Trump referred to Haiti and African countries as ‘shithole’ nations

President Donald Trump on Thursday referred to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries” during a meeting with a bipartisan group of senators at the White House, a Democratic aide briefed on the meeting told NBC News.

Trump’s comments were first reported by The Washington Post, which said the group of nations referred to also included El Salvador.

The comments came as senators huddled in the Oval Office with the president to discuss a path forward on an immigration deal. Trump questioned why the United States would want people from nations such as Haiti while he was being briefed on changes to the visa lottery system.

According to the aide, when the group came to discussing immigration from Africa, Trump asked why America would want immigrants from “all these shithole countries” and that the U.S. should have more people coming in from places like Norway. Thursday’s meeting came one day after Trump met with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the White House.

A source familiar with Thursday’s meeting told NBC News the president was particularly frustrated during discussions about the visa lottery system — a program Trump has railed against repeatedly in recent months.

The White House issued a statement that did not deny the remarks.

“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah told NBC Thursday, as part of a lengthy statement that did not directly dispute the language reportedly used in the meeting.

“He will always reject temporary, weak and dangerous stopgap measures that threaten the lives of hardworking Americans, and undercut immigrants who seek a better life in the United States through a legal pathway.”

It’s not the first time reports have surfaced of Trump speaking unfavorably about immigrants, and Haitians in particular. The New York Times reported in December that Trump said Haitian immigrants “all have AIDS,” during a summer 2017 meeting about immigration.

According to the Times, Trump also targeted Nigerian immigrants during that meeting, complaining that once they came the United States they would never “go back to their huts.” The White House vigorously denied the claims in the story at the time.

[NBC News]

Trump reacts to ‘Fire and Fury’ book in tweet lashing out at author and ‘Sloppy Steve’

President Trump lashed out at the author of a soon-to-be-released book about the chaotic first year of his presidency Thursday night.

In a tweet, Trump called “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” a “phony book” and claimed that he’d never spoken to its author, Michael Wolff.

“Look at this guy’s past and watch what happens to him and Sloppy Steve!” Trump wrote. He appeared to be referring to former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, whose stunning criticisms of Trump and his circle figure prominently in the title.

Trump’s tweet came hours after he had his lawyer demand that Henry Holt & Co. and Wolff stop publication the book.

Instead, the publisher expedited the book’s release to Friday, four days before it was slated to hit bookstore shelves, in response to “unprecedented demand.” Published excerpts on Wednesday and Thursday whetted that appetite and roiled Washington.

Bannon’s comments, including that it was “treasonous” and “unpatriotic” for Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner and campaign manager Paul Manafort to have met in 2016 with Russians said to have “dirt” on Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, prompted Trump on Wednesday to rebuke his former advisor, saying Bannon had “lost his mind.”

[Los Angeles Times]

Reality

Trump’s press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders admitted Michael Wolff was at the White House and members of the press corps witnessed him having a greater access than them.

Trump Threatens to End American Aid: ‘We’re Watching Those Votes’ at the U.N.

President Trump threatened on Wednesday to cut off American aid to any country that votes in favor of a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly denouncing his recent decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Mr. Trump’s statement, delivered at his last Cabinet meeting of the year, followed a letter from the American ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley, in which she warned that the United States would take note of any country that votes in favor of the measure.

“All these nations that take our money and then vote against us at the Security Council or the assembly, they take hundreds of millions of dollars and billions of dollars and they vote against us,” Mr. Trump said. “Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us, we’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”

Mr. Trump added that “people are tired of the United States — people that live here, our great citizens that love this country — they’re tired of this country being taken advantage of and we’re not going to be taken advantage of any longer.”

It is difficult to see how Mr. Trump could deliver on his threat to cut financial assistance, since it could involve cutting off aid to a number of strategic allies. The United States has given $77.4 billion in foreign aid to Egypt between 1948 and 2016, according to the Congressional Research Service, including about $1.3 billion in annual military aid since 1987.

The General Assembly is scheduled to vote on Thursday on a resolution that would condemn Mr. Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem, which is fiercely contested by Israelis and Palestinians, and urge other countries not to move their embassies to that city from Tel Aviv.

Mr. Trump said earlier this month that the United States would move its embassy to Jerusalem, though administration officials said a move was several years away because of logistical issues in constructing a new embassy complex.

On Monday, the United States used a rare veto to block a resolution in the Security Council calling for the administration to reverse its decision on Jerusalem. The vote on the resolution, which was drafted by Egypt, was 14 to 1, suggesting there would be a similarly lopsided margin against the United States in the 193-member General Assembly.

[The New York Times]

Trump says Sen. Gillibrand ‘would do anything’ for campaign cash after she calls for his resignation

President Trump lashed out Tuesday at Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who is calling for his resignation over the multiple allegations of sexual assault against him. And Trump did so in a suggestive tweet that critics say demeans women.

“Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office ‘begging’ for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump,” the president wrote on Twitter. “Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!”

“The insinuation in this tweet is clearly sexual and it’s demeaning to women,” BBC News anchor Katty Kay remarked.

