Trump aide Conway says media should show ‘more respect’ after White House bars reporter from event

Just hours after the White House banned a CNN reporter from attending a press event with President Donald Trump, adviser Kellyanne Conway on Thursday berated the news media, claiming that “shouting” and “pouting” reporters should show more “civility” and “respect” toward the administration.

When asked Thursday why Kaitlan Collins had been booted from a Rose Garden event a day earlier after she peppered the president with questions on Russia and Michael Cohen, Conway, counselor to Trump, responded that unruly reporters were to blame for the incident.

“I think that the question isn’t are the press allowed to ask questions, this president obviously isn’t afraid of questions. We answer them routinely,” she told reporters gathered on the White House lawn. “And that incident aside, just being polite to the process, to the presidency, to the protocol, and not shouting questions long after the press has politely been asked to leave, long after you’ve had opportunity to be there with the president, I think it’s a very reasonable request.”

“And that incident aside, I’m just speaking more broadly, the civility that you all call for sometimes when you’re in your broadcasts, I think it should start here at the White House, and just show a little bit more respect,” Conway continued.

“I think it’s the shouting and the pouting long after the press corps has been politely asked to leave the room,” she said.

Bill Shine, a former Fox News executive who Trump tapped earlier this month as his deputy chief of staff for communications, also weighed in, casting doubt on the way the incident had been portrayed in the news media and telling reporters to ask Collins if anyone from the White House had used the word “ban” when not allowing her in.

Collins had served as the network television “pool reporter” during an Oval Office photo op with Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker Wednesday, meaning she was asking questions on behalf of several TV news organizations.

[NBC News]

White House bans network pool reporter from Rose Garden event

The White House took retaliatory action against Kaitlan Collins, a White House reporter for CNN, after Collins asked President Trump questions at an Oval Office photo op on Wednesday.

CNN, rival networks, and the White House Correspondents Association all spoke out against the administration’s action.

On Wednesday afternoon Collins was representing all the television networks as the “pool reporter” in the room during a meeting between Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission.

As is customary, Collins lobbed a few questions at the president. She asked about Vladimir Putin and Michael Cohen. Trump did not answer the questions.

Later in the afternoon, the White House surprised the press corps by announcing a press availability with Trump and Juncker in the Rose Garden. It was said to be open to all press, not just the small pool.

A few minutes later, Collins was asked to come to Bill Shine’s office. Shine, a former co-president of Fox News, is the new deputy chief of staff for communications. Shine and press secretary Sarah Sanders met Collins there.

“They said ‘You are dis-invited from the press availability in the Rose Garden today,'” Collins said. “They said that the questions I asked were inappropriate for that venue. And they said I was shouting.”

A video clip of the exchange shows that Collins was speaking the same way journalists in the press pool usually speak.

Collins said she reacted by saying, “You’re banning me from an event because you didn’t like the questions I asked.”

Collins said Shine and Sanders asserted that “we’re not banning your network. Your photographers can still come. Your producers can still come. But you are not invited to the Rose Garden today.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the matter.

In a statement, CNN disputed the White House’s assertion that Collins’ questions were inappropriate.

“Just because the White House is uncomfortable with a question regarding the news of day doesn’t mean the question isn’t relevant and shouldn’t be asked,” the network said. “This decision to bar a member of the press is retaliatory in nature and not indicative of an open and free press. We demand better.”

What Collins described — telling a well-known and well-respected reporter that she can’t attend a presidential event — is another serious escalation against the press by the Trump administration.

Reporters from the major networks take turns as the TV “pool reporter.” Wednesday happened to be CNN’s day.

On some days, there’s only one opportunity to ask the president questions.

So Collins felt she should ask about two of Wednesday’s biggest stories when journalists were let inside the Oval Office for a portion of Trump and Juncker’s meeting.

She asked: “Did Michael Cohen betray you, Mr. President?” She repeated the question, then asked “Mr. President, are you worried about what Michael Cohen is about to say to the prosecutors? Are you worried about what is on the other tapes, Mr. President?”

This was a follow-up to Trump’s Wednesday morning tweet about the Cohen tape that CNN aired on Tuesday night.

Trump didn’t answer, so Collins changed subjects. She asked, “Why is Vladimir Putin not accepting your invitation, Mr. President?”

This was a reference to last week’s announcement by Sanders that Putin was being invited to Washington in the fall.

