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.”


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.”



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.


Trump Tells Duterte of Two U.S. Nuclear Subs in Korean Waters

U.S. President Donald Trump told his Philippine counterpart that Washington has sent two nuclear submarines to waters off the Korean peninsula, the New York Times said, comments likely to raise questions about his handling of sensitive information.

Trump has said “a major, major conflict” with North Korea is possible because of its nuclear and missile programs and that all options are on the table but that he wants to resolve the crisis diplomatically.

North Korea has vowed to develop a missile mounted with a nuclear warhead that can strike the mainland United States, saying the program is necessary to counter U.S. aggression.

Trump told Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Washington had “a lot of firepower over there”, according to the New York Times, which quoted a transcript of an April 29 call between the two.

“We have two submarines — the best in the world. We have two nuclear submarines, not that we want to use them at all,” the newspaper quoted Trump as telling Duterte, based on the transcript.

The report was based on a Philippine transcript of the call that was circulated on Tuesday under a “confidential” cover sheet by the Americas division of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.

In a show of force, the United States has sent the nuclear-powered USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier to waters off the Korean peninsula, where it joined the USS Michigan, a nuclear submarine that docked in South Korea in late April.

According to the Times, a senior Trump administration official in Washington, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the call and insisted on anonymity, confirmed the transcript was an accurate representation of the call between the two leaders.

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have said Trump discussed intelligence about Islamic State with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak at talks in the Oval Office this month, raising questions about Trump’s handling of secrets.

Trump also praised Duterte for doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem”, the New York Times reported, a subject that has drawn much criticism in the West.

Almost 9,000 people, many small-time users and dealers, have been killed in the Philippines since Duterte took office on June 30. Police say about one-third of the victims were shot by officers in self-defense during legitimate operations.



BuzzFeed News is reporting that “Pentagon officials are in shock after the release of a transcript between President Donald Trump and his Philippines counterpart reveals that the US military had moved two nuclear submarines towards North Korea.”

The report goes on to quote officials as saying, “We never talk about subs!”

Trump Interrupts Mistake-Free Meeting With Netanyahu to Declare He Never Mentioned ‘The Name Israel’ to the Russians

President Trump on Monday landed in Israel and met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has referred to Trump as a “true friend” of Israel.

Trump’s friendship with the Jewish state is apparently so grounded, so pure, that he would never take its name in vain — or, say, mention it to Russian officials while disclosing classified intelligence that Israel had gathered. He interrupted his otherwise successful photo opportunity with Netanyahu to say so:

Trump had never been accused of revealing Israel by name as the source of the sensitive information; in fact, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster took to the White House lectern last week to defend Trump’s disclosure by saying the president “wasn’t even aware of where that information came from.” Israeli officials had also declined to confirm that Israel had gathered the information Trump discussed with the Russians.

Rather, Trump was under fire for sharing the intelligence information in the first place — which, even if he did blab, he definitely didn’t say the information was from Israel, who knows where it came from, and he decided to defend himself against that claim while standing next to the country’s prime minister for some random and unrelated reason.

[The Week]

Wilbur Ross Surprised There Were No Protests in Saudi Arabia

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross marveled Monday morning that there was not even “a single hint or a protester” anywhere in Saudi Arabia during President Donald Trump’s visit there over the weekend, conceding only at a CNBC anchor’s prodding that the lack of unrest could have been due to the Islamic kingdom’s lack of protections for freedom of speech.

“There’s no question that they’re liberalizing their society,” said Ross, who joined Trump on the Saudi Arabian leg of his first international trip as president. “The other thing that was fascinating to me, there was not a single hint of a protester anywhere there during the whole time we were there. Not one guy with a bad placard.”

“But Secretary Ross, that may be not necessarily because they don’t have those feelings there, but because they control people and don’t allow them to come and express their feelings quite the same as we do here,” CNBC anchor Becky Quick interjected.

“In theory that could be true,” Ross conceded. “But boy there was certainly no sign of it. There was not a single effort at any incursion. There wasn’t anything. The mood was a genuinely good mood.”

As evidence that Saudi Arabia, where the law prohibits women from driving, is becoming more liberal, Ross offered that panel discussions as part of the Trump visit had included the female head of the Saudi stock exchange as well as a “very bright, very attractive young woman” on a panel on venture capitalism.

He also warmly recalled the treatment he and other U.S. officials received from their Saudi security guards, who presented Ross on his way out of the country with bushels of dates and asked to pose for photographs with the commerce secretary. He called it a “pretty from the heart, very genuine gesture” and said “it really touched me.”



Saudi Arabia is one of six countries that conducts public beheading of criminals, including those convicted of protesting.

