Donald Trump just trolled Rosie O’Donnell. Not Good.

As his White House continued to struggle to get its story straight regarding the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the unwanted photo-op of the president and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak on Wednesday, Donald Trump took time out to troll longtime nemesis Rosie O’Donnell.

On Thursday afternoon, Trump retweeted a two-word tweet the actress sent in December 2016 that read: “FIRE COMEY.” He added this comment: “We finally agree on something Rosie.”

Reminder: Donald Trump is the president of the United States, the head of the US military and, arguably, the single most powerful person in the world.

O’Donnell and Trump have a loooooong history — dating all the way back to 2006. Trump refused to de-crown (not sure that’s a word) Miss USA Tara Conner after reports of her past alcohol and drug use surfaced. O’Donnell, at the time a co-host of “The View,” blasted Trump the following day — calling him “a snake-oil salesman on Little House On The Prairie” among many other things.

But, only one of these two people are president of the United States. Only one of them is making decisions about sending missiles into a Syrian airfield or dropping the “mother of all bombs” on Afghanistan. Or making final calls on the number of troops in Afghanistan. Or developing tax policy and trade policy with far-reaching impacts on the US economy. Or representing the US on the world stage.

On Thursday, O’Donnell responded: “u don’t even realize the kind of trouble u r in – comeys people believe in him – for real – they have the proof – u r a sadistic man #USA”

Now, it’s easy to laugh at Trump’s decision to re-engage his long-simmering feud with O’Donnell. (It’s a good tweet and an expert troll, after all.)

But, it should also give everyone pause. This is the president of the United States we are talking about. (I know I have said that three times. But it bears repeating!) He — and his administration — are in the midst of a self-inflicted crisis over the reasons for his decision to fire Comey. That he made time to troll Rosie O’Donnell says something about where his priorities and focus lie. And what it says is nothing good.

[CNN]

Reality

Trump and Republicans would be correct to point out liberal hypocrisy over the firing of James Comey if today was November 9th. At that time we would have absolutely cheered the release of the FBI Director who helped hand Trump a White House victory.

But since November 9th we’ve learned, from James Comey, that he and the FBI are investigating Trump and his administration for collusion with Russia, and just a week prior was asking for more resources for his investigation.

So let’s cut that talking point to shreds right now.

President Trump Attacks ‘Lunatic,’ ‘No-Talent,’ ‘Dumbest Person’ in TV

President Donald Trump says he thinks CNN’s Chris Cuomo looks like a “chained lunatic” on television. CNN’s Don Lemon is “perhaps the dumbest person in broadcasting” and CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert is a “no-talent guy” who talks “filthy.”

Those were just some of the comments Trump offered over dinner Monday night when asked about the media he consumes as President of the United States. But he did little to hide his frustration, explaining that he had been surprised that the journalistic criticism had gotten worse after the campaign. He also said he had been working on tuning out news that is critical of him.

“I’ve been able to do something that I never thought I had the ability to do. I’ve been able not to watch or read things that aren’t pleasant,” he said, maintaining that he no longer watches CNN or MSNBC. “And it keeps you young.”

There was little doubt, however, that he remained acutely aware of what reporters and correspondents were saying about him. He has large flat-screen televisions set up in the Treaty Room in the White House residence and in his private dining room in the West Wing. He continues to have stacks of newspapers and magazines delivered to his office suite in the West Wing.

“Washington Post, New York Times, they’re really, really dishonest,” he said, before directly addressing the TIME reporters he had invited for dinner. “You people are quite dishonest in all fairness.” He said he used to watch MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough but no longer does. He also claimed to have helped CNN president Jeff Zucker, an old friend and business colleague, get his job at the network.

The one network he praised was Fox News, saying he watches their shows and is responsible for its ratings bump.

Spokespeople for MSNBC and CBS said the networks had no comment on the president’s criticism. A CNN spokesperson said, “His comments are beneath the dignity of the office of the President.” Trump’s claims about CNN’s Zucker have been repeatedly refuted by the executives involved.

Here’s an extended excerpt of his conversation with TIME:

For instance I don’t watch CNN. I don’t watch MSNBC. Scarborough used to treat me great. But because I don’t do interviews and stuff and want to … He went the other way. Which is fine. He’s got some problems. But I don’t watch the show anymore. It drives him crazy. I don’t watch the show.

I do watch Fox in the morning, and their ratings have gone through the roof because everyone knows I’m watching Fox. But they’re pleasant. And if I do something wrong they report on it. I don’t mean they – if I do something wrong. But it’s really, honestly it’s the most accurate.

