Trump questions impeachment talk after stock market hits record high

President Trump on Tuesday lamented that some Democrats are discussing the prospect of impeachment proceedings on the same day that the stock market closed at record highs, suggesting he should be given more credit.

“You mean the Stock Market hit an all-time record high today and they’re actually talking impeachment!?” Trump tweeted. “Will I ever be given credit for anything by the Fake News Media or Radical Liberal Dems? NO COLLUSION!”

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite closed at record highs on Tuesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 26,656.39, 1.1 percent short of an all-time high.

Trump has regularly taken credit for good news on the stock market, and he has previously questioned how lawmakers could move to impeach “somebody who’s done a great job.”

A pair of high-profile Democrats were asked at the Time 100 Summit on Tuesday about where they stand on launching impeachment proceedings, a topic that has dominated discussions since special counsel Robert Mueller‘s report was released last week.

In the partly redacted document, investigators did not establish that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 election, but did not exonerated Trump on the question of obstruction of justice. Investigators instead detailed 10 episodes they reviewed for potential obstruction by the president, with Mueller saying that Congress has authority to conduct potential obstruction probes.

“I do believe that impeachment is one of the most divisive forces, paths that we could go down to in our country,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday. “But if the facts, the path of fact-finding takes us there, we have no choice. But we’re not there yet.”

Hillary Clinton, Trump’s opponent in the 2016 election, said impeachment proceedings should “be something undertaken in a really serious, diligent way, based on evidence.”

She suggested that Trump would have been indicted for obstruction of justice as a result of Mueller’s probe if he weren’t the sitting president.

J.W. Verret, who served as one of the first 16 members of then-candidate Trump’s pre-transition team, said Tuesday that he believes Mueller’s report amounted to “a referral to Congress to begin impeachment proceedings.”

As Democratic leaders and media pundits weigh the merits of impeachment proceedings, Trump has been openly defiant about the prospect.

He has tweeted about the possibility multiple times in recent days, asserting Monday that he did not commit actions that reach the threshold of “high crimes and misdemeanors” that could lead to impeachment.

Trump told reporters at Monday’s White House Easter Egg Roll that he was “not even a little bit” worried about impeachment. 

[The Hill]

Trump unloads on media in post-Mueller tweets

President Trump unloaded on the news media in a series of tweets Tuesday morning, claiming he faces an unprecedented level of criticism in The New York Times, as well as on CNN and MSNBC.

Trump wrote that the coverage of his presidency shows the “totally insane” media is conspiring with “the Radical Left Democrats” to hurt his chances of reelection.

“In the ‘old days’ if you were President and you had a good economy, you were basically immune from criticism,” Trump wrote. “Remember, ‘It’s the economy stupid.’ Today I have, as President, perhaps the greatest economy in history…and to the Mainstream Media, it means NOTHING. But it will!”

The president’s outburst came as he has groused for days about the coverage of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation, which did not charge Trump with crimes but painted an unflattering picture of the inner workings of the White House and detailed Moscow’s efforts to help Trump’s 2016 campaign.  

The contents of the full report have muddled Trump’s claim that it was a “complete and total exoneration” and breathed new life into the debate over whether congressional Democrats should impeach him.

Tuesday morning’s tweets did not directly reference the Mueller report, but Trump’s sense of grievance against the media over its coverage ran through them as a common thread.

[The Hill]

Trump tears into ‘Crazy’ Bernie Sanders after Fox News town hall

President Trump lit into Democratic presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in a series of tweets on Tuesday, in which he attacked the senator as “crazy” and took aim at his wealth.

“Many Trump Fans & Signs were outside of the @FoxNews Studio last night in the now thriving (Thank you President Trump) Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for the interview with Crazy Bernie Sanders,” Trump said in the first of a string of tweets on Tuesday evening.

“Big complaints about not being let in-stuffed with Bernie supporters. What’s with @FoxNews?” he claimed without evidence. 

The president went on to call out the senator over his wealth after Sanders recently revealed that he has become a millionaire from the profits he received from his best-selling book. 

“Bernie Sanders and wife should pay the Pre-Trump Taxes on their almost $600,000 in income. He is always complaining about these big TAX CUTS, except when it benefits him,” Trump tweeted.

“They made a fortune off of Trump, but so did everyone else – and that’s a good thing, not a bad thing!” Trump, who has an estimated net worth of $2 billion and proclaims to be a self-made billionaire, also wrote.

He also predicted in another tweet that both Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden, who have emerged as front-runners in a crowded field of Democratic presidential contenders, would be the “two finalists to run against maybe the best Economy in the history of our Country.”