Trump rebuffed the questions by saying, “thank you very much, everybody” to the press pool.

Collins said the photo op was “totally normal.”

“It wasn’t anything different from any other pool spray,” she said.

She was taken aback by Shine and Sanders’ assertions later in the day.

Recalling what she told them in the short meeting, she said, “I’m from Alabama. I’m not rude. I believe you should always be polite when you ask a question. I totally believe that.”

[CNN]

Trump: ‘What You’re Seeing and What You’re Reading Is Not What’s Happening’

President Donald Trump defended his tariffs today in a speech to the VFW with multiple shots at the “fake news,” including a pretty remarkable line about how people shouldn’t believe any of it.

Trump said people shouldn’t “believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news” before defending the tariffs.

He talked about China, called the EU a “big abuser,” and then said, “But it’s all working out. And just remember, what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”

“What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”

You can watch Trump actually saying that above, via Fox News.

[Mediaite]

Reality

“The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”

—George Orwell

Trump levels false attacks against The Post and Amazon in a pair of tweets

President Trump on Monday used his Twitter account to make false and misleading attacks against The Washington Post and Amazon, the behemoth online retailer whose founder owns The Post.

In the first of his tweets, Trump said the “Amazon Washington Post has gone crazy against me ever since they lost the Internet Tax Case in the U.S. Supreme Court two months ago.”

The president was apparently referring to a Supreme Court case decided last month that will allow state governments to compel retailers beyond their borders to collect sales tax revenue from consumers.

Amazon, the nation’s biggest online retailer, took a small hit in its stock price after the decision, even though it already collects taxes on its sales in all states. The company, whose founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Post, does not collect taxes on third-party purchases. The Post and Amazon are independently operated.

It’s not clear what Trump meant by “gone crazy against me,” though he was critical in a separate tweet Monday of media coverage of his efforts to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons. The Post reported over the weekend that Trump has privately fumed about a lack of progress even as he has publicly touted his administration’s efforts.

In his first tweet on The Post and Amazon, Trump also complained that the U.S. Postal Service is “the delivery boy” for Amazon, which he said pays only “a fraction of real cost.”

Trump has previously said that Amazon costs the Postal Service billions of dollars in potential revenue, even though officials have explained to him that Amazon’s contracts with the Postal Service are profitable for the agency.

In a second tweet, Trump said that The Post “is nothing more than an expensive (the paper loses a fortune) lobbyist for Amazon.”

Trump has made the false claim about The Post serving as a lobbyist for Amazon multiple times.

Responding to a similar tweet in March, Post publisher Frederick J. Ryan Jr. said: “The Washington Post operates with complete independence in making all news and editorial decisions. We alone decide what to publish. It is preposterous and disingenuous to suggest that The Post is used to advance Jeff’s other commercial interests.”

Post editors have also rejected Trump’s accusation that The Post has supported Amazon’s interests.

“The reality is he didn’t present any evidence that we were lobbying for Amazon,” Post Executive Editor Martin Baron has said in response to a previous Trump attack. “The reason is because there is no evidence.”

Contrary to Trump’s assertion, Ryan has also said that The Post is positioned for “continued profitability.”

[Washington Post]

Trump tweets old video of Clinton talking up ‘a strong Russia’

President Trump on Thursday tweeted a partial clip of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arguing eight years ago that a “strong Russia” is in the world’s best interest.

Trump asked if “Dems and Fake News” will “ever learn” as he faces ongoing criticism about his handling of Monday’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The clip is from a 2010 interview Clinton did with First Channel Television, which is partially owned by the Russian government.

“We want very much to have a strong Russia because a strong, confident, prosperous, stable Russia is, we think, in the interests of the world,” Clinton says in the brief clip.

The clip has recently been shared by some pro-Trump figures on Twitter, including actor James Woods.

Clinton was responding to a question about “America’s place in the modern world” when she made the remarks.

“Is it a force aimed at supporting the world’s equilibrium? Or is it a force aimed at changing the status quo?” interviewer Vladimir Pozner asked.

“It’s both in this way, Vladimir. It is a force to sustain an equilibrium that permits countries and individuals to progress, to become more self-realizing,” she replied. “I mean, we want very much to have a strong Russia because a strong, competent, prosperous, stable Russia is, we think, in the interests of the world.”

