Trump’s Columbus Day tweet sparks Backlash

President Trump on Monday celebrated the controversial 15th-century explorer Christopher Columbus as an “inspiration.”

“Christopher Columbus’s spirit of determination & adventure has provided inspiration to generations of Americans,” Trump tweeted. “On #ColumbusDay, we honor his remarkable accomplishments as a navigator, & celebrate his voyage into the unknown expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.”

Trump also shared a link to his proclamation marking Columbus Day, in which he noted, “We commemorate the achievements of this skilled Italian explorer and recognize his courage, will power, and ambition — all values we cherish as Americans.”

Blowback was swift and included the comment, “Columbus destroyed races, languages, and customs. He enslaved natives by invoking superstition. He’s no hero. He wasn’t even a pioneer.”

There was also a person who quipped, “We’re finally saying ‘Merry Columbus Day’ again!”

Another Twitter user pointed out, “Columbus did not discover North America, maybe Jamaica but not North America.”

It is, indeed, true that Christopher Columbus never set foot on what would become the United States of America, notes CNN.

“During four separate trips that started with the one in 1492, Columbus landed on various Caribbean islands that are now the Bahamas as well as the island later called Hispaniola,” according to the Washington Post.

[AOL]

Trump mocks Al Franken for ‘folding like a wet rag’ over sexual harassment claims at Minnesota rally

President Donald Trump mocked former Senator Al Franken (D-MN) during a campaign rally in Rochester, Minnesota.

Trump mocked Franken for resigning from his position after being accused of sexual assault. Franken was accused of grabbing a woman during a USO performance.

“Oh, he did something, I resign, I resign, I quit,” Trump said as he mocked Franken.

“He was gone so fast,” Trump said, adding, “He was replaced by somebody that nobody ever heard of.”

[Raw Story]

Media

Trump: I told Saudi king he wouldn’t last without U.S. support

President Donald Trump made an undiplomatic remark about close ally Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, saying he warned Saudi Arabia’s King Salman he would not last in power “for two weeks” without the backing of the U.S. military.

“We protect Saudi Arabia. Would you say they’re rich. And I love the King, King Salman. But I said ‘King – we’re protecting you – you might not be there for two weeks without us – you have to pay for your military,'” Trump said to cheers at a rally in Southaven, Mississippi.

Trump did not say when he made those remarks to the Saudi monarch.

Despite the harsh words, the Trump administration has had a close relationship with Saudi Arabia, which it views as a bulwark against Iran’s ambitions in the region.

Trump made Saudi Arabia his first stop on his maiden international trip as president last year.

Trump called King Salman on Saturday and they discussed efforts being made to maintain supplies to ensure oil market stability and global economic growth, according to Saudi state news agency SPA.

Saudi Arabia is the world’s top oil exporter and the de facto leader of OPEC, which has been criticized by Trump for high oil prices.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month, Trump said OPEC members were “as usual ripping off the rest of the world.”

“We defend many of these nations for nothing, and then they take advantage of us by giving us high oil prices. Not good. We want them to stop raising prices, we want them to start lowering prices,” Trump said.

[Reuters]

Donald Trump Contradicts Brett Kavanaugh, Saying Nominee Admitted to ‘Difficulty’ With Drinking as Young Man

President Donald Trump appeared Monday to contradict the testimony and public comments by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh about his drinking during his high school and college days, with the president stating Kavanaugh had noted he had “difficulty as a young man.”

Trump defended Kavanaugh, stating he had been forthright with the Senate Judiciary Committee despite attacks from Democrats. The president said that Kavanaugh had explained his drinking as having “difficulty as a young man with drink…He was very strong on the fact that he drank a lot.”

However, Kavanaugh had stated before the committee on Friday and during his interview with Fox News a week ago that his drinking was not overly excessive and was in line with his peers.

“And yes, there were parties. And the drinking age was 18, and yes, the seniors were legal and had beer there. And yes, people might have had too many beers on occasion and people generally in high school—I think all of us have probably done things we look back on in high school and regret or cringe a bit, but that’s not what we’re talking about,” Kavanaugh told Fox.

Kavanaugh also told Fox that he never drank to the point of blacking out, which he also reiterated to the committee during his often combative testimony and defense.

“Sometimes I had too many beers. Sometimes others did. I liked beer. I still like beer. But I did not drink beer to the point of blacking out, and I never sexually assaulted anyone,” Kavanaugh said in his statement.

The federal judge was also grilled by senators about his drinking and he repeatedly said he had never blacked out or did not drink to the point that he could not remember what happened the evening before.

