Trump Ditches Press For Mexico Trip

Members of the press corps assigned to cover Donald Trump’s campaign have criss-crossed the country on the trail with the GOP nominee for months, but they won’t be in Mexico for Trump’s big meeting on Wednesday with President Enrique Peña Nieto.

The last-minute jaunt, which was announced late Tuesday, further strained the campaign’s relations with the press corps. Although there is a chartered plane for members of the Trump press corps, it was redirected to Phoenix ahead of the GOP nominee’s scheduled speech on immigration there on Wednesday evening.

A New York Times reporter tweeted that journalists got no heads-up about the trip and the campaign made no effort to get them to Mexico:

The move left reporters “seething” on a daily press call with Trump spokesman Jason Miller, who said only that the journalists’ complaints were “noted,” an anonymous source on the call told Politico.

The source also told Politico that the campaign didn’t reach out to the five major TV networks about covering the meeting until 3 a.m. Wednesday. Although some reporters were weighing the possibility of chartering their own flight to Mexico, they ultimately decided against it, in part because they say the campaign hadn’t indicated there would be any press availability:

During a Wednesday morning appearance on “Fox and Friends,” campaign manager Kellyanne Conway further roiled frustrated members of the press by saying Trump would take questions from the Mexican and American press during the visit after all.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond Wednesday morning to a request from TPM seeking clarification on the decision.

Here’s what some other members of the press were saying about the Mexico trip:

(h/t Talking Points Memo)

Trump Blames ‘Crooked Media’ for Reporting on the Statements He Makes

After a week of bad poll numbers, Donald Trump is blaming the media.

“If the disgusting and corrupt media covered me honestly and didn’t put false meaning into the words I say, I would be beating Hillary by 20%.”

“It is not “freedom of the press” when newspapers and others are allowed to say and write whatever they want even if it is completely false!” he tweeted Sunday afternoon.

His blasts against the media on Twitter on Sunday followed what he told a crowd at a Connecticut rally Saturday night: “I’m not running against crooked Hillary Clinton. I’m running against the crooked media.”

In another tweet, Trump referred to the large size of his rallies and the passion of his supporters, claiming that these details have been ignored by reporters.

“My rallies are not covered properly by the media,” he said in Connecticut. “They never discuss the real message and never show crowd size or enthusiasm.”

To emphasize the statement he made Saturday at the rally in Fairfield, Connecticut, about the “crooked media”, the 70-year-old real estate tycoon waved his finger in a horizontal line toward where the press was stationed.

(h/t ABC News)

Reality

Basically Donald Trump is complaining that the media should be covering his economic plan, but takes no responsibility on a week full of gaffes that redirected attention away from what should have been an honest discussion on his policy.

Trump wasted yet another opportunity to show the he can stay on message by making ridiculous comments such as:

The single best response from the media came from CNN’s Jake Tapper who sarcastically quipped, “How dare we cover the comments he makes.

The irony that Donald J. Trump, leader of the conspiracy theory “birther” movement, attempting to lecture the press on ethics is not lost on us.

The birther movement, which Trump was the public face, was an attempt to discredit the legitimacy of the Presidency of Barack Obama by claiming he was not a natural born citizen, as required by the United States Constitution. Right-wing news media, like Fox News, went full-birther and propped up Donald Trump as a champion for the “truth.”

President Obama released his short form birth certificate in June 12, 2008 and the long-form birth certificate on April 27, 2011.

Some of the examples of crooked statements made by Trump that were completely false include:

  • On Good Morning America, Trump claimed he was “skeptical” of President Obama’s citizenship, years after Obama released his short form birth certificate.
  • During a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference falsely claimed growing up nobody knew Obama. CNN host Suzanne Malveaux released a documentary earlier that year where she spoke with people who grew up with President Obama.
  • Trump got into a shouting match with Whoopi Goldberg while defending the obvious racial bias in the birther claims.
  • In an NBC News interview said that there is a big possibility” Obama may have violated the Constitution by not being born in the United States, again, this was years after Obama released his short form birth certificate, proving he was indeed born in Hawaii.

 

Trump Whines That “Lowest Form of Life” Journalists Report on What He Says

Donald Trump has increasingly organized his general-election effort around antagonizing the press. He dedicates long sections of his speeches and innumerable tweets to savaging individual outlets, and claiming that media bias could effectively “rig” the election for Hillary Clinton.

At times, his enthusiasm for venting anger about the news media has seemed to rival his interest in criticizing Mrs. Clinton. In Erie, Pa., on Friday, Mr. Trump swerved back and forth between attacks on Mrs. Clinton and an extended airing of grievances about the press.

