump acted with “actual malice” and “reckless disregard for the truth” when he posted a tweet mocking her claim that she was threatened by an unknown man to stay silent. The case was later transferred to federal court in California.

In an April appearance on ABC’s “The View,” Daniels and Avenatti released a sketch of the man she claims menaced her and her toddler daughter in 2011 in a Las Vegas parking lot shortly after she granted an interview to In Touch magazine about her alleged relationship with Trump, then a real estate mogul and reality-TV star.

Daniels alleges the man told her to “leave Trump alone” and to “forget the story.”

The magazine didn’t publish its story about Daniels claims until January of 2018 – after the Wall Street Journal published the first accounts of a non-disclosure agreement signed just weeks before the 2016 election.

In interviews with The View and on CBS’ 60 Minutes earlier this year, Daniels intimated that either Trump or his then-personal attorney, Michael Cohen, must have been behind the alleged threat.

To date, no evidence has emerged to support the claim.

One day after Daniels revealed the sketch – Trump ridiculed the claim on Twitter as “a sketch years later about a non-existent man.” He called it a “total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools.”

[ABC News]

Trump on Mocking Christine Ford at Rally: ‘It Doesn’t Matter. We Won’

During an interview on 60 Minutes, CBS’s Lesley Stahl challenged President Donald Trump about his mockery of Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford at a Mississippi rally.

“I watched you mimic her and thousands of people were laughing at her,” Stahl said at Trump claimed he was not making fun of her.

“I– I will tell you this. The way now Justice Kavanaugh was treated has become a big factor in the midterms. Have you seen what’s gone on with the polls?”

Stahl then pressed: “Do you think you treated her with respect?”

Trump said he did.

“But you seem to be saying that she lied,” Stahl pressed further.

Trump then tried to change the subject.

“You know what? I’m not gonna get into it because we won,” he said. “It doesn’t matter. We won.”

[Mediaite]

Trump Rips Eric Holder For His ‘When They Go Low, We Kick Them’ Remark: ‘It’s a Disgrace’

President Donald Trump weighed in on recent remarks made by his former 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder.

This week, Clinton told Democrats that they “cannot be civil” with Republicans until they take over the House and/or the Senate and Holder rebuked former First Lady Michelle Obama‘s saying of “when they go low, we go high,” changing the expression to “when they go low, we kick them.”

When asked by Fox News anchor Shannon Bream about how critics point to him as the root cause of the incivility in America, Trump says he didn’t “think so.”

“My rallies have been very peaceful and even at the beginning when there seemed to be conflict, they sent paid people to disrupt our rallies,” Trump said. “And when you do that, you know, bad things happen. But they were the ones that started everything. So noo, it wasn’t us. It was totally the other side. I would have a rally and paid people were going into those rallies causing trouble. And in many cases, it didn’t work out so well for those people.”

“But not okay to punch them,” Bream pushed back.

Trump then pivoted to Holder and Clinton’s remarks.

“When I hear Holder making a statement like he did today, I think it’s a disgrace,” Trump continued. “And Hillary, I really understand. She just doesn’t get it. She never did. She never will. And that’s why she lost the election.”

Bream concluded the interview by expressing hope that civility can be restored in this country, something that the president agreed with.

[Mediaite]

Trump issues nonsensical tweet mocking ‘paid protesters’ as unpaid

President Donald Trump again lashed out at demonstrators who opposed his Supreme Court nominee by smearing them as paid protesters whose checks had not yet cleared.

The president last week baselessly accused protesters against Brett Kavanaugh as bought and paid for, but he issued a tweet Tuesday morning mocking them as unpaid by their alleged benefactors.

“The paid D.C. protesters are now ready to REALLY protest because they haven’t gotten their checks – in other words, they weren’t paid!” Trump tweeted. “Screamers in Congress, and outside, were far too obvious – less professional than anticipated by those paying (or not paying) the bills!”

[Raw Story]

Trump ‘likes Taylor Swift 25% less’ after political post

Taylor Swift’s endorsement of two Democrats for the upcoming US mid-term elections has sparked a huge response – including from President Donald Trump.