Trump was also asked if the allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh were proved to be true by the FBI’s current investigation would he consider pulling support for Kavanaugh.

The president said he was “open” but vehemently defended Kavanaugh. He challenged the way in which Democrats had conducted themselves during the confirmation process while blasting numerous senators like Diane Feinstein and Cory Booker, and even claimed to know of a Democratic senator in “very very bad situations … somewhat compromising.” Trump did not name the senator and said he would save the answer “for a book like everybody else.”

Trump’s press conference Monday was originally planned to discuss a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada, and the president fought off questions about Kavanaugh until he could answer inquiries about the trade deal.

[Newsweek]

Media

Trump Insults ABC Reporter, Saying She ‘Never’ Thinks

President Donald Trump insulted a female reporter for ABC News on Monday during a Rose Garden news conference, telling her that she “never” thinks even before she had a chance to ask her question.

As the reporter, Cecilia Vega, turned to retrieve a microphone to ask Trump a question, Trump joked “she’s shocked that I picked her. Like in a state of shock.”

Vega responded, “I’m not, thank you Mr. President.”

Trump appeared to misunderstand her. “That’s OK, I know you’re not thinking, you never do.”

“I’m sorry?” she responded.

“No, go ahead. Go ahead,” Trump said.

Vega tried to ask a question about the FBI investigation of sexual assault allegations against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, but the president initially insisted she ask about trade. He returned to Vega later for a Kavanaugh question.

“A news conference means you get to ask whatever question you want to ask,” Vega tweeted later, adding the hashtag “#FirstAmendment.”

[Bloomberg]

Media

Trump regrets not firing Comey when Obama was still in office: ‘I should have fired him the day I won the primaries’

President Donald Trump displayed a deep misunderstanding of his own authority Tuesday, bemoaning that he didn’t fire FBI Director James Comey back when he won the Republican primary, or at least after the Republican convention, in an interview with the Hill.

Barack Obama was still President during both of those events and vested with the power to fire Comey.

“If I did one mistake with Comey, I should have fired him before I got here. I should have fired him the day I won the primaries,” Trump told the Hill. “I should have fired him right after the convention, say I don’t want that guy. Or at least fired him the first day on the job. I would have been better off firing him or putting out a statement that I don’t want him there when I get there.”

Trump also mentioned that he is ordering the declassification of documents related to the Russia probe because exposing it as a partisan “hoax” would be a “crowning achievement” of his presidency.

“I hope to be able to call this, along with tax cuts and regulation and all the things I’ve done … in its own way this might be the most important thing because this was corrupt,” he added to the Hill.

He went on to say that his own FBI is working against him and trying to undermine his presidency.

“What we have now is an insurance policy,” the Trump told the Hill. “But it has been totally discredited, even Democrats agree that it has been discredited. They are not going to admit to it, but it has been totally discredited. I think, frankly, more so by text than by documents.”

He concluded that he hoped to “expose” the FBI as “truly a cancer in our country.”

[Business Insider]

After Trump Swipes at ‘Failing’ NYT in Presser, Reporter Responds: We’re ‘Thriving Not Failing’

President Donald Trump took a few shots at the “failing” New York Times during his press conference today, and a Times reporter responded when Trump finally let him have a question.

Trump went on a tangent about the Times minutes earlier, and reporter Mark Landler jumped in to get Trump to give the Times a question.

Landler took a moment to tell Trump, “We’re kind of thriving, not failing these days.”

“You’re doing very well,” the President said. “Say thank you, Mr. Trump.”

Landler responded, “I think I’ll stop short of that.”

Trump teed off on the “negative” stories he gets from the Times before saying “I still love the paper.”

Landler proceeded to ask Trump about China.

[Mediaite]

Trump Repeatedly Interrupts Female Reporter After She Questions Him About Message He’s Sending to Women

During a rare solo press conference from New York City on Wednesday, President Donald Trump was asked by Sky News reporter Hannah Thomas-Peter about the message that it was sending women when he referred to the Kavanaugh accusations as a “con job.”

Trump responded by repeatedly interrupting the reporter and mansplaining the meaning of “con job.”

It all started when Trump first identified the female reporter as “the one that was nodding with every nice thing I said.”

She replied it was a habit of hers.

Then, the reporter asked this: “Are you at all concerned at the message that is being sent to the women who are watching this when you use language like ‘con job’ in relation to allegations of sexual assault?”

“That’s like probably the nicest phrase I’ve ever used. I mean, con job. it is. It’s a con job,” he said, seemingly dismissing her concerns and speaking over her. “You know, confidence. It’s a confidence job. but they — it’s a con job by the Democrats. they know it.”

