Trump Calls For Sen. Chuck Schumer To Be Arrested

Trump and Republicans are intentionally distorting Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer’s comments as the president called for Schumer to be impeached and arrested.

After Schumer warned Trump’s Supreme Court justices that an overturn of Roe v. Wade would set off a grassroots political pushback, Trump tweeted:

It is not a surprise that Trump used a tweet from Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Sex Abuse Cover-Up Ohio State) to advance his goal of having his political opponents arrested.

Sen. Schumer’s office called out Trump, Chief Justice Roberts, and the rest of the GOP’s hysterical BS in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA:

Women’s health care rights are at stake and Americans from every corner of the country are in anguish about what the court might do to them.

Sen. Schumer’s comments were a reference to the political price Senate Republicans will pay for putting these justices on the court, and a warning that the justices will unleash a major grassroots movement on the issue of reproductive rights against the decision.

For Justice Roberts to follow the right wing’s deliberate misinterpretation of what Sen. Schumer said, while remaining silent when President Trump attacked Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg last week, shows Justice Roberts does not just call balls and strikes.

Republicans are clinging on to anything they can to motivate their voters after Joe Biden’s march through Super Tuesday. Trump would love to arrest his political opponents because his heart beats pure authoritarianism.

Trump wants to talk about anything else besides Joe Biden, his bungled coronavirus response, the looming economic slowdown.

The Trump presidency is running on fumes, which is why he is trying to fire up the fake outrage machine at Chuck Schumer.

[Politics USA]

Trump again attacks US intel agencies from India when asked about Russian election interference

President Donald Trump on Tuesday was asked about reports that Russia is interfering in the 2020 presidential election during a press conference in India — and he used it as an opportunity to once again attack American intelligence agencies.

During his press conference, Trump alleged that no intelligence officials told him about Russian efforts to help his campaign even though they had briefed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) about the ways Russia was working to boost his chances in the Democratic primary.

“Intelligence never told me!” he complained without evidence.

He then accused Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) of leaking the information about Russian wanting to help Trump and Sanders, although he cited no evidence to back up this claim.

[Raw Story]


Trump quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson, Suggesting He’s a ‘King’

The tweets of Donald J. Trump are sometimes inane, sometimes scary, and sometimes baffling. On Saturday he made two that are the latter. Only a few days after inexplicably sharing a clip from Curb Your Enthusiasm that clearly mocked his supporters, the president decided to post something even more Mad Libs-weird: He quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Technically he was quoting someone else quoting Emerson: a piece from his dreaded New York Times that dropped back in early February. The headline was, alas, not exactly flattering: “While Stained in History, Trump Will Emerge From Trial Triumphant and Unshackled.” The article itself, by Peter Baker, wasn’t complimentary about the president’s newfound confidence after getting impeached by the House but acquitted by the Senate. Perhaps Trump didn’t read the whole thing. But he did single out one passage.

“Ralph Waldo Emerson seemed to foresee the lesson of the Senate Impeachment Trial of President Trump. ‘When you strike at the King, Emerson famously said, “you must kill him.’ Mr. Trump’s foes struck at him but did not take him down,” the tweet read. “A triumphant Mr.Trump emerges from the biggest test of his presidency emboldened, ready to claim exoneration, and take his case of grievance, persecution and resentment to the campaign trail.” He then cited Baker, at-ed the NYT, and added one of his greatest go-tos: “The Greatest Witch Hunt in American History!

Trump’s out-of-context (but still far from positive) tweeting read as a boast, even if he was quoting a publication he routinely demonizes. The fact that the president was quoting someone quoting Emerson truly weirded some people out.

Others were horrified. After all, he was essentially referring to himself as a king, not a president.

Some pointed out that Trump had been reduced to quoting the “failing” (though actually thriving) New York Times.

[Uproxx]

Trump singles out Mitt Romney in post-acquittal Twitter-rant

President Donald Trump isn’t letting up on Sen. Mitt Romney during his post-acquittal victory lap.

Four days after the end of his impeachment trial, the president spent a sunny Sunday in D.C. continuing a weekend tweetstorm against the proceedings and his perceived foes — particularly targeting Romney, the lone Republican who voted to boot him from the White House.

