Trump Fires Back at Criticism from Robert Gates

Twitter

Donald Trump took to Twitter early Saturday morning to lob an attack at Robert Gates, after the former Defense secretary said he is “beyond repair” on national security.

“I never met former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. He knows nothing about me. But look at the results under his guidance – a total disaster!” the GOP presidential nominee tweeted.

Gates on Friday criticized both Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on military issues, writing in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that “neither candidate has seriously addressed how he or she thinks about the military or the use of force.”

Gates specifically ripped Trump for “naive and irresponsible” expressions of admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin, and for a Middle East plan he called a “dangerous approach oblivious to the reality” of the region.

“Mr. Trump is also willfully ignorant about the rest of the world, about our military and its capabilities, and about government itself,” he wrote.

“He disdains expertise and experience while touting his own — such as his claim that he knows more about ISIS than America’s generals. He has no clue about the difference between negotiating a business deal and negotiating with sovereign nations.”

Gates and Trump have gone after each other throughout the presidential campaign.

Gates ripped Trump in May for appearing unwilling to accept advice from foreign policy experts, and Trump responded that he’s “not a big fan” of the former Defense secretary, who served under President Bush as well as President Obama.

Trump Describes The “Trumpertantrum” He Would Throw Over Air Force One Staircase Mishap at G-20

Donald Trump said Monday that he would have left the G-20 summit in China over a logistical flap that left President Obama disembarking Air Force One onto a plain metal staircase.

The president’s subdued arrival on Saturday afternoon, from a secondary exit on the presidential plane, stood in contrast to other world leaders who departed their planes onto red-carpeted stairs — and some, including Trump, perceived it as a snub by Chinese officials.

They won’t even give him stairs, proper stairs to get out of the airplane. You see that? They have pictures of other leaders who are … coming down with a beautiful red carpet. And Obama is coming down a metal staircase,” Trumps said Monday at the beginning of a roundtable with labor leaders in Brook Park, Ohio.

“I’ve got to tell you, if that were me, I would say, ‘You know what, folks, I respect you a lot but close the doors, let’s get out of here,’” he added. “It’s a sign of such disrespect.”

The Clinton campaign quickly seized on the comments and criticized Trump’s temperament. “Temperament Update: Trump would leave G-20 mtg b/c the staircase offended him and he was wrong abt the staircase,” tweeted Clinton spokesperson Jesse Ferguson.

Trump has regularly accused Obama of failing to show strength against foreign leaders and has pointed specifically to Air Force One arrivals to make his point. He made similar claims that Obama had provoked a national embarrassment when Obama visited Cuba and Saudi Arabia earlier this year, calling decisions by the heads of state not to greet Obama at the airport “unprecedented.”

“The truth is they [other countries] don’t respect us. When President Obama landed in Cuba on Air Force One, no leader was there, nobody, to greet him. Perhaps an incident without precedent in the long and prestigious history of Air Force One. Then, amazingly, the same thing happened in Saudi Arabia. It’s called no respect,” Trump said in April.

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker rated that comment false, giving it four Pinocchios and noting that heads of state have opted not to greet American presidents on airport tarmacs in the past.

Trump, talking about the staircase, added that he “guaranteed it was built in China, it wasn’t built here, okay?” The stairs in question, which folded out from the center of the plane, were part of Air Force One.

(h/t Washington Post)

Reality

This is yet more evidence that Donald Trump does not have the temperament to be a world leader on a global stage if he would throw a fit over a small logistical mishap.

Media

Trump Changed Immigration Policy After Mexican Leader’s Wall Tweet

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton once said, “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.” Today she was proven correct.

As Donald Trump arrived in Phoenix late Wednesday, fresh from a visit to Mexico City’s presidential palace, he had in his hands a big immigration speech that omitted the usual line that Mexico would have to pay for his proposed wall along the U.S. southern border.