“I believe it will be Crazy Bernie Sanders vs. Sleepy Joe Biden as the two finalists to run against maybe the best Economy in the history of our Country (and MANY other great things)!” he wrote. 

“I look forward to facing whoever it may be. May God Rest Their Soul!” the president added.

Trump’s criticism arrives as the Vermont Independent leads Democratic presidential contenders in a new Emerson poll, which has him at 29 percent in the lead compared to the 24 percent Biden now holds in second place.

[The Hill]

Reality

Trump seemed to be referring to a group of people holding American flags and Trump flags outside the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks while the hour-long program was being shot inside before an audience who cheered Sanders.

Trump attacks ‘very fake’ New York Times for tax law piece

President Trump on Monday attacked The New York Times as “very fake” for publishing an article pointing out most Americans will likely receive a tax cut under his 2017 law, even though a majority say they will not.

Speaking at a Tax Day event in Minnesota, Trump held up a printed copy of the Times article and voiced his displeasure with the headline “Face It: You (Probably) Got a Tax Cut.”

“In other words, they’re really pretty upset. You can tell where they’re coming from, come on,” the president said.

Noting the article pointed out a large majority of Americans are expected to receive cuts, something that is positive for him, Trump said “they must have made a mistake. I’m sure these writers will be fired very shortly.”

Trump continued to tout the effects of his tax law but later added that “nothing good comes from The New York Times,” drawing applause from an audience of supporters inside a trucking and equipment facility outside Minneapolis.

The White House staged Monday’s event in order to promote the tax law, which is Trump’s biggest legislative accomplishment and something he plans to tout during his 2020 reelection race.  

Multiple polls show that most Americans believe they are not benefiting from the law, which could limit its effect as a political asset next year. The Times article pointed out the disparity between popular opinion about the law and its actual effects.

“To a large degree, the gap between perception and reality on the tax cuts appears to flow from a sustained – and misleading – effort by liberal opponents of the law to brand it as a broad middle-class tax increase,” it says.

The president has routinely attacked his hometown paper, even though he has sat for multiple interviews with its reporters during his time in office.

His latest remarks came the same afternoon it was announced that the Times had won a Pulitzer Prize for its long-form article investigating Trump’s finances, which said the Trump family has been dodging taxes for years.

[The Hill]

Trump Bashes NY Times for Making Him Look Bad: ‘In 6 Years They Will Be Gone’

Back from his round of golf with Tiger Woods, President Donald Trumptook to Twitter on Saturday evening to bash the New York Times for being corrupt after running a story about sanctuary cities.

“The New York Times Sanctuary Cities/Immigration story today was knowingly wrong on almost every fact. They never call to check for truth. Their sources often don’t even exist, a fraud. They will lie & cheat anyway possible to make me look bad. In 6 years they will be gone,” Trump wrote.

He also insisted that the paper had to beg subscribers for forgiveness after botching coverage of the 2016 election.

“When I won the Election in 2016, the @nytimes had to beg their fleeing subscribers for forgiveness in that they covered the Election (and me) so badly,” Trump wrote. “They didn’t have a clue, it was pathetic. They even apologized to me. But now they are even worse, really corrupt reporting!”

Trump, by the way, doesn’t exactly have his facts right. The New York Timesactually reported that they had a “Trump bump” as a result of the election.

Here is the report from November 2018 (emphasis mine):

More than three million paid digital-only subscribers. More than four million total.

The New York Times Company announced on Thursday that it surpassed those milestones during the third quarter of 2018, when the number of its digital subscribers showed a net increase of roughly 203,000.

That was the highest gain in digital subscribers in a quarter since the so-called Trump bump in the fourth quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017 after the presidential election.

[Mediaite]

Trump Mocks and Jeers Media, Calls For Revenge as Crowd Chants ‘Lock Them Up!’

At President Donald Trump‘s rally in Michigan on Tuesday he went after the media hard several times over the Russia investigation and the Mueller report. At one point, he mocked cable news for slumping ratings and called Rep. Adam Schiff, “Little pencil neck.”

Referring to the media and Democrats and “deep state” together, Trump said “this group of major losers did not just ruthlessly attack me, my family, and everyone who questioned their lies. They tried to divide our country, to poison the national debate, and to tear up the fabric of our great democracy, the greatest anywhere in the world.”

“They did it all because they refused to accept the results of one of the greatest presidential elections, probably number one in our history.”