“But at the same time, there are countries and places where the status quo is just not acceptable,” she continued. “Last summer, I went to the Democratic Republic of Congo. I went to Eastern Congo where 5.4 million people had been killed in the last 15 years, the greatest death toll since the second world war. We don’t want that status quo to be sustained.”

Then-President Obama made similar remarks about Russia during a 2009 speech, calling for a “reset” in U.S-Russia relations and saying the world would benefit “from a strong and vibrant Russia.”

Trump has faced intense scrutiny for his handling of Russia this past week, after he sided with Putin’s denials of election interference during a press conference in Helsinki, Finland.

Trump attempted to walk back the comments on Tuesday, saying he believes the U.S. intelligence assessment that found Russia meddled in the election.

[The Hill]

Reality

The video was before Putin, before Russia illegally annexed Crimea, before Russia invaded Ukraine, before Russia tried to assassinate world leaders, before Russia jailed critics, murdered critics, before Russia tried to murder civilians in England, and apparently before high-definition television.

Trump Calls Media ‘Real Enemy of the People’ While Revealing ‘Second Meeting’ With Putin

Amid widespread blowback this week over his comments relating to the summit in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump is declaring the meeting a success, and going on the warpath against the media — which he’s labeling “the real enemy of the people.”

In a Thursday morning tweet, the president suggested that another meeting is forthcoming.

“The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media,” Trump wrote. “I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more. There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems…but they can ALL be solved!”

The president then tweeted a montage which aired on Fox & Friendsearlier of times in which he’s acknowledged Russia meddled in the 2016 election. (Although he also left open the possibility of China and other nations or individuals also meddling.)

Trump is floating the possibility of a second meeting just as initial polling has been released on the first. According to a poll from Axios and SurveyMonkey, 79 percent of Republicans approve of the president’s handling of the summit. Overall, however, the public disapproved of Trump’s handling by a 58-40 margin.

[Mediaite]

Trump Bashes Media for Russia Coverage: Press Didn’t Cover My Private Meeting

President Donald Trump sat down for an interview with CBS News’ Jeff Glor at the end of whirlwind tour of Europe that culminated in the widely panned press conference with Vladimir Putin — and trashed the media for its coverage of his summit with the Russian autocrat.

After declaring “I think I did great at the news conference,” Trump embarked on a rambling anti-press diatribe:

“I don’t know what the fuss is all about. I think we did extremely well. I think the press makes up — look it’s fake news that people understand. I think the press largely makes up a lot of the fuss about a lot of things. And I’m not talking about one of it I’m talking about everything, it’s crazy. You do something that’s positive, and they try and make it as negative as possible.”

Trump went on to say that “some of the most honorable people I know, some great people are reporters, journalists etc.,” before adding “but the level of dishonesty in your profession is extremely high.”

Glor pointed out that the press simply covered the statements Trump made in his televised press conference with Putin.

Trump dismissed that point, arguing that the press should have covered his private one-on-one meeting with Putin.

“They didn’t cover my meeting, the important thing frankly was the meeting,” Trump said.

[Mediaite]

President Trump blames media for criticism over Putin news conference

The day after his ill-fated news conference with Vladimir Putin drew criticism even from supporters, a defiant President Donald Trump said Tuesday he had a great meeting with the Russian leader and blamed the news media for the poor reception.

“While I had a great meeting with NATO, raising vast amounts of money, I had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia,” Trump tweeted after returning from a weeklong trip to Europe. “Sadly, it is not being reported that way – the Fake News is going Crazy!”

Having watched the president’s performance, lawmakers across the ideological spectrum criticized Trump for taking Putin’s word over that of U.S. intelligence officials who report that Russians interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

Like Trump, the critics showed no signs of backing down.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, said he was glad to see criticism from both parties. A day after saying that Putin probably celebrated the Trump meeting with caviar, Corker called for legislation to counter some of the president’s foreign policy moves, including tariffs on imports.

“As the president taxes Americans with tariffs, he pushes away our allies and further strengthens Putin,” Corker tweeted. “It is time for Congress to step up and take back our authorities.”

During his morning tweet session, Trump also defended the Putin news conference by citing the thoughts of a rare supporter who stuck up for him: Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

“Thank you @RandPaul, you really get it!” Trump tweeted, citing a comment by the Kentucky senator that “the President has gone through a year and a half of totally partisan investigations – what’s he supposed think?”