CNN in the morning, Chris Cuomo, he’s sitting there like a chained lunatic. He’s like a boiler ready to explode, the level of hatred. And the entire, you know the entire CNN platform is that way. This Don Lemon who’s perhaps the dumbest person in broadcasting, Don Lemon at night it’s like – sometimes they’ll have a guest who by mistake will say something good. And they’ll start screaming, we’re going to commercial. They cut him off. Remember?

I’ve seen things where by mistake somebody they bring in a guest and it turns out to be a positive. And they go, I mean they get just killed. The level of hatred. And poor Jeffrey Lord. I love Jeffrey Lord. But sometimes he’s sitting there with eight unknown killers that nobody ever heard of. And CNN actually is not doing nearly as well as others. They’re all doing well because of me. But it’s not doing as well as others that are doing better actually. But Fox treats me very fairly. MSNBC is ridiculous. It’s just bad.

It’s an ability I never thought I’d have. I never thought I’d have the ability to say, they’re doing a big story on me on CNN and I won’t watch it. And it’s amazing, it doesn’t matter. But it really, the equilibrium is much better. As far as newspapers and things, I glance at them. They’re really dishonest. I mean they’re really dishonest.

Trump also brought up The Late Show host Stephen Colbert’s blistering and crude May 1 monologue, in which the comedian delivered an oral-sex joke about the president and Russian President Vladimir Putin:

You see a no-talent guy like Colbert. There’s nothing funny about what he says. And what he says is filthy. And you have kids watching. And it only builds up my base. It only helps me, people like him. The guy was dying. By the way they were going to take him off television, then he started attacking me and he started doing better. But his show was dying. I’ve done his show. … But when I did his show, which by the way was very highly rated. It was high—highest rating. The highest rating he’s ever had.

(h/t Time)

Trump Uses Power of Office to Intimidate Witness Sally Yates

CNN’s Dana Bash and John King slammed President Trump on Monday for tweeting about former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, calling it “witness intimidation” ahead of her testimony to a Senate Judiciary subcommittee.

“Before I covered politics all the time, I used to cover the courts a lot. A lawyer would call that witness intimidation,” King, the host of “Inside Politics,” said.

Bash agreed with that charge. “Completely. Look, I think that we have all been kind of desensitized, in some way, to his tweets and to his statements that are so out of the norm,” Bash, the network’s chief political correspondent, said. “This is beyond out of the norm. This is inappropriate.

“For the president of the United States to be this aggressive with somebody who used to work for him, who is coming before the United States Congress in sworn testimony hours later, is beyond the pale. It just is.”

Trump sent two successive tweets on Monday morning, including one directed at Yates urging lawmakers to ask “if she knows how classified information” was leaked to the press.

Yates, a former acting attorney general who was fired by Trump for her refusal to defend his travel ban, will testify during a Senate hearing on Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.

Yates is expected to testify that she warned the White House about former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russia, which would contradict the administration’s claims.

(h/t The Hill)

Media

Trump Throws a Fit After ‘Fake News Station’ CNN Refuses to Air His 100-Day Campaign Ad

President Donald Trump’s campaign apparatus on Tuesday lashed out at CNN for allegedly refusing to air a commercial touting accomplishments made in the president’s first 100 days.

The 30-second ad, which began airing on Monday, praises Trump for the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and for proposing the “biggest tax cut plan in history.” It also blasts the media, flashing the words “FAKE NEWS” over the faces of anchors, reporters and broadcasters.

A memo from the Trump-Pence campaign announced on Tuesday that CNN had refused to air the commercial.

“FAKE NEWS STATION REFUSES TO RUN AD HIGHLIGHTING THE PRESIDENT’S FIRST 100 DAYS,” the document’s headline shouted.

“It’s absolutely shameful to see the media blocking the positive message that President Trump is trying to share with the country,” an anonymous quote in the memo complained. “It’s clear that CNN is trying to silence our voice and censor our free speech because it doesn’t fit their narrative.”

There was no immediate confirmation from CNN to back up Trump’s claim, but a CNN fact check of the ad noted that “the bulk of Trump’s accomplishments have been made through executive action or memorandum, something Republicans decried former President Barack Obama for doing during his second term.”

“Americans also are far from convinced that Trump’s first 100 days have been a success,” CNN said. “A CNN/ORC poll found that the President reached the milestone with the lowest approval rating of any newly-elected president at this stage amid sharp partisan divides and a failure to capitalize on post-election strengths.”

Update: According to Politico’s Hadas Gold, CNN is refusing to air the spot until the Trump campaign removes the words “fake news” from the faces of network anchors.

“CNN requested that the advertiser remove the false graphic that the mainstream media is ‘fake news’,” a statement from the network said. “The mainstream media is not fake news, and therefore the ad is false and per policy will be accepted only if that graphic is deleted.”