“Many people were badly hurt by this scam, but more importantly our country was hurt. Our country was hurt. And they’re on artificial respirators right now. They’re getting mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Little pencil-neck Adam Schiff,” he said, pausing for a crowd reaction. “He has the smallest, thinnest neck I’ve ever seen. He is not a long ball hitter.”

He mocked Schiff’s voice, saying “there still could have been some Russia collision,” and then, describing Schiff, said, “Sick. Sick.

He brought up Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and the committee investigations and added, “These people are sick.”

“Sick. Every single deal, every single paper. All of the Democrat politicians. The media bosses. Bad people. The crooked journalists, the totally dishonest TV pundits — and by the way, they know it’s not true. They just got great ratings,” he said. “By the way, their ratings dropped through the floor last night, did you see that?”

There was another big crowd reaction, but it was even bigger as he praised Fox News hosts and their ratings.

“Our friends — Tucker, Sean, Laura — through the roof last night,” he said.

He then said that everyone who “perpetuated the single greatest hoax in the history of politics, they have to be — I’m sorry — they have to be accountable.”

The crowd then began chanting “lock them up” and “lock her up” mixed together.

“Just think of it. A fake dirty dossier, millions and millions of dollars paid for it. By who? Crooked Hillary Clinton, the DNC, and the Democrat party,” he said. The crowd booed and there were some renewed “lock her up” chants.

“They failed in one way. Can you believe it? Maybe I got lucky. They published and printed all of these horrible law lies, they couldn’t get any of the media to print it. Thank you very much, I appreciate it. You never know.”

He then gave the media “a lot of credit” for not publishing news about the dossier prior to the election, though there were no cheers for them from the crowd for that.

[Mediaite]

Trump bashes ‘Morning Joe,’ cable networks for ratings dip after Mueller conclusion

President Donald Trump chided the MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Thursday for ratings that he claimed have dropped in the wake of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to the attorney general, crowing that “fake news never wins.”

Mueller, charged with investigating allegations of collusion between the president’s 2016 campaign and the Russian government, delivered to the Justice Department last week a report that said his team was unable to establish that such collusion occurred. Mueller wrote in his report that he was unable to conclude whether Trump obstructed justice, although Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote in their summary it was their conclusion that the president was innocent of those allegations as well.

“Wow, ratings for ‘Morning Joe,’ which were really bad in the first place, just ‘tanked’ with the release of the Mueller Report,” Trump tweeted about the show — hosted by two of his former friends, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski — where he was once a regular guest. “Likewise, other shows on MSNBC and CNN have gone down by as much as 50%. Just shows, Fake News never wins!”

The former reality TV star frequently harps on ratings, often praising friendly networks like Fox News while pouncing on CNN and MSNBC for their less flattering coverage of him when their ratings dip.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that MSNBC programs saw their ratings plunge after Barr’s announcement. Ratings for host Rachel Maddow’s show, on which the Russia investigation earned breathless coverage nearly every night, dipped 19 percent from their average for the year the night after Barr made his announcement. The next night, her ratings fell slightly once again.

On Fox, meanwhile, Maddow’s time slot competitor Sean Hannity saw his ratings go up by 32 percent over his average. Hannity, a close friend of Trump and one of his greatest media allies, interviewed the president at length on Wednesday’s show.

Maddow had only recently overtaken Hannity in the ratings fight for the first time, likely buoyed at least in part by her relentless focus on the Mueller investigation. Cable news ratings are prone to news-related dips, as viewers are more likely to tune in when there are developments that align with their political views and less likely to tune in for less favorable developments.

Trump and his aides have pummeled the media for its coverage of the Russia investigation in the wake of Barr’s letter to lawmakers about Mueller’s findings. Earlier Thursday, the president tweeted that media outlets “have ZERO credibility or respect” as a result of their Russia probe coverage and have “never been more corrupt” than in this point in time.

On Monday, his reelection campaign sent out a memo to TV producers urging them to think twice before having certain guests on who had asserted there was a strong likelihood that Trump or his campaign conspired with Russian operatives in the 2016 presidential election.

Barr’s summary of the Mueller report, released Sunday, has prompted a wave of hand-wringing across the media universe, though many in the media have been quick to point out that much of the reporting done on Trump’s ties to Russia over the past two years has been borne out by developments in Mueller’s investigation.

[Politico]

Trump slams media for coverage of investigations into ‘all time favorite duly elected President’

President Trump tore into the media over its coverage of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which concluded without sufficient evidence that the president’s campaign had colluded with Russia during the 2016 election. 