Gillibrand responded in a tweet of her own.

“You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office,” she tweeted.

Gillibrand is one of at least 56 female lawmakers — all Democrats — calling for a congressional investigation into the allegations against Trump. On Monday, Gillibrand took it a step further, saying Trump should resign.

“President Trump has committed assault, according to these women, and those are very credible allegations of misconduct and criminal activity, and he should be fully investigated and he should resign,” Gillibrand told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “These allegations are credible; they are numerous. I’ve heard these women’s testimony, and many of them are heartbreaking.”

During the 2016 presidential campaign, more than a dozen women came forward, accusing the real estate mogul and former reality television star of sexual misconduct. Trump fiercely denied their claims, many of which emerged after the 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape was made public in October 2016. In the infamous tape, Trump boasted that his celebrity status allowed him to forcibly kiss and grope women.

Trump again denied the accusations on Tuesday.

[Yahoo News]

Trump tweets that he ‘seldom’ watches CNN and MSNBC — shortly after both networks cover a report on his viewing

President Trump tweeted on Monday morning that he does not watch as much television as a recent New York Times report claimed, adding that he “seldom, if ever,” tunes in to CNN or MSNBC.

The tweet posted just 28 minutes after MSNBC wrapped up a segment about the Times report and 30 minutes after CNN did the same.

The timing could be a coincidence. Or it could mean that Trump was doing the very thing he denied — watching CNN and MSNBC — shortly before he tweeted.

The Times reported on Saturday that “around 5:30 each morning, President Trump wakes and tunes into the television in the White House’s master bedroom. He flips to CNN for news, moves to ‘Fox & Friends’ for comfort and messaging ideas, and sometimes watches MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ because, friends suspect, it fires him up for the day.”One of the Times journalists who reported the story, Peter Baker, appeared on “Morning Joe” on Monday to discuss the president’s TV habit.“He likes this jolt of television he doesn’t agree with,” Baker said of Trump. “It’s kind of hate-watching. He watches something that he knows is going to rile him up. It’s like a big cup of caffeine. Most people try to avoid things that make them upset, but I think that President Trump — he gets a charge out of it.”

Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio appeared on CNN around the same time that Baker was on MSNBC and said that “people who have been around the president for any real period of time know that he is a television addict. He’s probably watching us right now.”Perhaps he was.

The White House did not respond to an inquiry about whether Trump was watching and responding to CNN and MSNBC.

[Washington Post]

Reality

Also, just the day before, Trump was critical of the coverage on CNN and MSNBC, tweeting anger that they were not covering the health of the economy. Again, this was just the day before.

Trump suggests reporter be fired over inaccurate crowd size tweet he already apologized for

President Donald Trump singled out a Washington Post reporter for repeated criticism Saturday evening, suggesting he be fired even after the reporter apologized for tweeting a misleading photo he had already deleted.

The reporter, Dave Weigel, had posted a photo of a near-empty stadium with the caption “Packed to the rafters,” inaccurately suggesting it was taken during Trump’s Florida rally on Friday. In fact, the photo was taken before the rally began.

“@DaveWeigel @WashingtonPost put out a phony photo of an empty arena hours before I arrived @ the venue, w/ thousands of people outside, on their way in,” Trump tweeted. “Real photos now shown as a I spoke. Packed house, many people unable to get in. Demand apology & retraction from FAKE NEWS WaPo!”

Weigel apologized to Trump within minutes and noted he had already deleted the inaccurate tweet.

“Sure thing: I apologize. I deleted the photo after @dmartosko told me I’d gotten it wrong. Was confused by the image of you walking in the bottom right corner,” Weigel tweeted.

“It was a bad tweet on my personal account, not a story for Washington Post. I deleted it after like 20 minutes. Very fair to call me out,” Weigel later tweeted.

But Trump continued to target Weigel even after the apology, accusing him of being deliberately misleading.

“.@daveweigel of the Washington Post just admitted that his picture was a FAKE (fraud?) showing an almost empty arena last night for my speech in Pensacola when, in fact, he knew the arena was packed (as shown also on T.V.). FAKE NEWS, he should be fired,” Trump tweeted.

[Business Insider]

Trump: CNN made ‘vicious and purposeful mistake’

President Trump on Saturday accused CNN of making a “vicious and intentional mistake” when the network was forced to correct an erroneous news report related to the Trump/Russia probe.

In an early morning tweet, Trump called on the news network to fire “those responsible,” and commented that an ABC reporter who was suspended for a separate erroneous report should be fired as well.

“Fake News CNN made a vicious and purposeful mistake yesterday. They were caught red handed, just like lonely Brian Ross at ABC News (who should be immediately fired for his “mistake”),” Trump wrote. “Watch to see if @CNN fires those responsible, or was it just gross incompetence?”

In a second tweet, the president suggested CNN change their slogan after the report to “the least trusted name in news.”