Just after landing, though, Mr. Trump discovered that Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto had tweeted that he had told the Republican presidential nominee during their private meeting earlier that day that his country would refuse to pay for the wall.

Mr. Trump was peeved that Mr. Peña Nieto had gone public with the fact that the Mexican president had broken what Mr. Trump considered a deal to keep the question of paying for the wall off the table at their initial meeting.

So Mr. Trump hurriedly inserted a new sentence in his immigration speech, and he soon boomed out from the podium his traditional declaration that the wall would be paid for by Mexico—adding, “They don’t know it yet but they’re going to pay for the wall.”

“I had no choice,” Mr. Trump said in an interview on Thursday. But he also said of the Mexican president, “I liked him very much.”

(h/t Fox News)

Reality

But yes he did, Trump could have kept the speech as it was written. The apparent lack of choice by the Republican candidate is further proof that he does not have a temperament fit for the office of the President of the United States of America.

Trump Whines That “Lowest Form of Life” Journalists Report on What He Says

Donald Trump has increasingly organized his general-election effort around antagonizing the press. He dedicates long sections of his speeches and innumerable tweets to savaging individual outlets, and claiming that media bias could effectively “rig” the election for Hillary Clinton.

At times, his enthusiasm for venting anger about the news media has seemed to rival his interest in criticizing Mrs. Clinton. In Erie, Pa., on Friday, Mr. Trump swerved back and forth between attacks on Mrs. Clinton and an extended airing of grievances about the press.

The news media, he said, was determined to cover up Mrs. Clinton’s missteps and highlight his own. (Mr. Trump allowed that Fox News, home to several anchors who openly favor his candidacy, was an exception.)

“These people are the lowest form of life, I’m telling you,” he said, pointing at the journalists covering his rally. “They are the lowest form of humanity.”

In Altoona, Pa., on Friday evening, Mr. Trump continued his diatribe: “It is so ridiculous, the pile on,” he complained of the coverage of his campaign. “Every single day, story after story after story.”

Mr. Trump’s crowd-pleasing allegations of news media malevolence also serve a tactical purpose: Providing him license to revise or play down his remarks. After stating several times this week that he considered Mr. Obama to be the founder of the Islamic State, Mr. Trump reversed course on Friday with a declaration that he had only been speaking sarcastically and that the press simply did not understand.

In Pennsylvania, he reiterated that he had been sarcastic, but added: “Not that sarcastic, to be honest with you.”

Republicans often complain about the national news media, arguing that most reporters and publications are tilted against them. In the 1992 presidential race, Republicans even produced a bumper sticker urging voters to “annoy the media” by re-electing President George Bush. And in his 2016 primary campaign, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida accused the press of being the equivalent of a “super PAC” for Democrats.

On the Democratic side, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont fulminated this year about the “corporate media,” which he described as hostile to liberal ideals. And aides and supporters of Mrs. Clinton routinely complain that reporters treat her unfairly.

But the Trump campaign has made accusations of news media bias a pervasive theme, and has attacked publications and reporters with virulence. Since last year, Mr. Trump has made a practice of riling up his crowds with mockery of the media, often pointing to the press risers and describing reporters as dishonest.

In Erie on Friday, his audience jeered each time Mr. Trump mentioned a news outlet, and at one point many in the crowd turned their backs on him to face the press and express their contempt with a variety of shouts and gestures. “Dinosaur media is failing!” one man yelled.

Mr. Trump’s slashing attacks have generated embarrassing scenes for his campaign, as agitated Trump fans have acted on his goading. On Thursday night, video circulated widely online of an angry Trump supporter berating reporters and making an obscene gesture in their direction in Kissimmee, Fla. In one instance during the primaries, Katy Tur, a reporter for NBC News, reported she was escorted to her car by the Secret Service after a rally in which Mr. Trump assailed her by name.

