Finland Says No Fighter Deal with Boeing After Trump’s Ad-Lib Comments

President Sauli Niinisto on Tuesday denied that Finland was buying new fighter jets from American planemaker Boeing (BA.N), following remarks by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Finland is looking to replace its ageing fleet of 62 F/A-18 Hornet jets with multirole fighter aircraft in a procurement estimated at 7-10 billion euros by 2025.

“One of the things that is happening is you’re purchasing large amounts of our great F-18 aircraft from Boeing and it’s one of the great planes, the great fighter jets,” Trump said on Monday at a news conference with his Finnish counterpart in the White House.

Niinisto, who was standing next to Trump, looked surprised but did not follow up on the comment. He later denied the deal with Boeing on his Twitter account and on Tuesday in Washington.

“It seems that on the sale side, past decisions and hopes about future decisions have mixed … The purchase is just starting, and that is very clear here,” Niinisto told Finnish reporters.

Helsinki is expected to request that European and U.S. planemakers provide quotations for new jets in 2018, with a final decision made in the early 2020s.

A government working group has listed possible candidates as Saab’s (SAABb.ST) Jas Gripen, Dassault Aviation’s (AVMD.PA) Rafale, Boeing’s Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin’s (LMT.N) F-35 and the Eurofighter, made by Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain.

[Reuters]

Trump: I Pardoned Arpaio During Hurricane Because I Thought TV Ratings Would Be Higher

President Trump on Monday said he announced his pardon of former Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio as Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas because he “assumed the ratings would be far higher.”

“In the middle of a hurricane, even though it was a Friday evening, I assumed the ratings would be far higher than they would be normally,” Trump said during a press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö. “You know, the hurricane was just starting.”

“He’s done a great job for the people of Arizona, he’s very strong on borders, very strong on illegal immigration,” Trump said about Arpaio. “I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly when they came down with their big decision to go get him right before the election voting started.”

Democrats blasted Trump on Friday for announcing his pardon of Arpaio as Harvey made landfall, with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) accusing Trump of “using the cover of the storm” to issue the pardon.

The White House announced Trump’s decision to pardon Arpaio on Friday night in a statement.

“Throughout his time as Sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration,” the White House said.

“Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now eighty-five years old, and after more than fifty years of admirable service to our Nation, he is a worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon.”

Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt after he disobeyed a federal judge’s order to stop racially profiling individuals suspected of illegally entering the U.S.

[The Hill]

Media

Trump Unloads On GOP Leaders, Clapper and Media in Typo-Riddled Twitter Rant

President Trump fired off a series of tweets on Thursday morning, attacking Republican leaders in Congress, defending the wildly shifting tones in his recent speeches and retweeting a crude photo collage of him “eclipsing” former President Barack Obama in a typo-riddled tirade.

Trump began by accusing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan of not following his advice on debt-ceiling negotiations.

“I requested that Mitch M & Paul R tie the Debt Ceiling legislation into the popular V.A. Bill (which just passed) for easy approval,” the president tweeted. “They didn’t do it so now we have a big deal with Dems holding them up (as usual) on Debt Ceiling approval. Could have been so easy-now a mess!”

Those tweets came just hours after the White House issued a statement saying Trump and McConnell “remain unified on many shared priorities” and will meet when Congress returns from its August recess.

The statement seemed to be in response to a New York Times report that the relationship between the president and McConnell has “disintegrated” to the point where the Senate majority leader is now privately questioning whether Trump can even save his presidency.

According to the Times, Trump “berated” McConnell during an Aug. 9 phone call “that quickly devolved into a profane shouting match.”

“During the call, which Mr. Trump initiated on Aug. 9 from his New Jersey golf club, the president accused Mr. McConnell of bungling the health care issue,” the Times reported. “He was even more animated about what he intimated was the Senate leader’s refusal to protect him from investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 election.”

The president also criticized the media’s scrutiny of the shifting tone of his back-to-back-to-back speeches, misspelling the words “there” and “too.”

“The Fake News is now complaining about my different types of back to back speeches. Well, their was Afghanistan (somber), the big Rally (enthusiastic, dynamic and fun) and the American Legion – V.A. (respectful and strong),” Trump tweeted. “To bad the Dems have no one who can change tones!”

He wasn’t done.

Trump then ripped James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, who told CNN on Tuesday that the president’s fiery speech in Phoenix left him questioning the commander in chief’s fitness for office.

“James Clapper, who famously got caught lying to Congress, is now an authority on Donald Trump. Will he show you his beautiful letter to me?” Trump tweeted.

Amid the barrage, the president paused to retweet a meme-like photo of his face crossing in front of Obama’s, above the message “Best Eclipse Ever.”