Mr Trump has told reporters he likes “Taylor’s music about 25% less now”.

The singer-songwriter, 28, had previously deliberately steered clear of politics, but said events in “the past two years” had changed her mind.

Her latest comments were praised by many – but also sparked a fierce backlash from Republican supporters.

Swift broke her silence on politics on Sunday, publicly endorsing two Democrats in Tennessee, her home state, in a post on Instagram, where she has 112m followers.

“In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now,” she wrote.

A Buzzfeed News report quotes Vote.org’s Kamari Guthrie, who says the site has seen a “registrations spike specifically since [her] post” in Tennessee, and also a bump in voter registration nationwide.

Swift particularly criticised Republican Senate nominee Marsha Blackburn for her voting record on gender equality.

“Her voting record in Congress appals and terrifies me,” she wrote, citing the politician’s votes against equal pay and domestic violence legislation.

Speaking on Monday, Mr Trump said Ms Blackburn was “doing a very good job” in Swift’s home state.

“She’s a tremendous woman,” he said. “I’m sure Taylor Swift doesn’t know anything about her.”

In previous tweets posted in 2012, the US President had described Swift as “fantastic” and “terrific”, and had thanked her for taking a picture with him.

Swift’s post has been “liked” more than 1.6m times since she shared it on Sunday, including by model Chrissy Teigen, singer Katy Perry and actress Reese Witherspoon.

However, she has attracted criticism from conservative commentators and Republicans.

“What I used to love about Taylor Swift is she stayed away from politics,” Charlie Kirk, founder of the conservative student organisation Turning Point, told Fox News on Monday.

Meanwhile, the National Republican Senatorial Committee criticised her “attitude”, and said Swift had “[come] down from her ivory tower to tell hardworking Tennesseans” how to vote.

Swift did not publicly back any candidate in the 2016 election when other stars like Beyonce and Lady Gaga hit the campaign trail on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

In 2012, Swift told Time magazine she didn’t talk about politics “because it might influence other people”.

“I don’t think that I know enough yet in life to be telling people who to vote for,” she said at the time.

[BBC News]

Trump calls Kavanaugh allegations a ‘hoax set up by the Democrats’

President Trump said Monday that he expects a lot of Democratic voters to support Republican candidates in the upcoming midterms because of how the party’s lawmakers handled sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“The main base of the Democrats have shifted so far left that we’ll end up being Venezuela. This country would end up being Venezuela. I think a lot of Democrats are going to be voting voting Republican on Nov. 6,” Trump told reporters at the White House before departing for a law enforcement event in Florida.

The president seized on the specter raised by some liberals of impeaching Kavanaugh, who was confirmed to the Supreme Court on Saturday after being accused by three women of sexual misconduct and facing questions from Democrats about his judicial temperament.

Trump dismissed the allegations against Kavanaugh — including that he sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford when the two were in high school — as “a hoax that was set up by the Democrats.”

He later blasted allegations from Julie Swetnick that Kavanaugh was present at parties where high school boys got girls drunk so they could be “gang raped,” calling them “made up,” “fabricated” and “a disgrace.”

“And now they want to impeach him,” Trump said. “I think it’s an insult to the American public. I think you’re going to see a lot of things happen on Nov. 6 that would not have happened before.”

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, said last week on the eve of Kavanaugh’s confirmation that Democrats would investigate the sexual misconduct allegations against the judge if the party reclaimed the majority in the House.

Nadler did not comment on the possibility of impeaching Kavanaugh, and other Democratic lawmakers have refrained from discussing that prospect, or indicated they have no intention to pursue it in the near future.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Dele.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called impeachment discussions “premature,” while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said it “would not be my plan” to impeach the Justice.

The Senate confirmed Kavanaugh on Saturday afternoon in a 50-48 vote, with one GOP senator absent and another voting “present.” Every Democrat opposed Kavanaugh’s nomination except for Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

[The Hill]

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