The president retweeted assertions that Romney “stabbed Trump in the back” by joining Democrats in attempts to overturn the 2016 election, and that the Utah senator was connected to unsubstantiated claims that Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, was corruptly involved with the Burisma Holdings energy company in Ukraine.

“Mitt Romney is tied to Hunter Biden’s Burisma corruption. This is why he’s bent over backwards for the media with this show ‘guilty’ vote,” read a Trump retweet of the website Big League Politics’ post. “He doesn’t want this story EXPOSED!”

Neither the president nor Big League Politics offered any proof that Romney had been involved with Burisma or Hunter Biden.

The president also fired off his own anti-Romney tweets. “Romney hurt some very good Republican Senators, and he was wrong about the Impeachment Hoax. No clue!” he wrote based off a tweet that Romney’s real damage would be to Senate Republicans in tough reelection races.

He later pulled in Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a red-state Democrat who was considered to be a swing vote on impeachment and whom Trump labeled “weak & pathetic” after Manchin’s vote to convict.

“They are really mad at Senator Joe Munchkin in West Virginia,” the president wrote. “He couldn’t understand the Transcripts. Romney could, but didn’t want to!” This seemed to be a reference to a readout of the July phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president that led to the impeachment inquiry.

Trump’s 50-plus tweets and retweets on Sunday included criticism of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for ripping up a copy of his State of the Union speech, and encouragement for Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin to find out “who started the Ukraine ‘collusion’ narrative.” The senators have pledged to investigate Hunter Biden’s business activities, even after the impeachment trial’s completion.

Appearing on “Face the Nation” on Sunday morning, Graham directly addressed Trump about the origins of the government’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election: “If he’s watching the show, here’s what I would tell the president: I’m going to get to the bottom of the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] process, because it was an abuse of power at the Department of Justice and the FBI.”

[Politico]

Trump assails Rep. Dingell, citing her late husband, amid wave of attacks on Dems

President Donald Trump on Saturday launched a vitriolic attack on his perceived enemies, including the widow of a prominent Democratic congressman, days after he was acquitted in his impeachment trial.

Trump took to Twitter on Saturday afternoon to heap scorn on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), the widow of the late Rep. John Dingell, among others.

“@RepDebDingell, who called me, tears flowing, to thank me for rolling out the maximum ‘Red Carpet’ for the funeral of her husband, then voted against me on the partisan Impeachmen Hoax, said ‘everybody (Dems) wants to get out of town. This has been, in my whole career, one of… …the worst weeks ever.’ She could have had a much better week if Crazy Nancy, who is the most overrated person in politics (going to lose the House a second time), didn’t bring the phony & corrupt Impeachment Hoax,” Trump tweeted.

The tweets came at the end of a week that saw Trump acquitted Wednesday, a rambling post-impeachment White House address Thursday that mocked Democratic lawmakers and opponents, and the ousting of two impeachment witnesses Friday.

Trump has attacked Dingell before over her role in the impeachment inquiry, saying to supporters at a Michigan rally in December that her late husband, the longest-ever serving congressman when he died in February 2019, was “looking up” from hell.

Those comments drew condemnation from lawmakers, including from Republicans like Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) who called on Trump to apologize.

The president on Saturday continued lacing into Pelosi, who told Democrats she felt “liberated” after ripping up a paper copy of Trump’s Tuesday State of the Union speech on national television, which became one of the most talked about moments of the event.

“Crazy Nancy Pelosi’s Impeachment Hoax has lifted Republican Congressional Polls (she lost the House once before!), and my Polls, WAY UP, which was expected,” he tweeted, without citing examples.

He also attacked Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the NSC official who testified about the president’s actions on Ukraine, drawing a furious response from Vindman’s lawyers, who called Trump’s attacks a “campaign of intimidation.”

Later Saturday, Trump also assailed Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) for their votes to convict him, in an echo of attacks he’d leveled against the senators on Friday.

Manchin responded in kind, tweeting: “I’ve read the transcripts thoroughly & listened to the witnesses under oath. Where I come from a person accused defends themselves with witnesses and evidence.”