If bashing the media proved an effective way of rallying the Republican base to his side during the primaries, Mr. Trump must now prove himself to a broader community of voters in the general election, who are far less preoccupied with the notion of press bias. Republican strategists see Mr. Trump’s offensive mainly as an exercise in thin-skinned defensiveness, rather than a shrewd political strategy.

Kevin Madden, a former spokesman for Mitt Romney’s and George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns, said Mr. Trump was veering away from issues actually weighing on swing voters, which he said were “economy and security-focused.”

“Whining about media coverage is just that: It’s whining,” Mr. Madden said. Of complaints, Mr. Madden said: “Any campaign that tells you it makes a difference with swing voters is just lying to themselves and lazy, because it’s easier than developing an actual strategy or message.”

(h/t New York Times)

Media

Kissimmee , FL – 8/11/2016

Erie, PA – 8/12/2016

Altoona, PA – 8/12/2016

 

Trump Doubles Down on Criticism of Khan Family as Blowback Continues

Republican nominee Donald Trump, facing backlash over his controversial remarks about the family of slain Army Capt. Humayun Kahn, continued to aggressively push back against critics.

During an interview on CNN’s “New Day,” where Khizr Khan and Ghazala Khan, the parents of Humayun Kkhan, shared memories of their son and discussed Trump’s ignorance of the Constitution, Trump himself was apparently watching because he sent out this tweet:

This came to the attention of CNN host Dan Berman who asked for a response. Khizr Khan extended to Donald Trump and his Republican supporters a plea for unity and empathy. He stressed the need to work with Muslim communities to combat radicalization, while again slamming Trump for his divisive rhetoric.

“Communities coming together is the solution. We are as concerned as Donald Trump is about the safety of this country. We are a testament to the goodness of this country,” he said. “We need a leader that will unite us, not disrespect, not by derogatory remarks. I feel bad about the discourse that this campaign, this election campaign has taken.”

“That’s all I wish to convey to him. That a good leader has one trait — earlier I said — empathy.”

Trump then tweeted his perceived lack of respect for the family of a fallen U.S. soldier served as a distraction from issues that were more pertinent to the presidential campaign.

“This story is not about Mr. Khan, who is all over the place doing interviews, but rather RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM and the U.S. Get smart!” Trump tweeted in reference to the appearance.

Moreover, the families of 11 fallen service members have demanded an apology for “repugnant” and “personally offensive” remarks made by Trump, in a letter published by VoteVets Action Fund, the progressive advocacy wing of the political action committee for VoteVets.org.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan praised the sacrifices made by the Khan family, in statements made over the weekend. Without naming Trump, they implied that his criticism of the Khan family and his proposal to temporarily bar Muslims from entering the U.S. ran contrary to American values.

“All Americans should value the patriotic service of the patriots who volunteer to selflessly defend us in the armed services. And as I have long made clear, I agree with the Khans and families across the country that a travel ban on all members of a religion is simply contrary to American values,” McConnell wrote.

In a similar statement, Ryan said, “America’s greatness is built on the principles of liberty and preserved by the men and women who wear the uniform to defend it. As I have said on numerous occasions, a religious test for entering our country is not reflective of these fundamental values. I reject it.”

John McCain joined the chorus of Republicans condemning Donald Trump’s attacks saying in statement, “Arizona is watching. It is time for Donald Trump to set the example for our country and the future of the Republican Party. While our party has bestowed upon him the nomination, it is not accompanied by unfettered license to defame those who are the best among us.”

Ghazala Khan told CNN, “I’m so happy to be saying that I’m a Muslim woman. I’m very glad to be in this country.”

“Someone has to pay a price for this freedom that we have,” she added about her son’s service.

Also, in an opinion article published in The Washington Post, Ms. Khan rebuked Mr. Trump for suggesting earlier in the weekend that she had not been permitted to speak at the Democratic convention. Ms. Khan said she did not speak because she did not believe she could remain composed while talking about her son.