(h/t Raw Story)

Media

 

Trump Kicks Reporter Out of Oval Office After Wiretapping Questions

President Trump cut off an Oval Office interview with CBS anchor John Dickerson and gestured for him to leave the room when Dickerson repeatedly asked about the president’s unfounded wiretapping claims.

Trump signaled that he still believes, as he tweeted on March 4, that “Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory.”

Obama aides, intelligence community officials and some prominent Republican lawmakers have all disputed the claim. And the president has provided no evidence to back it up.

But when Trump brought it up during an interview taping on Saturday, and Dickerson followed up, Trump said, “I think our side’s been proven very strongly and everybody’s talking about it and frankly, it should be discussed.”

Trump added, “We should find out what the hell is going on.”

When Dickerson pressed him, Trump said: “You can take it any way — you can take it any way you want.”

Dickerson: “I’m asking you because you don’t want it to be fake news. I want to hear it from President Trump.”

Trump: “You don’t have to ask me. You don’t have to ask me.”

Dickerson: “Why not?”

Trump: “Because I have my own opinions, you can have your own opinions.”

Dickerson: “But I want to know your opinions. You’re the president of the United States.”

Trump: “That’s enough. Thank you. Thank you very much.”

The president walked away from Dickerson and sat down at his Oval Office desk.

The abrupt end to the tough interview was in marked contrast to some of the smoother interviews Trump has had recently. Media critics have pointed out his preference for friendlier outlets, like conservative-themed shows on Fox News.

Afterward, CBS anchor Gayle King remarked on the awkwardness of the abrupt ending: “Well, he was done with that conversation.”

King asked Dickerson if he was escorted out of the Oval Office.

“I think it was pretty clear that I was to escort myself out, or I would be escorted out — I would be moved along,” he said. “It was time for our conversation to be over.”

Later in the day on Saturday, however, Dickerson still traveled with the president as planned to a 100th-day rally in Pennsylvania.

The network’s morning show, “CBS This Morning,” was broadcast from the White House on Monday.

Several administration officials were interviewed live on the program, including Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump.

(h/t CNN)

Media

CBS

Donald Trump Attacks US Media at 100-Day Pennsylvania Rally

US President Donald Trump has launched a scathing attack on the media during a rally marking 100 days in office.

He told supporters in Pennsylvania that he was keeping “one promise after another”, dismissing criticism as “fake news” by “out of touch” journalists.

Mr Trump decided to skip the White House Correspondents’ Dinner – the first US leader to miss the annual event since Ronald Reagan in 1981.

Earlier, big rallies were held against Mr Trump’s climate change policies.

At the rally in Harrisburg, the president said the media should be given “a big, fat, failing grade” over their coverage of his achievements during his first 100 days and told the cheering crowd he was “thrilled to be more than 100 miles from Washington”.

He quipped that at the same time “a large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling themselves” at the correspondents’ dinner “that will be very boring”.

Until now, late president Ronald Reagan was the last US leader to miss the dinner, as he was recovering from a gunshot wound in 1981.

Turning to his election pledges, Mr Trump said the first 100 days had been “very exciting and very productive”.

He said he was “delivering every single day” by:

  • Ending “jobs theft” and bringing them back to the US
  • Easing regulations on energy exploration
  • Ending the so-called “war on coal”
  • Pulling out of international agreements not beneficial to the US, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Mr Trump also said the administration of Barack Obama had resulted in “a mess”, stressing that he was ready for “great battles to come and we will win in every case”.

On climate change, Mr Trump said “a big decision” would be taken within the next two weeks.

He earlier described climate change as a hoax, vowing to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement.

(h/t BBC News)

Reality

Trump usually runs away from criticism, like when he skipped a Fox News debate after receiving tough questions from moderator Megyn Kelly about his improper treatment of women.

Trump is Being Sued for Saying ‘Get ’Em Out of Here’ at a Rally. He Just Did it Again.

“Get them out of here.”

Those five words have already led to a lawsuit against President Donald Trump. But Trump continued to use them Saturday night at a rally celebrating his first 100 days in office.

According to CNN, Kashiya Nwanguma, Molly Shah and Henry Brousseau attended a Trump rally in Louisville, Kentucky in March 2016 to protest. When they did so, however, Trump took notice and said from the podium, “Get them out of here.”

The protesters then say they were pushed out of the venue as Trump supporters yelled at them, per the Washington Post. In a suit filed this year, the three are accusing several supporters of assault and battery and Trump himself of incitement to riot, negligence, gross negligence and recklessness. They say Trump should have known that his words would have sparked violence.

That case is still making its way through the legal system, but on April 1, a federal judge in Kentucky ruled that it was plausible that Trump’s words has incited violence and ruled that the lawsuit could proceed, a defeat for Trump’s legal team, per the Louisville Courier-Journal.