“CNN’S slogan is CNN, THE MOST TRUSTED NAME IN NEWS. Everyone knows this is not true, that this could, in fact, be a fraud on the American Public. There are many outlets that are far more trusted than Fake News CNN. Their slogan should be CNN, THE LEAST TRUSTED NAME IN NEWS!” the president tweeted.

The original CNN report posted Friday inaccurately claimed that Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., received a “heads-up” email on Sept. 4 regarding a cache of hacked documents containing Democratic information that WikiLeaks planned to release to the public. Other media outlets correctly reported that Trump Jr. and other campaign officials received the email pointing them to the WikiLeaks documents on Sept. 14, after the documents had already been made public. CNN later corrected its report.

A CNN spokesperson said there will not be disciplinary action against the reporter involved, because the reporter used multiple verified sources, following CNN’s editorial process. CNN said it does not believe there was malicious intent involved.

In the ABC News case, ABC News chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross was suspended for four weeks after he reported on-air that former national security adviser Michael Flynn was prepared to testify that Trump directed him during the campaign to make contact with Russian officials. ABC later issued a correction, saying Trump made the request after the election and before he took office.

Trump’s tweets on Saturday come hours after he blasted the news network at a rally, in which he also supported controversial GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore in Alabama.

“[CNN] should have been apologizing for the last two years,” he said during a rally in Pensacola, Fla.

[The Hill]

Trump attacks his own FBI in a series of tweets

President Donald Trump attacked his own FBI in a series of tweets on Sunday morning and said the law enforcement agency’s reputation is “in tatters.”

The president was responding to reports that a veteran FBI counterintelligence agent was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating Russian election meddling because of anti-Trump text messages.

He said after years under fired FBI director James Comey, “with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more),” the agency’s reputation “is in tatters – worst in history!'” The president also retweeted a tweet suggesting FBI Director Chris Wray “needs to clean house.”

The president said earlier Sunday he never asked Comey to stop investigating ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/03/trump-attacks-own-fbi-in-series-of-tweets.html

 

 

Trump’s morning tweetstorm appears to have been inspired by ‘Fox & Friends’

President Trump unleashed a tweetstorm Sunday morning, saying that the FBI’s reputation was “in tatters” following the tenure of former Director James B. Comey, who was fired seven months ago.

The president also suggested bias against him in the investigation being conducted by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, after news accounts said an agent was removed from Mueller’s team following an internal investigation of text messages interpreted as critical of Trump.

The agent, Peter Strzok, reportedly helped lead the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of State.

Trump’s comments closely echoed language used during Sunday morning’s episode of Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” which aired a report on Strzok under the banner, “Agent’s role in Clinton probe under review.”

At another point during “Fox & Friends,” the banner read, “Report: Anti-Trump FBI agent led Clinton email probe.”

“Now it all starts to make sense!” Trump responded.

The “Fox & Friends” hosts repeatedly referenced Comey in their discussion of Strzok, with co-host Ed Henry describing Strzok as “very close to” the former FBI director.

The morning show team also suggested that Strozk’s alleged bias was evidence that he and Comey had colluded to improperly clear Clinton of criminal charges in the email probe while somehow implicating the president’s associates in wrongdoing related to the special counsel’s Russia investigation.

Co-host Pete Hegseth summarized his concerns, saying: “Comey’s being briefed on Hillary Clinton’s email investigation by a guy who’s in the tank for Hillary Clinton, which is the greatest fear that we all have: that the deep state has infiltrated the so-called Justice Department or the FBI.”

The president appeared to echo that criticism in his tweets.

[Los Angeles Times]

Trump accused Clinton of lying but the FBI said she did not

President Donald Trump told reporters on Monday that Hillary Clinton had lied to the FBI, going on the offensive days after his former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to that same crime.

“Hillary Clinton lied many times to the FBI. Nothing happened to her. Flynn lied and they destroyed his life. I think it’s a shame,” Trump said. “Hillary Clinton, on the Fourth of July weekend, went to the FBI, not under oath. It was the most incredible thing anyone’s ever seen. She lied many times; nothing happened to her. Flynn lied, and they ruined his life. It’s very unfair.”

In alleging Clinton lies, the president is spreading a falsehood: The FBI asserts that she did not lie to them.

“We have no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI,” then-FBI Director James Comey testified under oath to the House of Representatives in July 2016 about Clinton’s handling of classified information on a private email server. “I have no basis for concluding that she was untruthful with us.”

The only accurate thing in Trump’s remarks about his former rival? That Clinton wasn’t under oath during her interview last year with the FBI.

Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday in federal court to a charge of making false statements to the FBI about his communications with Russia.

Trump’s remarks are the latest in a long stream of attacks on Clinton and defenses of Flynn since his firing. The president tweeted along the same lines on Saturday, criticizing the FBI’s decision not to record Clinton’s interview.

Trump fired Comey in May. His firing — and subsequent testimony that Trump had demanded loyalty and pressured Comey to drop his investigation into Flynn — prompted the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating the Trump team’s ties to Russia and who negotiated Flynn’s guilty plea. Trump denies that he told Comey to go easy on Flynn.

[NBC News]

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