(h/t ABC News)

Reality

The Khan family’s criticisms are not about terrorism, but Trump’s lack of understanding of the fundamentals of the United States Constitution and his personal attack on Ms. Khan, asserting she was not “allowed” to speak at their DNC speech.

By ignoring Khan family’s statements and instead painting his response as a broader issue of “radical Islamic terrorism,” Donald Trump is attempting to either cowardly deflect a very valid criticism or he is dishonestly trying to link the Khans to terrorists.

Media

CNN New Day

Trump: Muslim Soldier Was a Hero, But His Father ‘Has No Right’ to Criticize Me

Donald Trump praised a Muslim U.S. soldier killed in Iraq but in the same breath continued to criticize the man’s father, who spoke out against Trump at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

After a day of backlash over the GOP presidential nominee’s comments regarding the family of Humayun Khan, Trump released a statement late Saturday night honoring him.

“Captain Humayun Khan was a hero to our country and we should honor all who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country safe. The real problem here are the radical Islamic terrorist who killed him, and the efforts of these radicals to enter our country and do us further harm,” Trump said.

“While I feel deeply for the loss of his son, Mr. Khan who has never met me, has no right to stand in front of millions of people and claim I have never read the Constitution, (which is false) and say many other inaccurate things. If I become President, I will make America safe again.”

Khan’s father, Khizr Khan, a lawyer who immigrated from Pakistan, addressed the Democratic convention last week, asking what Trump had sacrificed and whether he had ever read the Constitution.

Trump lashed out at Khan and his wife, Ghazala, who stood at his side on the stage, on Saturday.

The GOP nominee said he had “made a lot of sacrifices” through his work and raised questions about Khan’s speech and why his wife hadn’t spoken, suggesting that she “wasn’t allowed” because of her Muslim faith. Ghazala Khan later said she was too upset to take the microphone.

The comments immediately sparked backlash from both Republicans and Democrats.

In his Saturday statement, Trump bashed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for her Middle East foreign policy record and the attack on U.S. personnel in Benghazi and warned against radical Islamism and immigration from certain countries.

“Given the state of the world today, we have to know everything about those looking to enter our country, and given the state of chaos in some of these countries, that is impossible,” he said.

(h/t The Hill)

Reality

This is yet another example of Donald Trump’s ignorance of the United States Constitution. There are no set of rights just for Donald Trump and another set of rights for everyone else. Khazir Kahn and his wife have the exact same rights of equal protection and free speech Trump does.

Trump Rescued by Firefighters Before Blasting Colorado Springs Fire Marshal

When it comes to first responders, Donald Trump plays favorites. It’s no secret that the Republican presidential nominee likes police officers. A lot. But firefighters — that relationship may be just a bit more complicated.

Since Trump’s campaign began, a series of fire officials across the country have become his unwitting nemeses, as Trump publicly grumbles about their enforcement of the capacity restrictions at some of his rally venues.

At a February event in Madison, Ala., for instance, he complained at least twice that the fire marshal had closed the gates of the stadium where he said some 32,000 had come to hear him speak (local estimates put the figure of actual attendees at closer to 10,000). “Let them come in, Mr. Fire Marshal,” Trump said.

In a rare shift earlier this month, Trump had the opposite complaint: Phoenix officials, he said, “broke the fire code” by allowing too many people into the Convention Center room where he’d spoken.

Those numbers didn’t quite jibe with the count of 4,200 to 4,500 his campaign gave reporters at the event — or with the fire department’s own numbers, which fell squarely in the middle of that range.

“Once capacity was reached, we closed the doors. No rules or codes were broken, and no one was in danger at anytime,” Phoenix Fire Department spokeswoman Shelly Jamison told local station KPNX, adding that the Trump campaign had been offered the use of a larger room, but had declined.

So there have been a few fiery attacks over the past few months. But on Friday in Colorado, Trump had a much less heated encounter with the Colorado Springs Fire Department after he and nine others were trapped in an elevator at The Mining Exchange Hotel.