On Saturday, however, Trump was hosting another rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, when another protest seemed to break out. Trump stopped his speech to say, “That’s right, get him out of here. Get him out.” The crowd then began to chant, “USA!” as Trump watched. Trump resumed by saying “Thank you” and then praising law enforcement.

Another social media post showed multiple law enforcement officials restraining a protester on the ground. A key argument of Trump’s legal team in the current lawsuit is that his comments were clearly directed at law enforcement officials, not supporters, but Hale rejected that claim.

Two of the original protesters who are being sued for the events of the Louisville rally have since filed claims saying they took Trump’s words as a directive towards them to remove the protesters. Because of this, the two supporters say, Trump should be held liable for their actions, not them, according to the Associated Press.

(h/t McClatchy)

Trump Says He May Break Up 9th Circuit Court After Rulings Go Against Him

President Trump is considering breaking up the 9th Circuit Court after a federal district court judge in its jurisdiction blocked his order to withhold funding from “sanctuary cities.”

In a Wednesday interview with the Washington Examiner, Trump said “there are many people who want to break up the 9th Circuit. It’s outrageous.”

In the interview, Trump accused liberals of “judge-shopping” for a court that would strike down his executive order.

“I mean, the language on the ban, it reads so easy that a reasonably good student in the first grade will fully understand it. And they don’t even mention the words in their rejection on the ban,” Trump said.

Trump claimed the court oversteps its authority and that his opponents “immediately run” to the court for “semi-automatic” rulings.

The 9th Circuit earlier this year blocked Trump’s executive order that barred immigration from certain Muslim-majority countries and banned all Syrian refugees from the U.S. for a period of time.

Earlier Wednesday, Trump railed against the 9th Circuit over a judge blocking his order withholding funds from sanctuary cities.

If Trump decides to move forward with plans to break up the court, he’ll have Republican support. Earlier this year, Sen Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) voiced support for breaking up the court, which is seen as one of the most liberal in the country.

On Tuesday, a federal judge rejected Trump’s order to defund sanctuary cities, arguing that the White House had overreached with requirements not related to law enforcement.

The 9th Circuit Court covers Arizona, California, Alaska, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington and Hawaii, as well as Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Eighteen of the court’s 25 judges were appointed by Democratic presidents.

(h/t The Hill)

Reality

First of all, Trump is angry at the wrong court. The most recent ruling against Trump, in which Judge William Orrick issued an injunction blocking his executive order targeting so-called sanctuary cities, wasn’t handed down by the 9th Circuit. Orrick sits on the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, which is one level below the appeals court.

Donald Trump is still learning the Constitution. His hands are completely tied when it comes the the courts. Trump can’t break up a circuit court on his own. He needs the help of Congress, who would need a super-majority to pass. While most Republicans polled wouldn’t back it, Democrats alone could block any legislation to break up the 9th circuit.

Trump Blames Democrats for Shutting Down Park Service After Proposing Shutting Down Park Service

President Donald Trump uncorked a tweet storm on Thursday morning, lashing out at Democrats over a slew of different issues.

Trump’s Twitter tirade — six messages over the course of just two minutes — came a day before an expected congressional vote on appropriations that would seek to avoid a shutdown of the federal government.

The president’s tweets seemed to refer to threats by Democrats in Congress not to support that appropriations package if it does not include spending for Obamacare subsidies that lower the cost of out-of-pocket health expenses for low-income Americans.

If the government does not appropriate that money, which goes directly to insurers, those insurers that sell Obamacare plans will still be on the hook for the subsidies to customers, but will have to eat the cost of doing so.

But the tweeter in chief also teed off on Democrats on military spending, border security and national parks.

Reality

In Trump’s budget proposal to Congress, he suggested massive cuts of $1.5 billion dollars to the Department of the Interior which would have decimated the Parks Department.

 

Trump just blasted the wrong court for ‘blocking’ his sanctuary cities order

President Donald Trump lashed out again at the American judiciary for blocking a piece of his agenda.

Except on Wednesday, he got his court wrong.

In a morning tweet, he blamed the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for blocking his order to withhold funding from so-called sanctuary cities. He called the ruling “ridiculous” and signaled that his administration will appeal by saying “see you in the Supreme Court.”

The problem: Tuesday’s ruling did not come from the 9th Circuit. It was made in federal district court in San Francisco.
Earlier this year, the 9th Circuit did block Trump’s executive order restricting travel from several predominantly Muslim countries.

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus also targeted the appeals court in comments to reporters Tuesday, according to The Hill.

Politico, which first pointed out Trump’s error, noted that the 9th Circuit would hear the case next if the Trump administration appeals.

(h/t NBC News)

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