Trump Trashes Kellyanne Conway’s Husband: ‘He’s Just Trying to Get Publicity For Himself’

During his Friday pool spread with the White House press corps, President Trump took shots at Kellyanne Conway‘s husband for saying it was “unconstitutional” of him to appoint Matt Whitaker as acting attorney general.

George Conway co-wrote a New York Times piece on Thursday which not only argued that Whitaker’s appointment was “illegal,” but also that anything he tries to do in his new position is constitutionally “invalid.” When Trump was asked about this, the president directed the question to Conway’s wife while writing him off as a publicity-seeker.

“He’s just trying to get publicity for himself,” Trump said. “Why don’t you do this, why don’t you ask Kellyanne that question, all right? She might know him better than me. I really don’t know the guy.”

Fun fact: reporters have tried asking Mrs. Conway about her husband’s regular criticisms of Trump, to which she reacted with deep displeasure.

[Mediaite]

Protesters Interrupt Trump Rally; Trump Shouts Back ‘Go Home to Mommy!’

President Donald Trump‘s rally in Fort Wayne, IN was interrupted by protesters earlier tonight.

After the first protester showed up, Trump went on an extended riff about the cameras in the room and how they “turned like a pretzel,” launching into his usual schtick about how the networks never cut away to show the size of his crowds.

But then, a few minutes later, another protester interrupted.

This time, Trump called out, “Out! Out! Go home to mommy! Go home to mommy.”

And he riffed on the cameras once again. Trump also referred to the protester as “a weak person with a weak voice.”

There was even a third protester who interrupted after Trump brought Mike Braun up to speak.

[Mediaite]

Media

Trump Weirdly Tweets ‘Revealing’ ‘Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ Clip

Big alert from the president: SICKO HOLLYWOOD LIBS have BANNED his Stephen Colbert interview because of something something something!!!

On Monday, Donald Trump’s account quote tweeted a video from an account using the display name “Blacks for Trump” (@BlacksForTrump5) alleging that CBS had taken down a Sept. 22, 2015 episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert featuring the president. The video is bizarrely edited and only barely comprehensible, but claims, “You are not supposed to see this video” and that “CBS DELETED this entire episode from their official website. You will not find these segments on YouTube either.”

While Colbert could be reasonably accused of lobbing softballs during the interview, the video also selectively edits the episode in question to cut off jokes and make it appear as though the host is a Trump supporter. (He is not, though it’s unclear whether the editing was intended as some kind of snark or was made in wild-eyed earnestness.)

Gizmodo has reached out to CBS for comment, and we’ll update this post if we hear back. But the CBS All Access website did not show any episodes of The Late Show prior to the month of October 2018. Clips of the Sept. 22, 2015 episode of the show in question, however, were available via that site, and more than one was on The Late Show’s official YouTube. It is hardly unusual for networks to pull older episodes of shows from streaming services due to licensing restrictions, something that the Verge noted was a particular problem with CBS All Access in a 2018 review.

In other words, it’s super-obvious this is yet more vapid bullshit the president and/or the various underlings that tweet from his account—it’s not always clear which—either lack the capacity to think critically about or are just throwing out as some kind of distraction.

Trump has previously spread outright lies alleging blacklisting on Google, discrimination against conservatives by social media companies, and that the media deliberately cooks up “Fake News” about his presidency. Even by those low, low standards, this is a particularly lazy hit job, less an Orwellian missive from the Ministry of Truth than a cringeworthy FWD: FWD: from a confused relative who just figured out how to use email.

This video has apparently been circulating among the most credulous #MAGA types on Twitter and Facebook since at least April 2018, after which point the trail dithers off into an underbelly of social media spam. It appears to be the first tweet on the @BlacksForTrump5 account, which is not widely followed, raising the question of how the president or his staff even found it. Its only newsworthiness is that Trump retweeted it, which would be profoundly embarrassing were Trump not well past the point of feeling shame about anything and everyone else well aware the emperor has a distinct shortage of things other than clothes.

Beyond that, it’s just another middle finger to anyone who actually cares about the consequences of his presidency—as well as a reminder that even after the horrific events of the past few weeks, which have included a mail bomb campaign and a mass murder at a synagogue, Trump is not slowing down with the conspiracy stuff.

Update: 10/30/2018, 11:20 a.m. ET: In response to a request for comment, CBS directed us to this tweet from Colbert:

[Gizmodo]

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]

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