Trump says NBA player Stephen Curry no longer invited to White House

President Trump on Saturday said the “invitation is withdrawn” for Stephen Curry to visit the White House because the NBA All-Star “is hesitating.”

“Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team,” he tweeted. “Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!”

Golden State Warriors guard Curry said this week he didn’t want the team to visit the White House to celebrate their NBA championship title.

“I don’t want to go,” Curry told reporters on Friday. He said in June he “probably” wouldn’t go to the White House, and this week said he didn’t think the team should go either.

Managers said they will discuss the decision as a team in an open forum. It was unclear whether the president would bar the entire team from the White House, or just Curry. A formal White House invitation has not been issued, but the NBA has been communicating with the White House about a visit, according to ESPN.

Curry said his reasons for not wanting to visit the White House were “that we basically don’t stand for what our president has said, and the things he hasn’t said at the right time,” according to SF Gate.

“By not going, hopefully it will inspire some change for what we tolerate in this country and what we stand for, what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye toward,” he said.

“It’s not just the act of not going. There are things you have do on the back end to push that message into motion,” he continued. “You can talk about all the different personalities that have said things and done things from [Colin] Kaepernick to what happened with Michael Bennett to all sorts of examples of what has gone on in our country that has led to change. We’re all trying to do what we can, using our platforms, our opportunities, to shed light on it. I don’t think not going to the White House will miraculously make everything better. But this is my opportunity to voice that.”

Trump on Friday again spoke out against Kaepernick, an NFL player Trump has criticized multiple times in the past.

The president argued people should protest players that don’t stand for the national anthem, as Kaepernick has done, by leaving games.

“When people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they are playing our great national anthem – the only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium,” Trump said at a rally in Alabama. “I guarantee things will stop.”

Fox News coverage of Curry’s resistance could have motivated Trump’s Saturday morning tweet. Trump is a known fan of Fox News coverage.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/352029-trump-withdraws-white-house-invitation-to-stephen-curry

 

Trump After ‘Lock Her Up’ Chant: Talk to Jeff Sessions

 

President Donald Trump told an Alabama crowd Friday night that if “Crooked Hillary” Clinton had won the 2016 election, “you would not have a Second Amendment.”

“You’d be handing in your rifles,” Trump said. “You’d be turning over your rifles.”

The comment was met by chants of “lock her up,” reminiscent of his own campaign rallies during the 2016 presidential rally.

“You’ve got to speak to Jeff Sessions about that,” Trump replied, referencing his US attorney general.

Though Trump had threatened to pursue charges against Clinton before the election, after the election he signaled he would not.

Trump told The Wall Street Journal on November 11 that “it’s not something I’ve given a lot of thought, because I want to solve health care, jobs, border control, tax reform.”

He excited rally-goers with mention of the Second Amendment when campaigning for Republican Sen. Luther Strange ahead of Alabama’s runoff election next week.

Trump is in Huntsville, Alabama, campaigning for Strange who is up against Roy Moore in Tuesday’ Republican primary runoff.

Trump spent much of his speech applauding his administration’s work — including its strong support of the Second Amendment.

“We’ve got a lot of things done — they hate to admit it — including, we have a Supreme Court Justice, Judge Gorsuch, who will save, how about a thing called your Second Amendment? Right? OK, remember that?” Trump said.

[CNN]

Media

Trump Profanely Implores NFL Owners to ‘Fire’ Players Protesting National Anthem

President Trump appeared at a campaign rally in Huntsville, Ala., on Friday night, ostensibly to support the senatorial bid of fellow Republican Luther Strange. But the speech veered off topic, eventually landing on a few points regarding the NFL.

Without mentioning him by name, Trump made reference to Colin Kaepernick and the protests against injustice toward African Americans the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback led last NFL season by taking a knee during the national anthem.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners,” wondered the president, “when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out. He’s fired. He’s fired!’ ” The hypothetical was met with cheers from the assembled crowd.

Trump also said such an owner would “be the most popular person in this country. Because that’s a total disrespect of our heritage. That’s a total disrespect for everything we stand for.” He added that if fans were to “leave the stadium” in response to a protest, “I guarantee things will stop.”

Continuing with the NFL, Trump also discussed the league’s television ratings, saying they are down “massively,” and partially claiming credit for the drop.

