Trump attacks Jeff Sessions for not forcing the Justice Department to ignore Republican crimes

President Donald Trump on Monday publicly criticized his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, for allowing Republican congressmen to be indicted for alleged criminal behavior.

“Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff…” Trump tweeted.

The president was apparently referring to Congressmen Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Chris Collins (R-NY). Hunter was charged with illegally using campaign funds to pay personal expenses while Collins was charged with taking part in an insider trading scheme.

“….The Democrats, none of whom voted for Jeff Sessions, must love him now. Same thing with Lyin’ James Comey. The Dems all hated him, wanted him out, thought he was disgusting – UNTIL I FIRED HIM! Immediately he became a wonderful man, a saint like figure in fact. Really sick!” Trump added in another tweet.

[Raw Story]

Donald Trump’s response to Meghan McCain’s eulogy for her dad is a MAGA tweet

Perhaps the most biting part of Meghan McCain’s eulogy for her father Sen. John McCain during Saturday’s memorial was when she went straight for President Trump’s slogan.

“The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great,” she said as part of a speech that routinely took jabs at Trump.

People in the room clapped and social media erupted. You can read her entire speech.

Meghan gave one of several eulogies in McCain’s honor Saturday when a who’s who of Washington and the world gathered at the National Cathedral for his memorial service.

President Trump was not invited and decided instead to spend time at the Trump National Golf Club in Loudoun County, Virginia, amid a morning of tweets criticizing the Department of Justice and the FBI and threatening Canada.

Hours later, though, Trump seemingly responded on Twitter with a signature-style message to “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Reviews of his response were mixed.

[USA Today]

Trump blasts FBI, DOJ over report on Carter Page surveillance warrants

President Trump slammed officials at the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) on Saturday over a report from a conservative watchdog group about the warrants to surveil former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

Trump pointed to a report from the conservative group Judicial Watch that said the court overseeing Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests held no hearings on the applications targeting Page.

In a series of tweets, Trump accused the FBI and broader Justice Department of being “completely out to lunch” when it came to fighting corruption and supposed “deep state” elements within the government.

“It is astonishing that the FISA courts couldn’t hold hearings on Spy Warrants targeting Donald Trump. It isn’t about Carter Page, it’s about the Trump Campaign. You’ve got corruption at the DOJ & FBI,’ ” Trump wrote on Twitter, quoting Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton.

“‘The leadership of the DOJ & FBI are completely out to lunch in terms of exposing and holding those accountable who are responsible for that corruption,’” he added.

Trump’s comments came a day after Judicial Watch published its report, which claimed that Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests sent to the Justice Department revealed this week that FISA courts approved a 2016 warrant to spy on Page without holding hearings beforehand to review the government’s evidence.

“Perhaps the court can now hold hearings on how justice was corrupted by material omissions that Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the DNC, a conflicted Bruce Ohr, a compromised Christopher Steele, and anti-Trumper Peter Strzok were all behind the ‘intelligence’ used to persuade the courts to approve the FISA warrants that targeted the Trump team,” Fitton wrote in the report.

Trump has frequently and inaccurately accused federal investigators of launching an probe into his campaign based solely on an unverified dossier of claims relating to Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.

A memo released by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee in February indicated that former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos sparked the investigation with a conversation to Australian officials about the possibility of Russia obtaining Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Last year, the president also shocked Washington by accusing former President Obama, without evidence, of wiretapping Trump Tower ahead of the 2016 election.

[The Hill]

Trump again threatens to ‘get involved’ in the Justice Department

President Trump on Thursday evening again threatened to “get involved” in the Department of Justice (DOJ) “if it doesn’t straighten out.”

Trump said during a rally in support of Indiana Republican Senate candidate Mike Braun that the DOJ and the FBI “have to start doing their job and doing it right and doing it now.”

“I wanted to stay out, but if it doesn’t straighten out … I will get involved and I’ll get in there if I have to,” Trump said.

The president’s comments echoed those he made in May, when he threatened to “get involved” in a rolling dispute between conservative House Republicans and the top DOJ official overseeing the Russia probe.

Trump has frequently attacked the DOJ and Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The president’s feud with the DOJ has escalated since last week, when he said during an interview on “Fox & Friends” that Sessions “never took control of the Justice Department.”

“The Dems are very strong in the Justice Department,” Trump said. “And I put in an attorney general that never took control of the Justice Department, Jeff Sessions. Never took control of the Justice Department. It’s sort of an incredible thing.”

Sessions quickly fired back, saying in a statement that the DOJ “will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.”

Weeks before that interview, Trump wrote on Twitter that Sessions should stop the special counsel’s investigation “right now.” Trump has repeatedly cast the investigation as a “witch hunt.”

Sessions has long drawn the ire of Trump for recusing himself from the Russia investigation a month after being installed at the DOJ last year.

The president’s attacks against Sessions have continued to fuel speculation that he could move to fire the attorney general at some point.

Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) both predicted last week that Trump will eventually fire Sessions.

Trump told Bloomberg News earlier in the day Thursday that Sessions would remain in his job until at least the November midterm elections, but declined to say whether he would keep Sessions after the elections.