Trump’s tweeting — totaling more than 40 tweets or retweets sent Saturday — didn’t end there.

The president also retweeted a photograph of himself that showed a darkened layer of makeup on his face as he walked across the White House lawn, which had gone viral online. While the original photograph was in color, Trump tweeted a black and white version of it.

“More Fake News. This was photoshopped, obviously, but the wind was strong and the hair looks good?” Trump said. “Anything to demean!”

[Politico]

Trump claims Pelosi ripping speech was ‘illegal’

President Trump claimed Friday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) committed a crime by ripping up a copy of his speech at the State of the Union on Tuesday evening, a claim that was immediately disputed as false by legal experts. “I thought it was a terrible thing,” Trump told reporters at the White House before departing for a speech in North Carolina. “It’s illegal what she did. She broke the law.” Trump asserted that Pelosi was barred from ripping up the speech because it is an official document, later calling it “very illegal.”

Glenn Kirschner, a legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, disputed Trump’s claim, telling The Hill that a photocopy of a speech is not an official record.

“The federal law prohibiting the destruction of public records or government documents does not apply,” Kirschner said in a text message.

“No prosecutor with half an ounce of common sense would ever charge this case,” said Elie Honig, another legal analyst. “The law isn’t meant to criminalize destruction of copies of ceremonial documents.”

Trump on Friday also described Pelosi’s action as “very disrespectful to the chamber, to the country.”

Pelosi has said she tore up the speech in order to protest the “falsehoods” contained in the president’s State of the Union address and that she felt “very vindicated” by doing so.

The president’s remarks on Friday were his first public reaction to Pelosi’s ripping of his speech at the conclusion of his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening.

The president told reporters Friday that he didn’t know Pelosi ripped the copy of his speech until members of Congress remarked about it as he left the chamber.

White House aides have repeatedly criticized Pelosi for the move in recent days, though none have suggested her actions were illegal. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told Fox News on Wednesday that she believed Pelosi should be censured.

“I think it shows you how petty and peevish and partisan the Democratic Party has come,” Conway said on Fox News. “And for all the people out there who fancy themselves the armchair psychiatrist trying to analyze certain people, they ought to shift their craft over to Nancy Pelosi.”

Trump has regularly attacked Pelosi over his impeachment by House, but their relationship plummeted to a new low this week following the State of the Union and the president’s acquittal in the impeachment trial by the GOP-controlled Senate.

When Trump entered the House chamber before his remarks, Trump also appeared to snub Pelosi, not taking her hand as she reached out to shake his as is customary at the beginning of the president’s joint address to Congress.

During two separate appearances on Thursday — including one at the National Prayer Breakfast when the House Speaker was sitting just feet away — Trump took a shot at Pelosi for invoking religion during his impeachment.

“Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person. And she wanted to impeach a long time ago,” Trump said during remarks from the East Room Thursday afternoon, disputing Pelosi’s claim that she prays for him. “She may pray, but she prays for the opposite. But I doubt she prays at all.”

[The Hill]

Reality

The assertion is rich given Trump’s well-documented penchant for ripping papers into tiny pieces after he’s done reading them. Politico reported in 2018 that White House aides could not convince the President to break his paper-ripping habit, so it became the job of career staffers in the records management office to tape official documents he’s torn into bits back together.

This all came from a tweet from conservative bullshit artist Charlie Kirk.

According to a fact check from the Tampa Bay Times:

The statute in question deals with the “concealment, removal, or mutilation generally” of records and reports. It sets a penalty for anyone who “conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys” any government record “filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States.”

The statute also says that any person with “custody” of a government record cannot “willfully and unlawfully” conceal, remove, mutilate, obliterate, falsify or destroy it.

“The point of the statute is to prevent people from destroying records in official repositories like the National Archives or in courts,” said Georgetown Law professor Victoria Nourse.

Pelosi is in the clear, experts said, because her copy of Trump’s speech wasn’t a government record.