“Now the No. 1 reason happens to be, they like watching what’s happening with yours truly,” he said. He also added that the amount of big hits called as penalties are a factor as well.

“Today, if you hit too hard, 15 yards, throw him out of the game,” he said while mimicking the act of an official throwing a penalty flag. “They’re ruining the game, right? They’re ruining the game. It’s hurting the game.”

Trump’s comments on how the game is being ruined by an attempt to cut down on big hits came a day after former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was diagnosed posthumously with the second-most-severe form of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Hernandez committed suicide in April while serving a life sentence for murder.

Trump’s remarks regarding national anthem protests also spurred a reaction on social media, from both players and observers.

[Washington Post]

Trump Attacks ESPN After Anchor Calls Him a White Supremacist

President Trump has a new target in the media — ESPN.

The president said on Twitter on Friday morning that ESPN “is paying a really big price for its politics (and bad programming). People are dumping it in RECORD numbers. Apologize for untruth.”

He was apparently referring to ESPN anchor Jemele Hill, who in a recent tweet said that “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.”

Hill’s assertion caused an uproar, particularly in conservative media circles, where ESPN’s political bent has been a point of contention for years.

Wall Street analysts and ESPN executives generally agree that ESPN’s subscriber losses are primarily a result of cost-conscious consumers and a changing business model.

But the president, through his tweet on Friday, sided with the conservative commentators who say it’s really liberal bias that is poisoning ESPN and dragging down the business.

His call for an apology is also noteworthy. Hill addressed the controversy earlier this week, but pointedly did not apologize for her “white supremacist” statement. She only expressed regret for painting ESPN in an unfair light.

ESPN said in a followup statement that the network accepted her apology.

The network clearly wants to move on — but Trump might make that more difficult.

Neither Hill nor ESPN immediately responded to the president’s Friday morning tweet, and ESPN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hill, an African American woman, has been an outspoken critic of Trump all year long. The current controversy erupted on Monday night she called him a “bigot,” a “threat” and a “white supremacist” on Twitter.

The next day, as people who were outraged by the tweets demanded action from ESPN, the network said that Hill’s tweets “do not represent the position of ESPN.”

“We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate,” the network said.

When White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked about it on Wednesday, she said Hill’s criticism of the president should be considered a “fireable offense by ESPN.”

The next day, on Fox News, Sanders reiterated this: “I think it was highly inappropriate, and I think ESPN should take actions. But I’ll leave that up to them to decide, and I’ll stay focused on my day job.”

ESPN had 90 million subscribers as of September 2016, the most recent numbers it has reported. That’s down 2 million from a year earlier and down from a high of 100 million in 2010.

On Fox, it’s a popular talking point that those subscriber losses are due to rampant liberal bias. There’s little evidence to support that theory.

As the monthly cable bundle has become more and more expensive, and streaming has become more popular, some homes have dropped the big bundles that include ESPN, the priciest channel on cable. Others have discontinued cable altogether and turned to streaming services.

The vast majority of U.S. homes continue to pay for cable, including ESPN. But the cutbacks have put pressure on ESPN and other sports networks.

To address this, ESPN is planning to roll out a direct-to-consumer streaming service next year.

[CNN]

White House: ESPN anchor that called Trump racist should be fired

An ESPN anchor who called President Trump a white supremacist should be fired, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday.

“That is one of the more outrageous comments that anybody could make and certainly is something that is a fireable offense by ESPN,” Sanders said.

ESPN has reprimanded Jemele Hill, an African-American woman who co-hosts a show called “SC6 with Michael and Jemele,” for a string of tweets sent out over the weekend calling Trump and his supporters white supremacists.

An ESPN anchor who called President Trump a white supremacist should be fired, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday.

“That is one of the more outrageous comments that anybody could make and certainly is something that is a fireable offense by ESPN,” Sanders said.

ESPN has reprimanded Jemele Hill, an African-American woman who co-hosts a show called “SC6 with Michael and Jemele,” for a string of tweets sent out over the weekend calling Trump and his supporters white supremacists.

In a statement, ESPN sought to distance itself from Smith’s remarks.

“The comments on Twitter from Jemele Hill regarding the president do not represent the position of ESPN,” the network said. “We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate.”

But many on the right are fuming, believing that it is the latest in a string of incidents that reveal ESPN’s liberal bias.