[Yahoo News]

Update

Jerry Travone, whose meme Trump retweeted, turns out to be another white supremacist. Trump has a pattern of retweeting them.

Trump Retweets Then Deletes Post Calling Him a Fascist

President Donald Trump on Tuesday shared a Twitter post with his followers that called him a “fascist.”

The Twitter exchange began Tuesday morning when Trump retweeted a post from the account of Fox News’ morning show “Fox & Friends” linking to a story about the possibility of the president pardoning former Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was recently convicted of criminal contempt by a judge in Arizona. Arpaio, a controversial figure for, among other practices, his aggressive enforcement of immigration law, was a vocal Trump supporter during last year’s election.

A Twitter user named Mike Holden responded to the “Fox & Friends” post by writing “he’s a fascist, so not unusual,” which Trump then retweeted from his own account. Holden later clarified that his “fascist” label had been directed at Trump.

Minutes later, the president undid his retweet without explanation.

The president also retweeted a post from another user featuring a cartoon depicting a train with “Trump” written on the side running over an individual with a CNN logo for its head. The post was similar to one that landed Trump in hot water earlier this summer, when the president posted an animated image of himself from a professional wrestling appearance tackling an individual with a CNN logo for a head. Trump’s Tuesday morning CNN cartoon was quickly removed from Trump’s feed.

One retweet that remained on the president’s feed came Monday night from alt-right figure Jack Posobiec, who complained online that violent crime in Chicago had not received the same media attention as a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Posobiec is active in alt-right social media circles and has posted tweets promoting baseless conspiracy theories alleging that prominent Democrats had run a child sex ring out of a Washington, D.C., pizzeria.

[Politico]

Trump – Once Again – Fails to Condemn White Supremacists

President Donald Trump, a man known for his bluntness, was anything but on Saturday, failing to name the white supremacists or alt-right groups at the center of violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Instead, the man whose vicious attacks against Hillary Clinton, John McCain, federal judges, fellow Republican leaders and journalists helped define him both in and out of the White House simply blamed “many sides.”

Trump stepped to the podium at his New Jersey golf resort and read a statement on the clashes, pinning the “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. “It has been going on for a long time in our country — not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama,” he said. “It has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America.”

Fellow Republicans slammed Trump’s lack of directness and attempt to inject moral equivalence into the situation of chaos and terror.

“We should call evil by its name,” tweeted Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, the most senior Republican in the Senate. “My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.”

“Very important for the nation to hear @POTUS describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists,” tweeted Sen. Marco Rubio, a competitor for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

“Mr. President – we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism,” tweeted Sen. Cory Gardner, a Colorado Republican.

Scott Jennings, a former special assistant to President George W. Bush, said Trump’s speech was not his “best effort,” and faulted the President for “failure to acknowledge the racism, failure to acknowledge the white supremacy, failure to acknowledge the people who are marching around with Nazi flags on American soil.”

In his decades of public life, Trump has never been one to hold back his thoughts, and that has continued in the White House, where in his seven months as President it has become clear that he views conflicts as primarily black-and-white.

Trump’s Twitter account has become synonymous for blunt burns, regularly using someone’s name when he feels they slighted him or let him down. Trump, in just the last week, has used his Twitter account to call out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell by name, charge Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal with crying “like a baby” and needle media outlets by name.

His campaign was defined by his direct attacks. He pointedly attacked Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim U.S. soldier killed in Iraq in 2004, for his speech at the Democratic National Committee that challenged his understanding of the Constitution, suggested federal Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel was unable to be impartial because of his Mexican heritage and said in a CNN interview that Fox News’ Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her wherever” after she questioned him at a debate.

Even before Trump was a presidential candidate, he was driven by a guiding principle imparted on him by Roy Cohn, his lawyer-turned-mentor: “If they screw you, screw them back 10 times as hard.”

“What happens is they hit me and I hit them back harder,” he told Fox News in 2016. “That’s what we want to lead the country.”

Criticized others for not quickly calling attacks ‘terrorism’

On Saturday at his Bedminster resort, Trump’s bluntness gave way to vagueness as he failed to mention the impetus behind the violence that left at least one person dead in the streets of Charlottesville.

In doing so, Trump left it to anonymous White House officials to explain his remarks, leaving the door open to questions about his sincerity and why he won’t talk about the racists at the heart of the protests.

“The President was condemning hatred, bigotry and violence from all sources and all sides,” a White House official said. “There was violence between protesters and counter protesters today.”

By being equivocal, Trump also failed to follow the same self-proclaimed rules he used to hammer other politicians.