The news media, he said, was determined to cover up Mrs. Clinton’s missteps and highlight his own. (Mr. Trump allowed that Fox News, home to several anchors who openly favor his candidacy, was an exception.)

“These people are the lowest form of life, I’m telling you,” he said, pointing at the journalists covering his rally. “They are the lowest form of humanity.”

In Altoona, Pa., on Friday evening, Mr. Trump continued his diatribe: “It is so ridiculous, the pile on,” he complained of the coverage of his campaign. “Every single day, story after story after story.”

Mr. Trump’s crowd-pleasing allegations of news media malevolence also serve a tactical purpose: Providing him license to revise or play down his remarks. After stating several times this week that he considered Mr. Obama to be the founder of the Islamic State, Mr. Trump reversed course on Friday with a declaration that he had only been speaking sarcastically and that the press simply did not understand.

In Pennsylvania, he reiterated that he had been sarcastic, but added: “Not that sarcastic, to be honest with you.”

Republicans often complain about the national news media, arguing that most reporters and publications are tilted against them. In the 1992 presidential race, Republicans even produced a bumper sticker urging voters to “annoy the media” by re-electing President George Bush. And in his 2016 primary campaign, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida accused the press of being the equivalent of a “super PAC” for Democrats.

On the Democratic side, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont fulminated this year about the “corporate media,” which he described as hostile to liberal ideals. And aides and supporters of Mrs. Clinton routinely complain that reporters treat her unfairly.

But the Trump campaign has made accusations of news media bias a pervasive theme, and has attacked publications and reporters with virulence. Since last year, Mr. Trump has made a practice of riling up his crowds with mockery of the media, often pointing to the press risers and describing reporters as dishonest.

In Erie on Friday, his audience jeered each time Mr. Trump mentioned a news outlet, and at one point many in the crowd turned their backs on him to face the press and express their contempt with a variety of shouts and gestures. “Dinosaur media is failing!” one man yelled.

Mr. Trump’s slashing attacks have generated embarrassing scenes for his campaign, as agitated Trump fans have acted on his goading. On Thursday night, video circulated widely online of an angry Trump supporter berating reporters and making an obscene gesture in their direction in Kissimmee, Fla. In one instance during the primaries, Katy Tur, a reporter for NBC News, reported she was escorted to her car by the Secret Service after a rally in which Mr. Trump assailed her by name.

If bashing the media proved an effective way of rallying the Republican base to his side during the primaries, Mr. Trump must now prove himself to a broader community of voters in the general election, who are far less preoccupied with the notion of press bias. Republican strategists see Mr. Trump’s offensive mainly as an exercise in thin-skinned defensiveness, rather than a shrewd political strategy.

Kevin Madden, a former spokesman for Mitt Romney’s and George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns, said Mr. Trump was veering away from issues actually weighing on swing voters, which he said were “economy and security-focused.”

“Whining about media coverage is just that: It’s whining,” Mr. Madden said. Of complaints, Mr. Madden said: “Any campaign that tells you it makes a difference with swing voters is just lying to themselves and lazy, because it’s easier than developing an actual strategy or message.”

(h/t New York Times)

Media

Kissimmee , FL – 8/11/2016

Erie, PA – 8/12/2016

Altoona, PA – 8/12/2016

 

Post Reporter Barred, Patted Down by Police, at Rally for Trump Running Mate

Donald Trump’s campaign has denied press credentials to a number of disfavored media organizations, including The Washington Post, but on Wednesday, the campaign of his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, went even further.

At Pence’s first public event since he was introduced as the Republican vice-presidential candidate two weeks ago, a Post reporter was barred from entering the venue after security staffers summoned local police to pat him down in a search for his cellphone.

Pence’s campaign expressed embarrassment and regret about the episode, which an official blamed on overzealous campaign volunteers.

Post reporter Jose A. DelReal sought to cover Pence’s rally at the Waukesha County Exposition Center outside Milwaukee, but he was turned down for a credential beforehand by volunteers at a press check-in table.

DelReal then tried to enter via the general-admission line, as Post reporters have done without incident since Trump last month banned the newspaper from his events. He was stopped there by a private security official who told him he couldn’t enter the building with his laptop and cellphone. When DelReal asked whether others attending the rally could enter with their cellphones, he said the unidentified official replied, “Not if they work for The Washington Post.”

After placing his computer and phone in his car, DelReal returned to the line and was detained again by security personnel, who summoned two county sheriff’s deputies. The officers patted down DelReal’s legs and torso, seeking his phone, the reporter said.

When the officers — whom DelReal identified as Deputy John Lappley and Capt. Michelle Larsuel — verified that he wasn’t carrying a phone, the reporter asked to be admitted. The security person declined. “He said, ‘I don’t want you here. You have to go,’ ” DelReal said.