The president appeared in Indiana on Thursday night in an effort to boost Braun, who is seeking to unseat Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) in November.

[The Hill]

Media

Trump Falsely Accuses NBC’s Lester Holt Of Getting ‘Caught Fudging’ Russia Interview

President Donald Trump has accused NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt of “fudging” an interview that NBC aired more than a year ago. “When Lester Holt got caught fudging my tape on Russia,” Trump said in a tweet early Thursday morning, providing no evidence to support his claim, “(NBC News was) hurt badly!”

Trump seems to be referring to a May 2017 interview, aired just two days after the president fired FBI director James Comey. In the interview, Trump called Comey “a showboat,” and appeared to reject an official White House explanation for the firing, telling Holt “the Russia thing” was on his mind when he decided to fire Comey. “I just said to myself, I said, ‘you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.'”

The interview was sensational enough at the time to be mocked by NBC’s Saturday Night Live, in which Holt, played by Michael Che, thinks he has finally caught the president, only to discover that nothing Trump says matters. “Wait, did I get him? Is this all over? No, I didn’t? Nothing matters? Absolutely nothing matters anymore.”

The real interview aired on Nightly News, and NBC News published an extended version online. Trump offered no explanation of how NBC might have “fudged” the interview, in which the most explosive words came from the president’s own mouth. From the time the interview aired until today, no one has accused Holt of altering the interview–and he was never “caught” or “hurt badly” as a result.

Trump’s attack on NBC came amid a Twitter rant about the media, including personal attacks on the bosses at NBC News and CNN. Trump, who has repeatedly–and falsely–claimed that CNN chief Jeff Zucker was about to be fired, on Tuesday urged AT&T to dismiss Zucker, who recently extended his contract with the network. Trump said, “Little Jeff Z has done a terrible job, his ratings suck, and AT&T should fire him to save credibility!”

Trump is also wrong about CNN’s ratings. Details released this week by Nielsen show the network had near record ratings in August and posted its second-best ratings in total day in the history of cable news’ original network. Daytime ratings were the third highest for CNN in 23 years, and all of CNN’s prime-time shows posted near-record high ratings, with Cuomo Prime Time, which just launched in June, delivering the network’s third highest August rating on record in the 9 p.m. hour.

And yet, Trump said, “the hatred and extreme bias of me by CNN has clouded their thinking and made them unable to function.” The president said the problem extended to other networks, with “NBC News being the worst. The good news is that Andy Lack(y) is about to be fired(?) for incompetence and much worse.”

Again, Trump neither explained his wild allegations nor defended his false claims, insisting only that “I just cannot state strongly enough how totally dishonest much of the Media is. Truth doesn’t matter to them, they only have their hatred and agenda.”

[Forbes]

Media

Here is the interview in full.

Trump threatens to pull out of WTO ‘if they don’t shape up’

President Trump on Thursday threatened to pull the U.S. out of the World Trade Organization (WTO) “if they don’t shape up,” a stance he has reportedly discussed in private but has denied publicly.

“If they don’t shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO,” the president told Bloomberg News in an interview.

Trump has long criticized the international body, saying in late June that the U.S. has been “treated very badly” by the group, describing it as an “unfair situation.”

At the time, the president insisted he was not considering pulling out of the WTO despite his frustrations, though Axios reported he had discussed with advisers his intentions to exit.

Leaving the WTO would upend the decades-old international trade system, which the U.S. helped establish, and roil markets around the globe.

The U.S. on Monday told the WTO that it plans to block the reappointment of one of the its four remaining judges, a move that would significantly hinder the organization’s ability to function.

If the U.S. successfully blocks the appointment of Judge Shree Baboo Chekitan Servansing, the WTO would only have three judges, the bare minimum to continue operations.

Two of the WTO judges’ terms expire in December of next year.

Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker recently agreed to work towards a trade agreement that would involve reforming the WTO.

Multiple nations have filed complaints about Trump’s escalating tariffs with the WTO, including China. Trump is reportedly planning to impose $200 billion tariffs on Chinese imports as soon as next week, on top of the billions of dollars of tariffs he has already implemented.

[The Hill]

Trump shares video accusing Google of not promoting his State of the Union addresses

President Trump on Wednesday shared a video that showed Google advertising former President Obama’s State of the Union speeches but not his, escalating his battle with the tech giant over what he claims is bias against conservatives.

Trump shared the video with the caption “#StopTheBias.”

“For years, Google promoted President Obama’s State of the Union on its homepage. When President Trump took office, Google stopped,” the video reads, followed by a montage showing Google’s home page the night of each State of the Union speech dating back to 2012.

But Google said the search engine did promote Trump’s 2018 State of the Union speech on the Google homepage. The search engine acknowledged that it did not promote the speech in 2017.

“We have historically not promoted the first address to Congress by a new President, which is technically not a State of the Union address,” a spokesperson told The Hill. “As a result, we didn’t include a promotion on google.com for this address in either 2009 or 2017.

Trump has in recent days taken on Google as part of broader attacks on social media companies over what he claims is anti-conservative bias.