Trump constantly slammed Obama and Clinton during his run for the presidency for failing to label terrorist attacks as such. He called out the two Democrats for failing to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.”

“These are radical Islamic terrorists and she won’t even mention the word, and nor will President Obama,” Trump said during an October 9 presidential debate. “Now, to solve a problem, you have to be able to state what the problem is or at least say the name.”
Trump declined to do just that on Saturday, as video of white nationalists flooded TV screens across the country hours after a smaller group marched through Charlottesville at night holding tiki torches and chanted, “You will not replace us.”

Instead, Trump called for “a swift restoration of law and order” and said the federal government was “ready, willing and able” to provide “whatever other assistance is needed.” He saluted law enforcement for their response and said he spoke with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, about the attack.

But the businessman-turned-president also touted his own economic achievements during his brief speech, mentioning employment numbers and recent companies that decided to relocate to the United States.

“We have so many incredible things happening in our country, so when I watch Charlottesville, to me it is very, very sad,” he said.

White nationalists tie themselves to Trump

The reality for Trump is that his presidency helped white nationalists gain national attention, with groups drafting off his insurgent candidacy by tying themselves to the President and everything he stood for.

After the election, in a November 2016 interview with The New York Times, Trump disavowed the movement and said he did not intend to energize the alt-right.

“I don’t want to energize the group, and I disavow the group,” Trump told a group of Times reporters and columnists during a meeting at the newspaper’s headquarters in New York.

He added: “It’s not a group I want to energize, and if they are energized, I want to look into it and find out why.”

But men like David Duke, possibly the most famous white nationalist, directly tied Saturday’s protests to Trump.

“We are determined to take this country back. We’re gonna fulfill the promises of Donald Trump,” Duke said in an interview with The Indianapolis Star on Saturday in Charlottesville. “That’s why we voted for Donald Trump because he said he’s going to take our country back.”

When Trump tweeted earlier on Saturday that everyone “must be united & condemn all that hate stands for,” Duke grew angry, feeling that the man who help bring white nationalist to this point was slamming them. He urged Trump — via Twitter — to “take a good look in the mirror & remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists.”

Though earlier in the day Trump billed Saturday’s event as a press conference, the President declined to respond to shouted question that would have allowed him to directly take on white nationalists.

“Mr. President, do you want the support of these white nationalist groups who say they support you, Mr. President? Have you denounced them strongly enough,” one reporter shouted.

“A car plowing into people, would you call that terrorism sir?” another asked.
Trump walked out of the room.

[CNN]

Trump Incorrectly Labels Philippines Robbery a Terror Attack

President Donald Trump incorrectly labeled violence in the Philippines on Thursday a “terrorist attack” just minutes before officials said it was the result of a suspected robbery.
Trump, before announcing the United States was leaving the Paris climate agreement, opened the event by saying “our thoughts and our prayers” are with those affected by the “terrorist attack in Manila.”

“We are closely monitoring the situation and I will continue to give updates, anything happens, during this period of time,” he said. “But is really pretty sad what is going on throughout the world with terror. Our thoughts and our prayers are with all of those affected.”

But officials on the ground in the Philippines said the opposite.

Shortly after Trump’s comment, Philippines national police chief General Dela Rosa said the shooting incident at a Manila resort was an attempt by a lone thief to rob gamblers rather than a terrorist attack.

This was echoed by Resorts World Manila Chief Operating Officer Steven James Riley, who told reporters gathered outside the building that only one assailant was involved.
“At the moment we only know of one suspect,” he said.

Trump was briefed by national security adviser H.R. McMaster on the Philippines incident before he went into the Rose Garden, a White House official said. The official declined to comment on whether the incident was called a terrorist attack in the briefing or if Trump would like to amend his statement.

A spokesman for the National Security Council did not respond to request for comment.

[CNN]

Spicer offers cryptic explanation for Trump ‘covfefe’ tweet

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Wednesday offered a cryptic explanation for President Trump’s incomplete, misspelled tweet that went viral overnight.

“The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant,” Spicer told reporters.

The spokesman’s refusal to admit Trump made a mistake prompted laughter from members of the media at the White House.

Spicer said he wasn’t concerned about the president posting confusing tweets late at night.

Shortly after midnight, Trump tweeted, “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.”

The message unleashed a torrent of reactions from Twitter users who tried to define the term – or simply made fun of it.

Trump deleted the tweet shortly before 6 a.m., and posted a new message that read, “Who can figure out the true meaning of ‘covfefe’ ???”