The security person wouldn’t give his name when DelReal asked him to identify himself. He also denied DelReal’s request to speak to a campaign press representative as he escorted the journalist out.

Officials of the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department were unavailable for comment Wednesday night.

Trump has banned nearly a dozen news organizations whose coverage has displeased him, but reporters have generally been able to cover his events by going through general admission lines.

The incident involving DelReal marks another in a series of run-ins between the news media and the campaign.

Reality

Donald Trump and his campaign have a history of being anti-1st-amendment, but yet super-pro-2nd-amendement. This should be very scary for anyone living in this country.

The roll of a free press is paramount to our liberty and separates us from authoritarian regimes, like Russia, who have state-run press. The job of journalists — at The Post and everywhere else — is to give voters the fullest and most accurate picture of the two people who want to represent all of us as president.

The problem with what Trump is doing is that he is revoking access because he disagrees with the coverage. Not because the Washington Post has the facts wrong. It’s because he doesn’t like how the facts are being presented.

So far Trump has revoked access to the following news outlets:

  • The National Review
  • The Daily Beast
  • Huffington Post
  • Buzzfeed
  • Washington Post
  • Politico
  • DMR

Trump Tells Female Reporter to Be Quiet

Donald Trump’s bullying, sexism, and misogyny was on full display when he told a reporter to “be quiet” on Wednesday after she pressed the Republican nominee over his assertion that he hopes the Russians have Hillary Clinton’s emails.

At a press conference in Doral, Fla., NBC News correspondent Katy Tur asked Trump whether this week’s leak of Democratic National Committee emails, which cybersecurity experts believe were obtained by Russian hackers, gave him pause.

“It gives me no pause,” Trump said. “If they have them, they have them.”

Tur, a London-based correspondent who has been following Trump on the campaign trail for NBC News, tried to ask a follow-up question, but Trump shut her down.

“You know what gives me more pause? That a person in our government, Crooked Hillary Clinton — be quiet, I know you want to save her,” he said. “That a person in our government, Katy, would get rid of 33,000 emails — that gives me a big problem.”

Moments earlier, Trump had delivered a message to the Kremlin.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he said. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

(h/t Yahoo)

Reality

It’s not the first time Trump has clashed with Tur.

Last July, he sat down with Tur for a one-on-one interview at Trump Tower during which he interrupted her several times. And at a rally in South Carolina in December, Trump referred to Tur as “Little Katy, third-rate journalist” during a rant about the “absolute scum” media that cover his campaign.

The brash real estate mogul then pointed out to the crowd where she stood on a riser near the back of the rally as his supporters turned and glared.

Media

CNN’s Corey Lewandowski Is Still Being Paid By Donald Trump

Former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is still being paid by the presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s campaign while simultaneously drawing a salary as a CNN contributor to discuss the candidate on-air, according to the network.

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo and host Don Lemon noted that Lewandowski is “still receiving severance from the Trump campaign” while introducing him in July 11 and July 12 segments.

These references appear to be the first time CNN has disclosed the severance payments even though Lewandowski was hired nearly three weeks ago, raising questions about when the network became aware that its commentator was still being paid by his former employer.

Media observers have harshly criticized CNN over Lewandowski’s hiring pointing to his non-disclosure and likely non-disparagement agreements with the Trump campaign as “profoundly disturbing” ethical conflicts. Since his hiring, Lewandowski has by his own admission continued to advise the Trump campaign, even pushing a camera away from the candidate during a campaign stop.

In his on-air appearances, Lewandowski has acted more like a spokesman for the campaign than as an independent commentator, defending all of Trump’s actions in a way that, as one Washington Post reporter noted, indicates he “has not yet transitioned out of his role as a Trump employee.”

That pattern continued during the segments in which CNN revealed that he is receiving severance from the campaign. In his New Day appearance on July 11, Lewandowski defended Trump from criticism of his reference to a perceived supporter as “my African-American” by stating, “The way Mr. Trump talks, anybody who knows him, and I know him very well, he’d say, my Corey. You’re my Corey. That’s a term of endearment. It’s not a pejorative term.” In his CNN Tonight appearance on July 12, his statements about Trump’s beliefs about race in America led Lemon to interject, “don’t give me talking points.”

The network’s defenders have pointed out that political operatives regularly join the ranks of paid on-air pundits, and noted that CNN also employs contributors with ties to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. But employing a contributor who continues to be paid by the candidate whose performance and positions he is being asked to analyze appears unprecedented.

(h/t Media Matters)

Reality

As campaign manager, Lewandowski banned news organizations from rallies and maintained Trump’s media blacklist, which includes The Washington Post, as well as BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, Politico, the Des Moines Register and many others. His hostility included CNN at least once. Noah Gray, a CNN producer covering Trump, tweeted last November that as he filmed the crowd’s reaction to a protester at a rally, Lewandowski ordered him “inside the pen or I’ll pull your credentials.”