Media

Trump immediately refuted the Republican idea he was chastened by impeachment

Minutes after the Senate vote to acquit him on Wednesday afternoon, President Donald Trump posted a tweet undercutting the belief a number of Republican senators expressed in recent days that getting impeached might prompt him to tone it down a little.

Trump posted a video with an edited animation of a Time magazine cover teasing that he, or at the very least someone with the same last name, will be running for president in 2020, 2024, 2028, and beyond. It ends with Trump standing being an election placard reading, “TRUMP 4EVA.”

Trump regularly jokes about serving more than two terms in office. Coming from someone who’s supposedly the leader of the free world, Trump’s quips along these lines are never in good taste. But alluding to them in the immediate aftermath of a trial in which a bipartisan group of senators voted for his removal from office is especially brazen.

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign’s official Twitter account posted a tweet making a mockery of the entire impeachment proceedings.

None of this is surprising at this stage of the Trump presidency. But it does reveal the absurdity of the talking points used by Republican Sens. Susan Collins (ME), Lamar Alexander (TN), and Rob Portman(OH), each of whom indicated in recent days they believe Trump learned a lesson from getting impeached and will behave better going forward.

That talking point was self-evidently absurd for anyone operating with a basic understanding of the timeline that culminated in Trump’s impeachment. The call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump implicitly linked the release of military aid to Ukraine helping with investigations into his political foes took place on July 25 — just one day after special counsel Robert Mueller wound down his investigation of the president by testifying to Congress and saying Trump could be indicted after his term for obstructing justice because of his interference with the Russia investigation.

So instead of responding to the end of the Russia investigation by cooling his jets, Trump was on the phone with the Ukrainian president the very next day trying to solicit political favors — the very same conduct that fueled suspicions about his Russia dealings in the first place. With Republican senators now having voted to let him off the hook for that conduct, there’s no reason to think he won’t try and do it again.

Trump is who he is. Republican senators who justified impeaching him partly because they thought he’d be chastened by the experience were either fooling themselves or the American people. Trump’s initial response to being impeached made that perfectly clear.

[Vox]

‘Where’s the Whistleblower?’ Trump launches new attacks on impeachment as trial nears conclusion

President Donald Trump attacked the impeachment process as closing statements began in his Senate trial.

The president apparently watched the start of closing statements by House managers, who argued that evidence showed Trump should be impeached, and complained the constitutional process was unfair.

“I hope Republicans & the American people realize that the totally partisan Impeachment Hoax is exacty that, a Hoax,” Trump tweeted. “Read the Transcripts, listen to what the President & Foreign Minister of Ukraine said (‘No Pressure’). Nothing will ever satisfy the Do Nothing, Radical Left Dems!”

Trump then renewed his call to produce the whistleblower whose complaint launched the impeachment inquiry.

“Where’s the Whistleblower? Where’s the second Whistleblower? Where’s the Informer?” Trump tweeted. “Why did Corrupt politician Schiff MAKE UP my conversation with the Ukrainian President??? Why didn’t the House do its job? And sooo much more!”

[Raw Story]

Trump’s Super Bowl interview was 8 minutes of pettiness and empty braggadocio

Presidents giving interviews before Super Bowls has become a tradition — Barack Obama fielded questions about Benghazi and his detractors; Donald Trump has answered questions about immigration and the turnover on his staff.

While the questions can be tough, given the spirit of the day, these interviews aren’t always the most rigorous of exercises. But Trump found himself before an exceptionally friendly interviewer this time around, sitting down with Fox News’s Sean Hannity ahead of the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.

Their conversation was less of an interview than an opportunity for the president to attack his enemies unchecked for just over eight minutes — railing against Democrats who impeached him, making bizarrely incorrect claims about the 2020 Democratic presidential field, and even making height jokes about former New York City mayor of and presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg.

When asked about whether he’d be able to work with Democrats following his impeachment, Trump replied that he wasn’t sure, saying, “I see the hatred — they don’t care about fairness, they don’t care about lying,” a statement that could not be heavier with irony given Trump’s own well documented difficult relationship with the truth.

Hannity nodded as Trump went on, saying, “the whole thing was nonsense,” that it was “very, very unfair,” and that “my family suffered because of all this, and many other families suffered also.”