“The firefighters were able to secure the elevator, open the top elevator hatch, lower a ladder into the elevator, which allowed all individuals to self-evacuate, including Mr. Trump, onto the second-floor lobby area,” fire department spokesman Steven Wilch told Colorado station KRDO in a Saturday report. Trump was over an hour late to his event at the University of Colorado campus located in solidly conservative Colorado Springs — but he made it.

If you think that’s the sort of thing that might prompt him to mention the fire department in his remarks at that event, as you may have heard Friday, you’re right! “We have a fire marshal that said we can’t allow more people,” Trump said, as the crowd booed. “….The reason they can’t let them in is because they don’t know what they’re doing.”

Fire Marshal Brett Lacey, the candidate said, was “probably a Democrat, probably a guy that doesn’t get it.”

Trump went on. “Hey, maybe they’re a Hillary person. Could that be possible? Probably,” he said, calling the restriction a “disgraceful situation.”

“This is the kind of thing we have in federal government also, by the way,” he said, “and then you wonder why we’re going to hell. That’s why we’re going to hell.”

Lacey — who was named Civilian of the Year by the department in February for his role responding to a pair of deadly mass shootings in the city — said later that he didn’t mind the dig. He noted that he’d allowed a last-minute boost in the number of individuals allowed in the room, after the Trump campaign reportedly distributed too many tickets. But in an interview with Colorado’s KKTV, the marshal refused to fight fire with fire.

“Sometimes there are people that aren’t very happy with some of the rules and regulations were required to enforce,” Lacey said. “But it doesn’t bother me at all.”

Media

Donald Trump Says He Has One of the ‘Best Temperaments’ of Any Presidential Candidate

Republican nominee Donald Trump says that he’s refusing to play “nice guy” anymore.

As chants of “Lock Her Up” rang out at his rally in Colorado Springs — a rallying cry against Hillary Clinton — Trump seemed to agree with them.

“You know what? I’ve been saying– I’ve been saying let’s just beat her on November 8th, but you know what? No. no. You know what? I’m starting to agree with you,” he said, a departure from the demurral he usually gives when the chants break out.

“I’ve been nice, but after watching that performance last night, such lies,” he said. “I don’t have to be so nice anymore. I’m taking the gloves off, right, yes? Take the gloves off. … Just remember this, Trump is going to be no more Mr. nice guy. Tell Hillary I am not gonna be nice anymore.”

Trump, who has given his Democratic rival the moniker, “Crooked Hillary” and attacked her on multiple fronts, also told supporters Friday that he has “one of the best temperaments” of any previous presidential candidate.

“I think I have the best temperament, or certainly one of the best temperaments, of anybody that’s ever run for the office of president. Ever,” he the crowd today. “Because I have a winning temperament. I know how to win.”

(h/t ABC News)

Reality

Trump’s bragging about his temperament is almost laughable if he wasn’t the Republican presidential nominee. As of this date we have over 400 controversial incidents involving Donald Trump, and none of them highlight someone who is even-tempered.

Some examples include:

  • When Donald Trump got into a childish shouting match with Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz during the December CNN debate?
  • When journalists uncovered the fact that Donald Trump never donated money to veterans charities after four months of claiming he did, and his response was a full-frontal meltdown calling them dishonest, not good people, sleazy, and among the worst human beings he has ever met.
  • Remember when Donald Trump mocked a disabled reporter?
  • The many times Donald Trump ejected protests, mocked them as they left, and one time demanded security to take their coats as they were thrown out into the cold.
  • When Trump instigated a months-long feud between him and Fox News’ Megyn Kelly because she asked him a valid question about past sexist comments.

Media

Trump Says He Would Like to ‘Hit’ DNC Speakers Who Disparaged Him

Donald Trump, after hearing speeches at the Democratic convention this week, said Thursday he wanted to “hit a number of those speakers so hard, their heads would spin.”