Media

Media Matters

Trump: Anti-Semitic Tweet Showed ‘a Sheriff’s Star,’ Not Star of David

Donald Trump brushed off concerns Monday about possible anti-Semitic imagery in a tweet posted from his account.

The tweet, which was posted and deleted Saturday, featured a picture of Hillary Clinton on a backdrop of money next to a six-sided star that read “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” It drew widespread backlash almost immediately for resembling the Star of David, an important Jewish symbol.

After the tweet was deleted, a revised graphic was posted to Trump’s Twitter account, this time with a circle subbed in for the star.

The presumptive Republican nominee tweeted Monday:

Trump campaign adviser Ed Brookover echoed his boss, telling CNN’s “New Day” on Monday morning that there was “never any intention of anti-Semitism,” adding that Trump has denounced it in the past.

“Not every six-sided star is a Star of David,” Brookover said. “We have corrected this tweet and have moved on.”

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who is now a paid CNN commentator, pushed back against criticism on Saturday, saying the uproar was “political correctness run amok.”

(h/t Politico)

Reality

Donald Trump placed the blame of this controversy entirely at the feet of the media and claimed that what was tweeted out was simply just a sheriff star. However this “sheriff’s star” defense does not address the ethical and logical gaps about Trump’s controversial tweet.

First, let’s look at some sheriff stars. This is an actual 6-pointed sheriff’s star. It has rounded points.

This is a graphic clip-art of a 6-pointed sheriff’s star. It again has rounded points and is encased in a circle.

This is the Star of David. It has no circle surrounding it and has sharp points.

star-of-david

Second, there was no explanation for how the image made its way from a neo-Nazi message board to his Twitter followers. Mic.com discovered that Donald Trump’s Twitter account wasn’t the first place the meme appeared. The image was previously featured on /pol/ — an Internet message board for the alt-right, a digital movement of neo-Nazis, anti-Semites and white supremacists newly emboldened by the success of Trump’s rhetoric — as early as June 22, over a week before Trump’s team tweeted it.

The watermark on the lower-left corner of the image leads to a Twitter account that regularly tweets violent, racist memes commenting on the state of geopolitical politics. After being uncovered as the origin of the meme that Twitter user had deleted the account.

That means somebody on the Trump campaign saw the image on a white supremacist message board or Twitter account, copied the image, edited the image, and posted it to Trump’s twitter account.

Finally, as previously reported, someone in the Trump campaign noticed the symbol, voluntarily took the tweet down, and re-posted an edited meme now with a poorly photoshopped circle over the star. So someone in his campaign had to be aware of the imagery and what it could construe.

 

Donald Trump Bans ‘Washington Post’ From Campaign Events

Donald Trump says he is “revoking” the Washington Post’s press access at his campaign events because the newspaper is “phony and dishonest.”

In a Facebook post, the presumptive GOP nominee attributed the decision to the newspaper’s “incredibly inaccurate coverage” of him:

Based on the incredibly inaccurate coverage and reporting of the record setting Trump campaign, we are hereby revoking the press credentials of the phony and dishonest Washington Post.

Trump expanded on that in a statement released Monday night. Here it is, in full:

The Washington Post unfortunately covers Mr. Trump very inaccurately. Today’s headline, “Donald Trump Suggests President Obama Was Involved With Orlando Shooting” is a perfect example. We no longer feel compelled to work with a publication which has put its need for “clicks” above journalistic integrity.

They have no journalistic integrity and write falsely about Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump does not mind a bad story, but it has to be honest. The fact is, The Washington Post is being used by the owners of Amazon as their political lobbyist so that they don’t have to pay taxes and don’t get sued for monopolistic tendencies that have led to the destruction of department stores and the retail industry.

The Post’s executive editor Marty Baron responded:

“Donald Trump’s decision to revoke The Washington Post’s press credentials is nothing less than a repudiation of the role of a free and independent press. When coverage doesn’t correspond to what the candidate wants it to be, then a news organization is banished. The Post will continue to cover Donald Trump as it has all along — honorably, honestly, accurately, energetically, and unflinchingly. We’re proud of our coverage, and we’re going to keep at it.”

Monday’s announcement was an astonishing move by the Trump campaign, given the Post’s status as one of the most respected newsrooms in the United States.

But it follows a pattern. Trump has repeatedly refused to give press credentials to major news outlets when he disagrees with coverage decisions.

Reporters who do not receive press credentials are sometimes still able to attend Trump events as members of the general public. But sometimes the denial of press credentials restricts access altogether.