For example:


Trump White House Calls for ‘Lasting Peach’ in the Middle East

For decades, world leaders have called for lasting peace in the Middle East. But apparently, the Trump White House wants to take a different approach.

In a press release about Trump’s Israeli visit, the President’s second stop on his nine day foreign trip, one of the major goals of the trip is to quote, “promote the possibility of lasting peach.”

This isn’t the first time the Trump administration has struggled with spelling. One day after he became President, he tweeted this out, “I am honered to serve you, the great American People, as your 45th President of the United States.” He misspelled the word honored.

He also called the act of China stealing U.S. Navy research drones an “unpresidented” act. He later deleted that tweet and fixed the error.

But then again, the folks at Merriam-Webster have practically started a second career trolling the Trump administration’s use of the English language.







Trump Cancels Visit to Ancient Masada Site after Israel Refuses Helicopter Landing

President Donald Trump has canceled a planned visit and speech at the ancient mountain fortress of Masada in Israel after authorities told him that he could not land his helicopter on top of the UNESCO-listed site.

Instead, Trump will now deliver a speech at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. It comes after an Israeli Air Force (IAF) regulation that prevents helicopters landing at the summit of the Masada site, according to Israel’s Channel 2 broadcaster.

Unlike former presidents who have made the trip, such as George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Trump declined to land the helicopter at a base of the historic site and then take the cable car up, preferring to cancel the visit altogether.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to comment, referring any matters involving Trump’s schedule to the U.S. government. The Israeli Foreign Ministry also declined to comment on Trump’s schedule.

The reason for the regulation is that helicopters on approach create dust, making landing at the desert site 1,300 feet above sea level precarious. On a previous 1997 landing by the IAF in the middle of Masada, the wind created by the helicopter caused damage to the ruins, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Masada, a UNESCO World Heritage site that the cultural agency calls a creation of “majestic beauty,” is built upon a mountain overlooking the shores of the Dead Sea in southern Israel’s Judean desert, some 60 miles southeast of Jerusalem. It is one of the country’s archaeological wonders.

King Herod is believed to have built the fortress, but its defining story is that its Jewish rebel defenders who—under threat from a Roman siege—killed themselves rather than be captured alive by the invading forces some time between 73 and 74 AD.

News of the president’s cancellation stirred reactions among observers of the American-Israeli relationship and officials inside the country. “Well Masada was too hot, so we found a great spot instead for POTUS,” Eitan Weiss, deputy spokesperson for the Israeli Foreign Ministry tweeted, appearing to mock the reason for the cancellation. “@IsraelMuseum. The Dead Sea Scrolls make an important setting.”



Trump Was Proud Of Himself For Coming Up With A Phrase That He Definitely Did Not Come Up With

On Thursday, The Economist released a lightly edited transcript of the interview, where Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn were also present.

While talking about his tax reform plan, Trump used the phrase “priming the pump” and claimed that he came up with it “a couple of days ago.” Except that the phrase dates back to the early 19th century, according to, you know, the dictionary.

Trump asked the editors from The Economist if they had had heard of the expression “prime the pump” and whether they understood it.

The Economist editors repeatedly assured him they had heard of it and even told him that the phrase was “very Keynesian.”

Trump asked again, “Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just… came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good.”

But it turns out the only way Trump came up with this phrase a couple days ago is if he is a time traveler.

Merriam-Webster — which has been known to troll the president frequently — explained that “pump priming” has been used to refer to government investment expenditures since at least 1933.


Trump Doubles Down on Civil War and Andrew Jackson Comments: ‘Saw It Coming’

After his musings about the Civil War and Andrew Jackson generated sharp reaction, President Trump appeared to double down on the comments in a tweet.

In an interview that aired on SiriusXM’s P.O.T.U.S. channel and was published by the Washington Examiner, Trump said that he didn’t understand why the Civil War was fought and that it wouldn’t have happened, “had Andrew Jackson been a little later.”

“He was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War,” Trump said of Jackson. “He said, ‘There’s no reason for this.’ ”

Jackson died in 1845 and the Civil War didn’t begin until 1861, prompting some to question Trump’s knowledge of American history.

In the tweet, Trump appeared to defend his comments, suggesting he did know that Jackson died 16 years before the war began but that the former president “saw it coming.”

(h/t Los Angeles Times)


That’s not what he said.

“Had Andrew Jackson been a little later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart,” Trump said in the interview with the Washington Examiner’s Salena Zito. “He was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War, he said, ‘There’s no reason for this.'”

And that still misses his other gaffe, of asking why the Civil War was fought in the first place:

“People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why?
People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”


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