[The Hill]

Media

Trump Raged at Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas In Bethlehem Meeting: ‘You Lied To Me’

President Trump reportedly lashed out at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in their meeting in the West Bank city of Bethlehem last Tuesday.

“You tricked me in D.C.! You talked there about your commitment to peace, but the Israelis showed me your involvement in incitement [against Israel],” he allegedly said to Abbas, according to Israel’s Channel 2 broadcaster, which cited a U.S. official present at the meeting. It said the Palestinian delegation were shocked by the outburst.

The Israeli government blames the Palestinian leadership and Abbas’s Fatah faction for inciting violence among young Palestinians, who from September 2015 onward launched a series of violent and deadly attacks with knives, guns and vehicles in Jerusalem and the West Bank. The Palestinians say it is Israel’s military occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank that pushed them to violence. The violence slowed in mid-2016.

At their meeting in Washington on May 3, Trump told Abbas to end incitement and “resolve” a Palestinian policy of paying the families of Palestinians convicted of terror offenses under Israeli law. Abbas said “we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Abbas’s remarks were “not true” as his Palestinian Authority names “schools after mass murders of Israelis.”

Trump is earning a reputation for lecturing world leaders. In February, he reportedly shouted on a call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull about a refugee settlement deal reached with his predecessor, Barack Obama.

“When you hear about the tough phone calls I’m having, don’t worry about it. Just don’t worry about it. They’re tough,” he said at a prayer breakfast the day after the call. “We’re taken advantage of by every nation in the world virtually. It’s not going to happen any more.”

Trump arrived in Bethlehem on Tuesday for a whistlestop meeting with Abbas with security at its highest level in the West Bank city. He had met with Netanyahu a day earlier. He said that with “ determination, compromise, and the belief that peace is possible,” Israelis and Palestinians could make a deal.

In Bethlehem, shops shuttered and Palestinian security forces lined the main roads as Palestinians held a “Day of Rage” in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners, who have since stopped that strike. The pair held a joint press conference at the city’s presidential palace but, despite visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Trump passed on visiting the Church of the Nativity, the alleged birthplace of Jesus.

Publicly, Trump was kinder about his Palestinian counterpart, saying he was a willing peace partner. “I truly believe if Israel and the Palestinians can make peace, it will begin a process for peace in the Middle East,” Trump said during the conference. “Abbas assures me he is ready to work toward that goal in good faith, and Netanyahu has promised the same. I look forward to working with these leaders toward a lasting peace.”

Abbas said the Palestinians would work for peace but their “fundamental problem is with the occupation and settlements and the failure of Israel to recognize the state of Palestine as we recognize it.” He said their problem was not with “Judaism.”

[Newsweek]

Trump Shoved the Montenegro Prime Minister at NATO

During his first joint meeting with North Atlantic Treaty Organization leaders, President Trump on Thursday appeared to push aside the prime minister of Montenegro.

In a video of the interaction, the president comes up from behind and then shoves Montenegro’s Dusko Markovic to get to the front of the group of world leaders. Trump then adjusts his jacket.

Markovic appears to be taken aback at first, but after seeing that it was Trump, he smiles and pats Trump on the back.

[USA Today]

HUD Secretary Ben Carson: Poverty is Largely ‘A State of Mind’

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said in an interview Wednesday that having “the wrong mindset” contributes to poverty.

“I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind,” the retired neurosurgeon said during an interview with SiriusXM Radio released on Wednesday evening. “You take somebody that has the right mindset, you can take everything from them and put them on the street, and I guarantee in a little while they’ll be right back up there. And you take somebody with the wrong mindset, you could give them everything in the world, they’ll work their way right back down to the bottom.”

The former 2016 presidential candidate, who was appointed by President Donald Trump and confirmed to his Cabinet post in March, argued parents can help prevent their kids from developing the “wrong mindset.”

“A lot of it has to do with what we teach children,” he said. “You have to instill into that child the mindset of a winner.”

He went to say that “there’s also a poverty of spirit. You develop a certain mindset.”

Carson said the government can provide help to those in need.

“I think the majority of people don’t have that defeatist attitude, but they sometimes just don’t see the way, and that’s where government can come in and be very helpful,” he added. “It can provide the ladder of opportunity, it can provide the mechanism that will demonstrate to them what can be done.”

[CNN]

Reality

This is not the first time Carson’s opinions have been viewed as controversial.

In March 2014, in an interview with conservative news outlet Breitbart, Carson compared the modern American government to Nazi Germany.

In 2015, Carson made headlines for saying he believes Egyptian pyramids were used to store grain.

And for reference, Ben Carson has never known poverty and currently lives in his third home in Virginia, estimated at $1.22 million dollars.

Media

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