BuzzFeed, Politico, The Daily Beast, Univision, and The Huffington Post are among other outlets that have been blocked in recent months. Some journalists have described this as an emerging Trump “blacklist.”

The Huffington Post tweeted at The Post on Monday afternoon and said “Welcome to the club.”

The White House Correspondents Association, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders all issued statements criticizing the campaign’s decision.

Why’d Trump do it? He was apparently outraged by a headline on a Post story that summarized comments he made about the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

“I am no fan of President Obama, but to show you how dishonest the phony Washington Post is, they wrote, ‘Donald Trump suggests President Obama was involved with Orlando shooting’ as their headline,” Trump wrote. “Sad!”

That headline was the result of an interview Trump gave to Fox News on Monday morning.

“Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind,” Trump said of Obama. “And the something else in mind — you know, people can’t believe it. People cannot, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can’t even mention the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on.”

Trump’s remarks about Obama were widely interpreted to be sinister in nature.

CNNPolitics described Trump’s comments as a “conspiracy theory” and said it is “similar to how Trump talked about Obama when Trump was leading the ‘birther’ attacks against the president five years ago.”

The Post later adjusted its story to make the headline tamer. The headline now reads, “Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando shooting.”

Kris Coratti, a spokeswoman for the Post, told CNNMoney that the headline was changed “shortly after it posted to more properly reflect what Trump said.”

“We did so on our own; the Trump campaign never contacted us about it,” Coratti said.

The Post — like many other news outlets — has had a simultaneously close and contentious relationship with Trump.

Its reporters have regularly interviewed Trump and published scoops about his campaign.

But at the same time, the paper has been on the receiving end of the candidate’s anti-press tirades. Trump said in December that the Post’s owner, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, bought the paper as part of a tax scam. Trump repeated the charge last month, saying that Bezos is “using the Washington Post for power so that the politicians in Washington don’t tax Amazon like they should be taxed.”

Speaking at a conference earlier this month, Bezos decried Trump for trying to “chill the media.”

A wide range of press freedom advocates have said similar things about Trump’s insults and actions, even as some GOP voters have cheered him on.

Last week, for example, BuzzFeed DC bureau chief John Stanton said he was prohibited from attending Trump’s primary night press event. The prior day, BuzzFeed had announced that it would refuse to accept Trump campaign ads. But the campaign’s refusal to grant the web site press credentials dates back many months.

Stanton tweeted that he “wasn’t even let on the premises of Trump’s golf course for his press conference.”

Trump’s announcement on Monday was met with a chorus of opposition from members of the news media.

Politico editor Susan Glasser called it a “violation of the basic right of a free press to report.”

David Folkenflik, the media correspondent for National Public Radio, said that Trump “loves the media’s attention and hates the media’s reporting.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists said in a statement, “A candidate for the highest elected office in the land doesn’t get to choose what goes into a newspaper.”

It added that Trump’s actions “provides a ready made excuse for authoritarian leaders to crack down further on independent journalists.”

Reality

Donald Trump has a history of being anti-1st-amendment, but yet super-pro-2nd-amendement. This should be very scary for anyone living in this country.

The roll of a free press is paramount to our liberty and separates us from authoritarian regimes, like Russia, who have state-run press. The job of journalists — at The Post and everywhere else — is to give voters the fullest and most accurate picture of the two people who want to represent all of us as president.

The problem with what Trump is doing is that he is revoking access because he disagrees with the coverage. Not because the Washington Post has the facts wrong. It’s because he doesn’t like how the facts are being presented.

Do you think that the Trump supporters who would defend the 2nd amendment to the death would do the same to the 1st? Apparently not.

  • Brietbart: “Bezos (WaPo’s owner) has defended the paper’s ongoing delving into Trump while it does’t appear that the paper has devoted similar resources to investigating Democratic Party presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton.”
  • Fox News: “The Washington Post story featured comments Trump made earlier in the day on Fox News, when he made a made a vague statement about Obama interpreted by some as a reference to his sympathies.”

Trump Orders Surrogates to Intensify Criticism of Judge and Journalists

An embattled Donald Trump urgently rallied his most visible supporters to defend his attacks on a federal judge’s Mexican ancestry during a conference call on Monday in which he ordered them to question the judge’s credibility and impugn reporters as racists.

“We will overcome,” Trump said, according to two supporters who were on the call and requested anonymity to share their notes with Bloomberg Politics. “And I’ve always won and I’m going to continue to win. And that’s the way it is.”

There was no mention of apologizing or backing away from his widely criticized remarks about U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is overseeing cases against the Trump University real-estate program.

When former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer interrupted the discussion to inform Trump that his own campaign had asked surrogates to stop talking about the lawsuit in an e-mail on Sunday, Trump repeatedly demanded to know who sent the memo, and immediately overruled his staff.