Sanders on Tuesday defended Trump, saying that he had met recently with Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who is black, and other “highly respected leaders in the African-American community” and that he is “committed to working with them to bring the country together.”

“That’s where we need to be focused, not on outrageous statements like this one,” Sanders said.

[The Hill]

Reality

You know who else thinks Donald Trump is a white supremacist? Congress. Who a few days after passed a resolution forcing Trump to officially denounce white supremacy.

In any event, Sarah Huckabee Sanders at best was highly inappropriate to user her federal position to influence private employment decisions, and at worse she may have broken the law.

This law essentially states certain government employees — including the president, vice president and “any other executive branch employee” — are prohibited from influencing the employment decisions or practices of a private entity (such as ESPN) “solely on the basis of partisan political affiliation.”

Breaking this law can lead to a fine or imprisonment up to 15 years — possibly both — and could lead to disqualification from “holding any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”

 

Trump Tweets Cartoon of Train Hitting CNN Reporter

US President Donald Trump has posted an image of a train hitting a CNN reporter three days after a hit-and-run left one person dead at a far-right rally.

The cartoon, which Mr Trump deleted after tweeting, depicts the cable network logo being run over by a “Trump Train” symbolising his supporters.

The president also apparently accidentally retweeted a post by someone calling him “a fascist”.

Mr Trump is in New York where he faces a second day of protests.

White House officials told NBC the train image – captioned “Fake news can’t stop the Trump Train” – had been “inadvertently posted” and when “noticed it was immediately deleted”.

In another presumably unintentional retweet, the US president shared – and then also deleted – a post by someone who said of him: “He’s a fascist, so not unusual.”

The Twitter user, @MikeHolden , had been commenting on a Fox report saying that Mr Trump could be planning to pardon Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was found guilty in July of racially profiling Hispanic people.

Mr Holden, of Burnley, England, promptly changed his Twitter bio to read: “Officially Endorsed by the President of the United States. I wish that were a good thing.”

Asked by the BBC if he thinks the “endorsement” ended when Mr Trump deleted the tweet he laughed and said: “Oh, absolutely. I don’t think he really meant to endorse it.

“I don’t think he intended to say, ‘yup, that’s me, the big ol’ fascist!'”

“I’m an internet nobody!” added Mr Holden, a 53-year-old IT consultant, adding the response has been “absolutely bananas”.

“It’s rare you get that kind of attention from the president, isn’t it?” Mr Holden added.

Mr Trump has drawn criticism from both ends of the political spectrum since Saturday’s so-called Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a woman was killed.

Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old counter-protester and 19 other people were injured when a car rammed the crowd. A 20-year-old man is facing murder and other charges.

Mr Trump did not immediately condemn the white supremacists, instead blaming “many sides” for “hatred, bigotry, and violence” in the university town.

On Monday he sought to clarify his views, denouncing the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis by name.

But in the process he took a moment to demean a CNN reporter.

Asked by journalist Jim Acosta why he had waited so long to condemn the hate groups, Mr Trump responded: “I like real news, not fake news.”

Pointing the finger at the White House correspondent, he added: “You are fake news.”

Mr Trump frequently targets the so-called “fake news media” in tweets to his nearly 36 million followers.

In May he shared a clip of himself pummelling professional wrestler with a CNN logo superimposed on his face.

Late on Monday, Mr Trump also retweeted a post from an account linked to one of his supporters known for fuelling conspiracy theories, such as “Pizzagate” .

The post by Jack Posobiec linked to a story from an ABC affiliate and said: “Meanwhile: 39 shootings in Chicago this weekend, 9 deaths. No national media outrage. Why is that?”

The Pizzagate conspiracy theory claimed Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief was running a paedophile ring out of a pizza parlour in Washington.

Mr Trump awoke for the first time as president in Trump Tower on Tuesday, tweeting that it “feels good to be home”.

He arrived at the Manhattan skyscraper on Monday night amid throngs of protesters calling for his impeachment.

Three people were arrested, and police expect further demonstrations on Tuesday.

Late-night show hosts turned their fire on Mr Trump on Monday night.

The Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon, who usually avoids political polemic, rebuked the president.

“The fact that it took the president two days to clearly denounce racists and white supremacists is shameful,” Mr Fallon said on his NBC show.