Trump did not address his role in pressuring Ukraine to dig up dirt on his political rivals, or the White House’s refusal to cooperate in the impeachment inquiry. Instead, he accused Democrats of impeaching him in hopes of brightening their 2020 prospects, saying, “They just want to win; it doesn’t matter how they win.”

In a lightning round, in which Hannity encouraged the president to say the first thing that came to mind, Trump attacked Democratic presidential candidates.

“Look at Sleepy Joe, what’s going on with him? He’s having a hard time,” Trump said of former Vice President Joe Biden. He accused Sen. Elizabeth Warren of being a liar, saying, “I call her ‘Fairy Tale’ because everything’s a fairy tale … this woman can’t tell the truth.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders, Trump claimed, is a “communist” who got married in Russia. The claim prompted Hannity’s only attempt to correct the president; the Fox News personality reminded him that Sanders actually took a trip to the then-Soviet Union shortly after his marriage, and that he wasn’t married there.

Trump did, however — as he has recently done on Twitter — claim the Democratic National Committee is not being fair to Sanders, seeming to reference reports of some disquiet among certain Democrats about Sanders’s recent rise in the polls by claiming the Democratic Party is “rigging it against him,” echoing discord following the 2016 Democratic primary.

He had perhaps his harshest words for Bloomberg. He again criticized the DNC while speaking of Bloomberg, arguing it was unfair the party changed the debate rules in a manner that seems to benefit the mayor, before attacking Bloomberg for being short. (Bloomberg is about 5-foot-8.)

“He wants a box for the debates, why should he be entitled to that?” Trump said. “Does that mean everyone else gets a box?”

He leveled similar attacks against Bloomberg Sunday morning on Twitter, writing, “Many of the ads you are watching were paid for by Mini Mike Bloomberg. He is going nowhere, just wasting his money, but he is getting the DNC to rig the election against Crazy Bernie.”

Bloomberg’s campaign responded with a statement that reads: “The president is lying. He is a pathological liar who lies about everything: his fake hair, his obesity, and his spray-on tan.”

The president did make some positive statements — about himself.

He claimed that thanks to his hard work, “there’s a revolution going on, I mean a positive revolution,” particularly among minority communities, whose lives he said have become better under his watch.

He also took credit for a strong economy, for having done a “tremendous job” assisting China in its fight against the coronavirus, and summed up his time in office like this: “Nobody’s made achievements like we’ve made, so many different things.”

These sorts of statements aren’t new, or even unexpected from the president — he talks like this all the time on Twitter, at his rallies, and at press conferences. However, this marks the first time he has been able to deliver such statements unchecked before such a large and diverse audience — everyone watches the Super Bowl, not just Trump fans or journalists.

It also isn’t surprising that Hannity — who is good friends with Trump — did not try to correct him, except for his remark about Sanders. But the fact that this all ought to have been expected does not make it any less disturbing that the president of the United States was given almost 10 minutes to address the nation, and spent it not answering pressing questions of national concern but attacking his rivals in incredibly petty ways.

[Vox]

Donald Trump Tweets His Defense by Attacking AOC

President Donald Trump’s lawyers, who launched his defense at his impeachment trial in the Senate Saturday morning, have claimed that they will respond substantively to Democrats’ methodical case for why the president should be removed from office. But shortly before the Senate convened for the first day of the White House defense, the president teed up the proceedings with a tweet strong on name calling and short on evidence. 

His targets include two lawmakers, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Alexandra  Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who have no role in the impeachment trial. Trump also posted tweets quoting Fox Business News host Lou Dobbs praising him. 

Trump’s defenders thus far have not disputed the facts of the case against him. Senate Republicans have complained about comments by Democratic impeachment managers and launched attacks on President Obama’s foreign policy and other topics that are at best tangental. Trump’s lawyers on Saturday have said they will focus on Vice President Joe Biden’s actions related to Ukraine in 2016, and that the president did “nothing wrong. White House counsel Pat Cipollone promised in his opening remarks that Trump’s team will focus on evidence that the House impeachment managers did not include. But their boss appears to have another strategy.

[Mother Jones]

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