“Take that order and throw it the hell out,” Trump said.

Told the memo was sent by Erica Freeman, a staffer who circulates information to surrogates, Trump said he didn’t know her. He openly questioned how the campaign could defend itself if supporters weren’t allowed to talk.

“Are there any other stupid letters that were sent to you folks?” Trump said. “That’s one of the reasons I want to have this call, because you guys are getting sometimes stupid information from people that aren’t so smart.”

Brewer, who was on the call with prominent Republicans like Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, interjected again. “You all better get on the page,” she told him. Former Reagan aide Jeffrey Lord said Tuesday on CNN he was also on the call.

In response, Trump said that he aspired to hold regular calls with surrogates in order to coordinate the campaign’s message, a role usually reserved for lower ranking staffers than the nominee himself.

The e-mailed memo, sent by Freeman on Sunday, was cc’d to campaign manager Corey Lewandowski; Hope Hicks, Trump’s top communications staffer; and Rick Gates, a top aide to campaign chairman Paul Manafort. It informed surrogates that “they’re not authorized to discuss matters concerning the Trump Organization including corporate news such as the Trump University case.”

“The best possible response is ‘the case will be tried in the courtroom in front of a jury—not in the media,’” according to the e-mail, obtained by Bloomberg Politics.

Hicks declined to address the specifics of the conversation with surrogates.

“The call was scheduled in order for Mr. Trump to thank his supporters and congratulate everyone as the primaries officially come to an end,” Hicks told Bloomberg Politics. “Many topics were discussed and it was a productive call for all parties.”

Trump’s five weeks as the presumptive nominee have been marked by several missteps: A refusal to release his tax returns; confusion among donors over which super-PAC to give money to; audio of him using a pseudonym to act as his own publicist; and failing to donate to veterans groups as promised until pressed by the media.

But the most incendiary controversy has been his handling of Trump University.

Trump ignited the controversy when he defended his real-estate program by saying Curiel has an inherent conflict of interest because of his Mexican heritage, because the candidate has proposed building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border to curb illegal immigration. Curiel was born in Indiana, and Trump’s complaint has been criticized by Republican leaders, legal experts, and other commentators. Trump on Sunday broadened his argument by saying on CBS that it’s possible a Muslim judge could treat him unfairly too, because of his proposed ban on Muslim immigration.

“I should have won this thing years ago,” Trump said on the call about the case, adding that Curiel is a “member of La Raza.” Curiel is affiliated with La Raza Lawyers of California, a Latino bar association.

A clearly irritated Trump told his supporters to attack journalists who ask questions about the lawsuit and his comments about the judge.

“The people asking the questions—those are the racists,” Trump said. “I would go at ’em.”

Suggesting a broader campaign against the media, Trump said the campaign should also actively criticize television reporters. “I’d let them have it,” he said, referring to those who Trump portrayed as hypocrites.

(h/t Bloomberg)

Reality

And attack the attackers is exactly what they did.

Here is Trump surrogate Jeffery Lord trying to convince a CNN panel that Trump wasn’t being racist but shining a light on racism.

Here is Trump surrogate Jeffery Lord calling Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan a racist:

Here is Trump surrogate Carl Paladino trying to explain that Trump isn’t a racist, he just can’t get a fair trial because of race.

Here is Trump surrogate Healy Baumgardner incorrectly stating it wasn’t Trump who first called attention to the judges’ race.

Here is Trump surrogate Kayleigh McEnany making the same argument as Jeremy Lord, claiming that anyone who points out the bigotry of Trump’s statements is themselves guilty of bigotry… somehow.

Here is Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson making the argument that Donald Trump is correct because he is the Republican nominee.

Here is Republican New York Representative Lee Zeldin explaining how Donald Trump’s comment was racist, but he’s still voting for him.

When Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie appointed a Muslim judge in 2011 he caught flack for it from the conservatives because of their fear of other people. (As you can see it didn’t start with Trump.) To his credit, Christie stood by his judge and called their unsubstantiated fears “crap.”

Now watch 2016 Trump surrogate, Republican Governor Chris Christie, explain how even though he personally never heard Trump’s comments that we should all move on and to ask him only after the general election is over.

 

Trump Launches All-Out Attack on the Press For Uncovering Donation Lies

Donald Trump on Tuesday went on a sustained frontal assault against the media during a contentious news conference that highlighted his un-presidential temperament.

The billionaire had called the press conference to announce an accounting of his at least $5.6 million in fundraising for veterans groups, but spent most of the 40 minutes criticizing and insulting reporters — collectively and at times individually — as “dishonest,” “not good people,” sleazy, and among the worst human beings he has ever met.