[BBC News]

Trump Adviser Floats Claims Minnesota Mosque Bombing Was Staged

A senior White House official’s suggestion that the bomb attack on a mosque in the US state of Minnesota could have been staged has sparked derision on social media.

Sebastian Gorka, a senior adviser to US President Donald Trump, told MSNBC on Tuesday that some recent hate crimes were fake.

He failed to give examples to back his allegations.

The comments led to criticism of the official, who has ties to far-right activists in Hungary and was sacked from a consultancy role by the FBI over his anti-Islam rhetoric, according to US outlet, the Daily Beast.

When asked by anchors whether the White House would be commenting on the Minnesota bombing that took place in the early hours on Saturday, Gorka said it would but only after an investigation into who was behind the attack.

“There’s a great rule, all initial reports are false, you have to check them, you have to find out who the perpetrators are,” said Gorka.

“We’ve had a series of crimes committed, alleged hate crimes by right-wing individuals, in the last six months, which turned out to be actually propagated by the left.”

“People fake hate crimes in the last six months with some regularity. I think it’s wise to find out what exactly is going on before you make statements,” he added.

The Southern Poverty Law Centre, which documents hate crimes, noted 1,863 incidents between Trump’s election in November 2016 and April 2017.

In May, two men were killed by a white supremacist in Oregon when they tried to stop him abusing two Muslim girls on a bus.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) noted a 91 percent rise in anti-Muslim hate crime since the start of the year.

The comments by the Trump official on MSNBC prompted criticism online.

[Al Jazeera]

Watch

White House Just Doxxed Americans Critical of Trump’s Election Commission

The White House just responded to concerns it would release voters’ sensitive personal information by releasing a bunch of voters’ sensitive personal information.

Last month, the White House’s “election integrity” commission sent out requests to every state asking for all voters’ names, party IDs, addresses, and even the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, among other information. The White House then said this information would be made available to the public.

A lot of people did not like the idea, fearing that their personal information could be made public. So some sent emails to the White House, demanding that it rescind the request.

This week, the White House decided to make those emails from concerned citizens public through the commission’s new website. But the administration made a big mistake: It didn’t censor any of the personal information — such as names, email addresses, actual addresses, and phone numbers — included in those emails.

In effect, the White House just released the sensitive personal information of a lot of concerned citizens giving feedback to their government. That’s made even worse by the fact that the White House did this when the thing citizens were complaining about was the possibility that their private information would be made public.

As of Friday afternoon, the emails are still uncensored and available on the White House’s website. They include all sorts of feedback, from concerns about privacy to outright insults of the Trump administration. One email just links to an image of the terrifying pornographic meme Goatse. (Do not Google this if you value your eyes.)

“DO NOT RELEASE ANY OF MY VOTER DATA, PERIOD,” said one person whose full name and email address were subsequently released in the collection of emails.

The White House website does now warn about the possibility of personal information going public: “Please note that the Commission may post such written comments publicly on our website, including names and contact information that are submitted.” But it’s not clear if the people who sent emails to the White House knew of this before the commission’s website went up this week.

It isn’t atypical to release some personal information with public comments. The Federal Communications Commission, for example, posts commenters’ addresses on its filing website. But the White House’s move quickly caught people’s attention on social media.

A spokesperson for Vice President Mike Pence, who’s helping head the commission, defended the move.

“These are public comments, similar to individuals appearing before commission to make comments and providing name before making comments,” Marc Lotter, press secretary to the vice president, said. “The Commission’s Federal Register notice asking for public comments and its website make clear that information ‘including names and contact information’ sent to this email address may be released.”

The White House’s “election integrity” commission has been criticized more broadly because it’s widely believed to be an attempt to justify voter suppression. The group was set up after President Donald Trump, on Twitter and elsewhere, complained that he lost the popular vote due to millions of fraudulent votes. The best research shows that voter fraud is incredibly rare in the US — in 2016, for example, an investigation in North Carolina found that just one out of nearly 4.8 million total votes in the state was potentially a credible case of in-person voter fraud.

But Republicans, with Trump now included, have used exaggerated fears of voter fraud to pass legislation that would add new barriers to voting — which disproportionately affects low-income and minority voters who just so happen to lean Democrat. For more on all that, read Vox’s explainer.

[Vox]

Trump Thinks He Got ‘Total Vindication’ From Comey. Except He Didn’t.