“I think Google and Facebook and Twitter, I think they treat conservatives and Republicans very unfairly,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday.

He demurred when asked if he would consider regulating Google and other companies.

“We just want fairness. We’re just going to see,” Trump said.

The president first took aim at Google on Tuesday, when he sent a series of early morning tweets characterizing Google’s search results as being biased against the president and other conservatives, a claim the company promptly rejected.

“Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake News Media,” Trump wrote. “In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out,” Trump tweeted.

The president did not cite evidence for his claim, but appeared to be referencing a study that originated on the conservative blog PJ Media. The author acknowledged that the results are “not scientific.”

Trump’s criticism of technology companies comes as other Republicans in Congress, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), have accused technology firms of being biased against conservatives.

McCarthy quickly shared Trump’s video on Wednesday.

[The Hill]

Reality

Google homepage linking to the GEOTUS address from The_Donald

Trump Rips Veteran Reporter Carl Bernstein as ‘Sloppy’ Over CNN Report: ‘Thinks Like a Degenerate Fool’

President Donald Trump tweeted tonight about the scrutiny surrounding CNN right now over Lanny Davis‘ backpedaling raising questions about their Trump Tower report from a few weeks ago.

To recap: the initial CNN report from Carl Bernstein, Jim Sciutto, and Marshall Cohen said that Michael Cohen was claiming President Donald Trump knew about the infamous Trump Tower meeting ahead of time. They cited multiple sources and said David, Cohen’s lawyer, declined to comment.

In recent days Davis has admitted to, behind the scenes, confirming the story when he didn’t know it for a fact. He also claimed to be one of CNN’s sources, something he didn’t mention when criticizing the reporting on CNN’s own air recently. CNN has made clear they are standing by their story, noting the report had more than one source.

Tonight Trump tore into not just CNN, but veteran reporter Bernstein in particular, calling him “sloppy” and a “degenerate fool”:

CNN is being torn apart from within based on their being caught in a major lie and refusing to admit the mistake. Sloppy @carlbernstein, a man who lives in the past and thinks like a degenerate fool, making up story after story, is being laughed at all over the country! Fake News.”

Earlier today Trump attacked the media for stories citing anonymous sources, saying, “The fact is that many anonymous sources don’t even exist. They are fiction made up by the Fake News reporters. Look at the lie that Fake CNN is now in. They got caught red handed! Enemy of the People!” and “When you see ‘anonymous source,’ stop reading the story, it is fiction!”

[Mediaite]

Trump asks ‘how the hell’ Bruce Ohr still works at the Justice Department

President Donald Trump on Wednesday launched another pointed attack against Bruce Ohr, the Justice Department official who has drawn intense scrutiny from Capitol Hill Republicans, asking on Twitter “how the hell” he still has a job at the DOJ.

“How the hell is Bruce Ohr still employed at the Justice Department? Disgraceful! Witch Hunt!” Trump tweeted.

The message came one day after Ohr appeared behind closed doors with congressional investigators, who grilled him about the timing of his contacts with Fusion GPS, the firm that worked with former British spy Christopher Steele to create and distribute a salacious dossier about Trump’s relationship with Russia.

As a senior Justice Department staffer, Ohr passed along Steele’s information to the FBI, even after the bureau had terminated its formal relationship with Steele over media leaks.

Trump has regularly attacked Ohr on Twitter, accusing him of being emblematic of corruption at the Justice Department that he says is fueling special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.

[Politico]

Don McGahn to leave job as White House counsel, Trump says

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that Don McGahn will leave his job as White House counsel this fall following Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

“White House Counsel Don McGahn will be leaving his position in the fall, shortly after the confirmation (hopefully) of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. I have worked with Don for a long time and truly appreciate his service!” Trump tweeted.

McGahn’s departure will close the book on a tumultous relationship that has been both a boon for Trump’s agenda and a test of the limits of Trump’s executive authority. McGahn has been the key architect of Trump’s successful efforts to reshape the federal courts — sealing a lasting part of Trump’s conservative legacy — but he has also repeatedly clashed with the President over his attempts to interfere in the Justice Department’s investigation of Russian interference and any collusion with the Trump campaign.

That strained relationship once again resurfaced earlier this month with the disclosure that McGahn has cooperated extensively with special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, participating in several interviews spanning 30 hours over the last nine months. The conversations unnerved Trump, who didn’t know the full extent of McGahn’s discussions, two people familiar with his thinking said.

Trump’s announcement comes as Mueller’s investigation continues to consume much of the President’s focus amid questions of potential obstruction of justice into the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

But McGahn’s departure was anticipated before the disclosure of his extensive cooperation with Mueller’s team. Earlier this month, sources close to the White House said McGahn was likely to leave his White House post after Kavanaugh’s confirmation — with McGahn hoping to first notch a second successful Supreme Court nomination.

Emmet Flood, who now directs the Russia legal strategy from inside the White House, is a potential replacement, CNN reported last week. McGahn fought to bring Flood onto the team and likes him very much, a source close to the White House said.

The news of McGahn’s eventual departure comes amid the advancement of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, which is set to start in less than a week and last three or four days, according to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley.

[CNN]

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