Paul was one of the few Republicans to defend the president after he accepted Putin’s denials that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, despite the conclusions of U.S. intelligence officials that Russians hacked Democratic officials and pushed fake news to help Trump.

While taking Putin’s side, Trump also condemned the ongoing investigation of Russia as a “disaster” driving a wedge between the United States and Russia.

[USA Today]

Trump thanks Rand Paul for praising his position on Russia

Facing widespread condemnation for his fawning meeting with Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump gave a shout-out to Sen. Paul Rand, who praised him for trying “to prevent us from having World War 3.”

“Thank you @RandPaul, you really get it!” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning, referring to Paul’s interview on “CBS This Morning.”

“‘The President has gone through a year and a half of totally partisan investigations — what’s he supposed think?’” he added, quoting the Kentucky Republican.

“Yes, the vast majority of the foreign policy community, the bipartisan consensus said you shouldn’t meet with Putin,” Paul said.

“They also said he shouldn’t meet with (North Korean leader) Kim (Jong Un) and this is an extraordinary thing about President Trump that should be lauded and not belittled is that he is willing to meet with adversaries to try to prevent us from having World War 3.”

Paul stood by the president’s decision to sit down with the Russian leader, saying that Trump “did a good thing” by meeting with Putin and warned his colleagues that it was a “mistake” to “try to turn this into a partisan escapade.”

The pol also compared Trump’s meeting with Putin to President Ronald Reagan’s summit with Mikhail Gorbachev when he was general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

“CBS This Morning” co-anchor John Dickerson pointed out that, unlike Trump, Reagan had pushed America’s moral objection to the Soviet Union during their summit.

Trump, meanwhile, held both the US and Russia responsible for the sour relationship between the two countries.

Paul countered that the assessment was “not being fair to the president,” citing Reagan’s “evil empire” comments toward the Soviet leader.

“While the rhetoric was strong, you might actually compare that with Trump’s rhetoric in North Korea, it’s been very strong. So I think there’s actually some apt comparisons between Reagan and Trump on the diplomatic front,” he said.

“We have to deal with the world as it is, not as we wish it to be, and if we’re only going to talk to people who have perfect constitutional republics, we’re going to have a very small audience and we’re going to have a lot of potential conflicts with no outlet for diplomacy,” he added.

Meanwhile, Trump also mentioned his “great meeting with NATO.”

“They have paid $33 Billion more and will pay hundreds of Billions of Dollars more in the future, only because of me,” the president tweeted.

“NATO was weak, but now it is strong again (bad for Russia). The media only says I was rude to leaders, never mentions the money!” he added.

After a contentious visit at NATO headquarters in Brussels, the president declared that all the member nations agreed to increase their defense spending.

French President Emmanuel Macron rejected that assertion, citing a 2014 agreement by the countries to increase their share to 2 percent of their gross domestic product in 10 years.

“There was a communiqué released yesterday it was very detailed and I invite you to read it … It shows the measures approved by all the member states. This communiqué is clear, it reaffirms a commitment to 2 percent in 2024. That is all,” Macron said last week.

[New York Post]

Trump defends Russia and NATO meetings with lies after mass outrage

Here’s President Trump’s defense for his NATO and Russia meetings that resulted in pushback for his demands to European allies as well as concerns over his behavior in a press conference with Putin:

“I had a great meeting with NATO. They have paid $33 Billion more and will pay hundreds of Billions of Dollars more in the future, only because of me. NATO was weak, but now it is strong again (bad for Russia). The media only says I was rude to leaders, never mentions the money! … While I had a great meeting with NATO, raising vast amounts of money, I had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia. Sadly, it is not being reported that way – the Fake News is going Crazy

— Trump on Twitter

  • Trump’s argument, which he first explained in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity last night, is that making NATO stronger monetarily hurts Russia, which Trump says proves that he’s tough on Putin. Trump also tries to place the blame on the media, accusing the “Fake News” of distorting reality.
  • But despite Trump’s self-defense, this time, his attacks on allies and friendliness toward Russia has sparked outrage from both parties — including Trump’s friends and allies.

[Axios]

Reality

Emmanuel Macron diplomatically called Trump a liar after he made this claim, citing the fact that no NATO member nation changed their defense spending goals, and pointing to a 2014 agreement signed during the Obama administration for the current spending targets.

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