“They’d never recover,” he said.

Trump often uses the term “hit” to mean verbally attack, rather than physical contact.

The Republican nominee zoomed in on one speaker especially, though he didn’t mention his name.

“I was going to hit one guy in particular, a very little guy,” Trump said to laughs at a campaign rally in Davenport, Iowa. “I was going to hit this guy so hard his head would spin, he wouldn’t know what the hell happened.”

Trump said this individual “came out of nowhere” and had done work with Trump in the past. “He made deals with me. ‘Will you help me with this? Would you make this deal and solve the problem?’ I solved the problem,” Trump said.

His campaign did not respond to a request asking to clarify who Trump was talking about.
Several speakers this week have gone after Trump in Philadelphia, including Michael Bloomberg. The former New York City mayor made a surprise endorsement over the weekend for Hillary Clinton, and described Trump in his DNC speech Wednesday night as a “dangerous demagogue.”

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine also targeted Trump, mocking the businessman’s tendency to accentuate his promises with a plea of “believe me.”

“He said a lot of things about me, I never met the guy,” Trump said. “I mean the things that were said about me. I mean, should I go through some of the names?”
Trump recalled telling a friend this week that he wanted to retaliate against the people who slammed him at the convention, mentioning current New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio by name.

“I was going to say that de Blasio is the worst mayor in the history of the city, but I didn’t say it,” Trump said to laughs. “He’s a terrible mayor. I was going to say that, but now I won’t say it.”

Trump said his friend, who he labeled a “very great governor,” urged him to stay focused on attacking Clinton, not other Democrats.

“He said, ‘Don’t hit there. Don’t hit down. You have one person to beat. It’s Hillary Rodham Clinton,'” Trump recalled, adding that he initially objected to the advice. “I said, ‘But I really want to. I don’t like what they’re saying because a lot of it is lies. Not all of it but a lot of it is.’ I said, ‘I just really … it makes me feel good.’ ”

Ultimately, he said, he conceded and decided not to launch into verbal assaults against the Democrats.

“But every once in a while I still wake up, I say ‘boy, I wanna,'” Trump said, growling as he stopped himself from saying more. “Someday!”

(h/t CNN)

Reality

Donald Trump’s RNC speech borrowed heavily from Richard Nixon, using the dog whistle term “the law and order candidate.” And just like Nixon, it appears he’ll also have an enemies list.

Media

Trump Tells Female Reporter to Be Quiet

Donald Trump’s bullying, sexism, and misogyny was on full display when he told a reporter to “be quiet” on Wednesday after she pressed the Republican nominee over his assertion that he hopes the Russians have Hillary Clinton’s emails.

At a press conference in Doral, Fla., NBC News correspondent Katy Tur asked Trump whether this week’s leak of Democratic National Committee emails, which cybersecurity experts believe were obtained by Russian hackers, gave him pause.

“It gives me no pause,” Trump said. “If they have them, they have them.”

Tur, a London-based correspondent who has been following Trump on the campaign trail for NBC News, tried to ask a follow-up question, but Trump shut her down.

“You know what gives me more pause? That a person in our government, Crooked Hillary Clinton — be quiet, I know you want to save her,” he said. “That a person in our government, Katy, would get rid of 33,000 emails — that gives me a big problem.”

Moments earlier, Trump had delivered a message to the Kremlin.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he said. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

(h/t Yahoo)

Reality

It’s not the first time Trump has clashed with Tur.

Last July, he sat down with Tur for a one-on-one interview at Trump Tower during which he interrupted her several times. And at a rally in South Carolina in December, Trump referred to Tur as “Little Katy, third-rate journalist” during a rant about the “absolute scum” media that cover his campaign.

The brash real estate mogul then pointed out to the crowd where she stood on a riser near the back of the rally as his supporters turned and glared.

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