President Trump ended his Twitter silence early Friday, claiming ex-FBI Director James Comey vindicated him and accusing Comey of improperly leaking details of their discussions.

“Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication…and WOW, Comey is a leaker!” Trump tweeted.

Comey told a Senate committee Thursday that he believes Trump fired him over the Russia probe, and he accused the White House of lying about the details of the dismissal. He also admitted that he had leaked to the press memos describing his talks with Trump, saying he hoped the stories would spur the appointment of a special counsel to take over the investigation of the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia.

The former FBI director also appeared to confirm Trump’s statements that, on three occasions, Comey told the president he was not personally under investigation with regard to Russia.

While Trump’s attorney issued a statement defending Trump and attacking Comey for the leak, and Trump’s son Don Jr. tweeted throughout the hearing, the president himself remained silent on the subject and did not tweet all day.

That changed early Friday.

One source of the Trump-Comey dispute: Comey’s memos.

The former FBI director said he he kept notes on his meetings with the president because he was concerned Trump might lie about the nature of their conversations.

After his dismissal, Comey testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee, he told a friend about his memos and asked him to leak the information about them to reporters.

Trump and aides pounced on that revelation, accusing Comey of improperly leaking privileged conversations. They also disputed Comey’s assertion that Trump asked the FBI director for a pledge of personal loyalty to the president.

The president and his aides backed other parts of Comey’s testimony, however, including portions where the then-FBI director told the president he was not personally under investigation over Russia.

The FBI is investigating links between associates of Trump during last year’s campaign and Russians who sought to influence the election by hacking Democrats. Comey said that Trump asked him specifically whether he could drop the investigation with respect to former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who Trump fired for withholding information about his contacts with foreign governments.

The president’s critics said Comey’s claims that Trump asked him about dropping the Russia investigation could amount to obstruction of justice.

Reality

Comey was fired by Trump on May 9th. All of his unclassified memos were sent to the press on May 16th, after his dismissal and after Donald Trump talked about them.

 

 

President Trump Scolds Kathy Griffin: She ‘Should Be Ashamed’

President Donald Trump lashed out at Kathy Griffin on Twitter early Wednesday, telling the caustic comedian that she “should be ashamed of herself” and think of “my children” for posing with a fake bloodied and decapitated head made in his likeness.

“Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself. My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!” Trump tweeted.

First lady Melania Trump weighed in on the graphic image, saying that she found the images “very disturbing.”

“As a mother, a wife, and a human being, that photo is very disturbing,” she said. “When you consider some of the atrocities happening in the world today, a photo opportunity like this is simply wrong and makes you wonder about the mental health of the person who did it.”

Griffin sent shock waves through social media on Tuesday night after images of her holding a bloodied, decapitated model of what appeared to be Trump’s head began circulating online.

Griffin posted a short video of herself raising the head on her Twitter account.

Griffin added in a follow up that she does “not condone ANY violence” but that she was simply “mocking the Mocker in Chief.”

As the picture began to make the rounds, Trump’s son Donald Trump, Jr., among others, posted the image on Instagram to express his disgust.

CNN hosts Anderson Cooper and Jake Tapper both said the image was inappropriate. In a statement, CNN said it found Griffin’s actions “disgusting and offensive,” and said it is evaluating its New Year’s Eve coverage, which Griffin co-hosts with Cooper.

As the backlash mounted, Griffin changed course and apologized.

“I sincerely apologize. I’m just now seeing the reaction of these images. I’m a comic. I crossed the line. I move the line, then I cross it. I went way too far,” Griffin said.

She went on to say the image was too graphic and that she had taken it down and asked the photographer do the same.

“It wasn’t funny. I get it. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my career. I will continue,” Griffin said.

Griffin’s ad campaign with Squatty Potty, a Utah-based bathroom products company, had been suspended, the company said.

Reality

You are right to hold the position that this clearly crossed the line and you are right to point out that this was only a piece of art captioned, “Blood coming out of wherever” that mocked Trump’s own sexist comments towards Megyn Kelly and art shouldn’t be censored. Ultimately this photoshoot by Tyler Shields, who is known for his provocative images, clearly had its intended effect to shock an audience.

However, that debate aside, what we should take away and learn from this incident is how disturbing it is that we hold our artists and comedians at a higher level of standards than our elected officials.

 

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