The Sky News reporter then tried to ask, “What about the message that’s being sent to women who are watching?”

Trump interrupted her again.

“They did the same thing with the Russia investigation. They tried to convince people that I had something to do with Russia. There was no collusion, think of it,” he began before noting con job was “not a bad term.”

“Are you worried…” the reporter tried again, but Trump talked over her again.

Then, the president finally made mention of women, but only to say they are “so angry” by the accusations being made.

“I’ll tell you this. the people that have complained to me about it the most, about what’s happening, are women. women are very angry. you know, I got 52% with women. everyone said this couldn’t happen. 52% — women are so angry…Let her have her day in court. Let somebody else have a day in court. But the ones that I find — I mean, I have men that don’t like it but I have women that are incensed at what’s going on.”

[Mediaite]

Media

Sky News

Trump on world leaders laughing during UN speech: ‘They were laughing with me’

President Donald Trump called reports that world leaders laughed during his speech to the United Nations “fake news” during a news conference Wednesday.

“They weren’t laughing at me, they were laughing with me,” Trump told reporters Wednesday.

The president’s speech Tuesday began with him saying his administration “has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.”

The comment was followed by laughter from diplomats in the crowd and Trump saying, “I didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s OK.”

The president said the laughter was taken out of context and covered unfairly in the media.

“Well that’s fake news,” the president said. “That’s fake news and it was covered that way.”

He said the leaders “respect what I’ve done” and the crowd was having “a good time with me.”

“I said our country is now stronger than ever before, it’s true,” the president said. “And I heard a little rustle and I said it’s true and I heard smiles.”

When laughter was heard, Trump says the crowd was laughing along with him.

“We had fun,” Trump said. “They weren’t laughing at me.”

Trump’s message was an echo of comments made by UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, who said the laughs were made because world leaders love “how honest he is.”

Haley said on Fox News that the press was wrong to portray the laughter as disrespectful to the president.

“They loved how honest he is,” Haley said on the Fox and Friends show. “It’s not diplomatic and they find it funny.”

She said diplomats were “falling over themselves” to get a picture with Trump and tell him “how great his speech was.”

“They love that he’s honest with them and they’ve never seen anything like it, so there’s respect there,” she said. “I saw that the media was trying to make it something disrespectful. That’s not what it was. They love to be with him.

[USA Today]

Reality

Diplomats said they were definitely laughing at Trump at the United Nations.

Trump Didn’t Have A Meeting Scheduled With Trudeau — But He Canceled It Anyway

President Donald Trump claimed he snubbed a meeting request from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the United Nations this week. “I’ve told him forget about it,” Trump remarked Wednesday during a news conference on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

Canada, however, was quick to cry foul. No such meeting was ever requested, a Trudeau spokesman told CNN, adding: “We do not have any comment beyond that.”

The back and forth about the supposed meeting comes amid the U.S. and Canada’s acrimonious renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, and follows months of souring relations between the two North American neighbors.

Speaking at the news conference, Trump alleged he refused a “one-on-one meeting” with Trudeau because of Canada’s high dairy tariffs and poor “negotiating style.” He also took a shot at Canada’s “representative” in the NAFTA negotiations, an apparent reference to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who has been leading Canada’s negotiations with the U.S.

Trudeau’s “tariffs are too high, and he doesn’t seem to want to move, and I’ve told him forget about it, and frankly, we’re thinking about just taxing cars coming in from Canada,” Trump said. “That’s the mother lode. That’s the big one.”

He added: “We’re very unhappy with the negotiations and the negotiating style of Canada. We don’t like their representative very much.”

Trudeau and Trump were captured on camera briefly shaking hands on Tuesday during a luncheon for world leaders.

Trudeau, who was standing, tapped Trump’s shoulder to greet him. The U.S. president stayed seated as he extended his hand for a cursory handshake. Trump’s decision to stay seated during the exchange has been described as a snub and as showing a lack of diplomatic etiquette.

Trump and Trudeau share a rocky history. In June, after the G7 summit, Trudeau told reporters that Canada would retaliate with tariffs of its own following the imposition of U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum.

In response, Trump lambasted the prime minister on Twitter as being “very dishonest & weak.”

The U.S. has suggested it will forge a new NAFTA deal with just Mexico if it fails to reach an accord with its northern neighbor.

NAFTA, a trilateral trade pact comprising the U.S., Canada and Mexico, has been in force since 1994.

[Huffington Post]

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