And he vowed the White House briefing room would be just as combative as the Trump Tower lobby, where he addressed reporters Tuesday, should he ascend to the Oval Office.

Trump said when asked if this is how he would behave with the press as president.

Yeah, it is going to be like this. You think I’m gonna change? I’m not gonna change.

At one point, Trump fumed:

I’m the only one in the world who can raise almost $6 million for the veterans, have uniform applause by the veterans groups and end up being criticized by press…I think the political press is among the most dishonest people that I have ever met, I have to tell you. I see the stories and I see the way they’re couched. I find the press to be extremely dishonest. I find the political press to be unbelievably dishonest.

Tuesday’s news conference did not mark a departure from Trump’s relationship with the press, which has been strained throughout the brash mogul’s campaign — but Tuesday was a surprise escalation, especially at a time when many supporters want him to start acting more presidential.

Over the last year, Trump has repeatedly called out individual reporters on Twitter and in interviews for everything from what he viewed as insufficient crowd shots to biased reporting. And attacking the press is a regular part of the Republican’s stump speech, during which he typically rips reporters as “scum,” “slime,” “dishonest” and “disgusting” — often prompting jeers from the crowd.

The news conference came four months after Trump falsely claimed to have raised $6 million for veterans groups, but then dodged reporters’ unrelenting questions about which groups had received the donations.

Trump kicked off his litany of attacks by accusing reporters of turning what should have been a positive story about his charity into a negative one.

Reporters had repeatedly asked Trump to provide an accounting of the donations, requests that were frequently rebuffed or side-stepped by Trump and his campaign staff.

Trump said he didn’t “want the credit” for his fundraising, “but I shouldn’t be lambasted” — that despite Trump repeatedly touting the donations himself on the campaign trail since the January fundraiser, which was televised in what some at the time dubbed a PR stunt.

But the subject of the news conference quickly turned away from the veterans donations as Trump accused reporters of writing stories they “know” are false, and of spinning the truth.

He also lashed out at individual reporters, calling ABC’s Tom Llamas a “sleaze,” referring sarcastically to CNN’s Jim Acosta’s live reports as a “beauty,” telling Katy Tur she’s a “third-rate journalist,” and refusing at one point to call on CBS’s Major Garrett.

Trump repeatedly blasted the media for the way it has covered his fundraising for vets.
“All of the money has been paid out,” Trump said. “The press should be ashamed of themselves, and on behalf of the veterans, the press should be ashamed of themselves.”
“There are so many people who are so thankful for what we did,” Trump said, adding that the final figure could top $6 million once all the donations are in.

Trump listed the vets groups — there were more than 40 — that he said had received money and the amounts that had been given to each. He said there were no administrative costs deducted from the donations.

Trump revised that figure recently to $5.5 million following months of questions from reporters struggling to track the funds and dodging on the exact amount from the Trump campaign.

Trump himself disbursed his $1 million pledge last week to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, a charity that helps support the families of fallen Marines and law enforcement officers to which Trump’s foundation has previously donated. Trump only transferred the money after reporters uncovered that for 4 months of claiming he donated money, he never did.

Amid reporters’ questions, Trump and his campaign have repeatedly offered conflicting accounts of how much money was raised and declined multiple requests to provide a full accounting. The campaign has insisted it was working on disbursing the funds, but said it was waiting on some donors to make good on their pledges and also needed to properly vet the charities in the running to receive the funds.

Three veterans groups earlier Tuesday confirmed donations from the Trump Foundation. The Bob Woodruff Foundation and the Boston Wounded Vets Run each confirmed donations of $75,000 apiece. The Racing For Heroes Foundation also received what the group’s president described as a “large” donation.

(h/t CNN)

Reality

There are a few things at play here. First, Donald Trump’s complaints to the press. Second, the facts he brought up at his conference. Three, the unusually slow distribution of donations to the veterans charities. Fourth, Trump’s own $1 million dollar donation. And finally, and most important, Trump’s completely un-presidential temperament at his press conference.

Trump’s Complaints about the Press

Donald Trump has a history of harassing the press, ejecting journalists from press conferences, and promising to gut the 1st amendment to the United States Constitution to allow the government to sue reporters in an effort to silence the press.

But Donald’s complaint that the press was not nice to him is frankly, too stupid of a statement to have to answer, but we will.

While Trump boasts how much money he raised and how much money he gave to charity he’s essentially demanding that everyone, including the press, should just brown-nose him up-and-down for his awesomeness. However it is not a journalist’s job sit there and accept the information that they are told at face value, but to critically review evidence of a story. (Granted some do this better than others.) And unfortunately for Donald Trump, there has been a lot of justified controversy surrounding his fundraiser.