“The Fake News Media has lost tremendous credibility with its corrupt coverage of the illegal Democrat Witch Hunt of your all time favorite duly elected President, me! T.V. ratings of CNN & MSNBC tanked last night after seeing the Mueller Report statement. @FoxNews up BIG!” Trump tweeted Tuesday evening. 

Trump and his conservative allies on Capitol Hill and in the media seized on Attorney General William Barr’s announcement that Mueller found no evidence of collusion, using it to slam mainstream outlets for what they said was speculative reporting that implied Trump’s guilt.

“The Mainstream Media is under fire and being scorned all over the World as being corrupt and FAKE. For two years they pushed the Russian Collusion Delusion when they always knew there was No Collusion. They truly are the Enemy of the People and the Real Opposition Party!” Trump tweeted early Tuesday morning. 

The president has long had an acrimonious relationship with the press, often hammering outlets that reported negative news of the White House as “fake news” and at times even speculating whether he should revoke the press credentials of certain publications’ employees.

Fox News, a staunch defender of the president in its primetime hours, saw a boost in its viewership in the aftermath of the Mueller news, more than quadrupling CNN’s ratings.

[The Hill]

Trump: Media disgraced ‘all over the world’ following Mueller revelations

The conclusion of Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation has discredited media “all over the world,” President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday morning, celebrating the special counsel’s findings by slamming the news coverage of Mueller’s probe.

“The Mainstream Media is under fire and being scorned all over the World as being corrupt and FAKE,” he tweeted. “For two years they pushed the Russian Collusion Delusion when they always knew there was No Collusion. They truly are the Enemy of the People and the Real Opposition Party!”

Trump and his allies have relentlessly attacked the media since Mueller concluded that no one on Trump’s 2016 campaign conspired to work with Russian agents to influence the 2016 presidential election and was unable to conclude whether Trump sought to obstruct justice.

Most of the ire has been focused on pundits on Twitter and cable news, where the Russia investigation was covered extensively, and has drawn mixed calls for introspection and a media reckoning.

On Monday, the president’s reelection campaign urged networks to reconsider the Democrats they invited on their programs, suggesting several familiar cable news faces — including several House committee chairmen — be blacklisted from the airwaves for “lying to the American people by vigorously and repeatedly claiming there was evidence of collusion.”

While the Trump campaign complained this week that the president’s detractors have made “outlandish, false claims,” Trump himself has long faced similar accusations. Several of Trump’s top advisers, too, have faced withering criticism for making false or misleading claims while defending the president and his policies.

While the president’s attack on the media took a more serious tone Tuesday, some of his aides have attempted to inject mockery into their criticisms.

For example, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday shared a mock “Mueller Madness” bracket featuring journalists, celebrities and TV personalities on her Twitter account, asking her 3.8 million followers, “Which of the angry and hysterical @realDonaldTrump haters got it most embarrassingly wrong?”

But while the White House’s attacks on the media are not new, the renewed criticisms have drawn responses from media executives who defended their organizations’ coverage of the Russia investigation. Multiple outlets have noted in recent days that their reporting on Trump and his ties to Russia had been borne out by Mueller’s probe, which resulted in a slew of indictments, convictions and guilty pleas of Trump allies.

[Politico]

Sarah Sanders fuels new hostility against the press with ‘Mueller Madness’ tweet

The White House has been celebrating what it views as vindication of President Donald Trump on the Mueller probe by attacking the media harshly.

The move comes amid increasing hostility against journalists from Trump’s staunchest supporters, and as authorities crack down on foiled plots to violently target the members of the press whom Trump himself has called a threat to the country.

Monday night — just one day after Attorney General William Barr delivered his summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings to lawmakers on Capitol Hill — White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted out a graphic from The New York Post containing a “Mueller Madness” bracket of various media pundits who were believed to be biased against Trump. The bracket also included the names of several reporters who had written or reported on the probe.

Barr stated in his summary on Sunday evening that Mueller had found no evidence of conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“Which of the angry and hysterical @realDonaldTrump haters got it most embarrassingly wrong?” Sanders wrote from her official @PressSec account on Monday. “#YouDecide.”

Sanders doubled down Tuesday morning, quoting her own tweet and adding, “How many times do the Democrats and their liberal media allies have to be proven embarrassingly wrong about @realDonaldTrump before they finally accept he’s been a great President?”

Trump himself tweeted one of his most hostile attacks on “the mainstream media” just an hour earlier, calling it “corrupt,” “FAKE,” and the “Enemy of the People and the Real Opposition Party.”

[ThinkProgress]

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