The televised fundraiser only came about so he could dodge debate questions from Megyn Kelly about his past sexist comments towards women. Then Trump attempted to extort Fox News for an illegal “quid pro quo” donation of $5 million dollars to appear at their Iowa debate.

As we point out below, it was the Trump campaign who originally refused to disclose his fundraiser accounting information and instead brushed off the press and told them to look for the it themselves, which of course they would. Then for the next 4 months Trump lied again and again when he spoke about his charitable $1 million donation in the past tense.

So while Donald Trump tries complain about the nastiness of the reporters, if he and his campaign were open and transparent instead of recalcitrant and stonewalling then there would have been no needed to follow up on this story and uncover some pretty major lies.

Fact Checking Trump’s Statements

During the press conference Donald Trump made many claims that just did not add up.

  • Trump opened the press conference by saying he’s received the most votes ever for a Republican in a primary. As we pointed out before this is not true.
  • Trump mentioned that wanted to keep the donation dealings private yet he boasted for 4 months about his fundraiser every chance he could. He can’t claim to have it both ways.
  • At the 15 minute mark of the speech Donald Trump clearly drops the f-bomb. “Fuck look, when this started, I think you were there, I said if we could raise $1 million dollars that would be good.”
  • Trump claimed multiple times that he didn’t want any public credit for his fundraiser, yet he nationally televised the event, claimed it was for the ratings, continuously brought it up during campaign rallies, and kept sending tweets about it
  • Trump commented that most of the money was sent out early on. But as we detail below, after 4 months only half of the funds were distributed and the other half was sent out on 5/24, the day of the Washington Post story.
  • Trump challenged reporters to go find out how much money Hillary Clinton has raised. The Clinton family donated $105,000 to veteran charities between 2006-2012, helped to raise $50 million dollars for a state-of-the-art veterans rehab center, and has the Clinton Foundation that raises over $200 million for global charities every year. However this is completely irrelevant. The amount of money someone else donates has no effect on the ability for journalists to critically review this evidence.

While his fundraiser that raised $5.5 million dollars for veterans groups is an amazing gesture, it is hardly altruistic. In fact, while $5.5 million dollars is great and will do good, people donate more than $2.5 billion annually to the over 40,000 American charities with military related missions. While it indeed will help veterans and does deserve some thanks, the amount is really a drop in the bucket.

Unusually Slow Distribution of Donations

Trump spent a significant time explaining that the reason why it took so long to distribute the donations is because vetting the different charity groups took time. Filling out forms, sending people out to the charity office, background checks, etc.

However the charities listed as recipients were already rated by trusted charity watchdog groups such as Charity Navigator, and the Trump Foundation already gave to a majority these groups before including the charity that received his own personal $1 million dollar donation four months after the fundraiser. So there was no logical reason to vet them again.

Trump’s Own $1 Million Dollar Donation

On 1/28, the Trump campaign released a press release indicating that Mr. Trump made a $1 million dollar contribution at a special event in Des Moines to benefit vets.

The conservative newspaper The Weekly Standard broke the story on 2/18 that the Trump campaign was refusing to acknowledge how much money was disbursed saying, “You can do your homework and ask the veterans’ organizations.” They did and found out that only about $500,000 was distributed to veterans charities at that time.

On 2/26, the conservative pundit Stuart Varney on Fox Business News corroborated The Weekly Standard’s story with their own independent investigation by checking with the charities a full month after the fundraiser and found that only $650,000 of the supposed $6 million raised had been distributed to charities.

Two months after the fundraiser on 4/7, the not-very-liberal Wall Street Journal again talked to the veteran charities and found only $2.4 million was distributed.

Then on 5/20, The Washington Post followed up with the 22 veteran charities and only $3.1 million could be accounted for. Furthering the scandal, the Trump campaign confirmed that only $4.5 million and not $6 million was raised while claiming $1 million dollars donated by Trump was already given to the charities but refused to share evidence saying, “Mr. Trump’s money is fully spent.”

As recent as 5/23, a day before this story broke, Donald Trump tweeted and was still claiming the money was donated.

And finally 5/24 The Washington Post concluded its investigation which uncovered the story that Trump never gave any money to a veterans charity. Once that fact came to light then, and only then, did Trump cut a check to a single charity from his own personal account and sent out the remaining millions of donations.

Trump’s Completely Un-presidential Temperament

At about the 14 minute mark in the media video is when the sparks really start to fly. It really comes across as child throwing a tantrum.

He is highly combative, curses, singles out individuals for riddicule, and is visibly flustered.

After the press conference, Jesse Ferguson, a Clinton spokesman, tweeted: “EVERYONE STOP. Close your eyes for a moment. Think about the press conference you just watched. Now try to imagine him as President. Thanks.”

We’re not sure we have anything else to add after that.

Media

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