Trump hints at a softer stance on Huawei in a bizarre ‘6G’ tweet

President Donald Trump sent a pair of bizarre tweets Thursday morning mentioning a “6G” wireless network and seemingly hinting that he could take a softer stance on Chinese telecom company Huawei.

The tweets rang as odd because 6G technology doesn’t exist. U.S. telecom companies are barely on the cusp of 5G wireless networks, and they’re facing stiff competition to build it before Chinese companies.

Trump doesn’t name China or Huawei, but that’s likely what he’s referencing. Chinese companies are at the forefront of 5G technology, and the Trump administration resumed trade talks with Chinese negotiators Thursday. Both nations face a March 1 deadline to reach a deal, although Trump has indicated he could back off of it.

Meanwhile, Trump has reportedly been preparing an executive order to ban Huawei and ZTE from operating in the U.S., which would grant U.S. companies a little more cushion to build their own 5G networks. Now it seems Trump could be reconsidering a ban on Chinese telecoms.

It’s unclear whether a potential ban on Huawei and ZTE would factor into negotiations, but such an executive order would likely invite some bad blood between the world’s two largest economies.

The U.S. and other countries have long feared Huawei’s equipment could be used for spying.

TPG Telecom dropped plans to use Huawei equipment in Australia, which banned the use of Huawei’s equipment. New Zealand and Japan have similar prohibitions in place. The U.K. hasn’t made a decision either way, but the Royal United Services Institute, a defense think tank, warned earlier this month that allowing Huawei equipment could be “naive” and “irresponsible.”

Germany has considered similar measures, but said earlier this month that it isn’t ready to ban Huawei and that it will allow all 5G equipment vendors in the country.

U.S. carriers AT&T and Verizon are still activating fledgling 5G networks in select cities, and T-Mobile and Sprint plan to launch theirs later this year. Most experts think it will take until at least 2020 for 5G to become widespread.

Samsung just announced the first phone that will run on the faster network, but it won’t launch until the second quarter of this year.

Trump’s reference to nonexistent “6G” might just be an indication he wants technology to be running full speed ahead, but it’s not something that anyone will be able to use in the near future.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

[CNBC]

Reality

At the time of this tweet there is no white paper on 6G. Trump is showing again his complete lack of understanding of technology.

Trump declares New York Times ‘enemy of the people’

President Trump on Wednesday labeled The New York Times “a true enemy of the people” one day after an extensive report detailing the ways in which he has sought to influence the investigations into his presidency and allies.

“The New York Times reporting is false,” Trump tweeted. “They are a true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”

The president’s tweet did not refute any specific reporting from the Times, but marked yet another escalation in his sustained attacks on his hometown paper and the media as a whole.

New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger issued a statement hours later condemning the president’s use of the term “enemy of the people” as “dangerous” and inaccurate.

“It is particularly reckless coming from someone whose office gives him broad powers to fight or imprison the nation’s enemies,” Sulzberger said. “As I have repeatedly told President Trump face to face, there are mounting signs that this incendiary rhetoric is encouraging threats and violence against journalists at home and abroad.”

Sulzberger, who has met with Trump on at least two separate occasions in the past year, noted that past presidents have complained about coverage of their administration, but “fiercely defended” the free press.

Trump’s latest diatribe against the Times came after the newspaper reported Tuesday that Trump asked then-acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker late last year to put U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in charge of the investigation in New York’s Southern District into Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen.

Berman, an ally of Trump who donated to his 2016 campaign, had been recused from the investigation, and Whitaker did not act on Trump’s request.

Trump denied that he requested Berman be put in charge of the investigation when asked about it Tuesday afternoon.

“I don’t know who gave you that,” Trump said, calling the report “fake news.”

A Justice Department spokeswoman said in a statement that the White House has not asked Whitaker to interfere in investigations, pointing to his congressional testimony from earlier this month indicating as much.

Trump has a well-documented track record of attacking the press, and the Times in particular. He has called negative coverage of him and his administration “fake news” and referred to reporters and news outlets as the “enemy of the people.”

[The Hill]

Trump says ‘stock market would be down 10,000 points by now’ had ‘the opposition’ done this

President Donald Trump on Tuesday tweeted that the stock market would effectively have crashed had he lost the 2016 race for the White House, reiterating a number of similar statements he has made that have assigned credit to his administration for buoying financial markets over the past two-plus years.

Trump didn’t specify which benchmark he was referencing but, the 45th president was likely referring to the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.08% which has gained 42%, or more than 7,600 points, since the day before his stunning victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8, 2016. (A 10,000-point fall in the Dow would have taken the blue-chip gauge to 8,259, representing a 55% tumble.)

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 SPX, +0.19%  has climbed 30.2% and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.21%  has advanced by roughly 45% over the same period, according to FactSet data.

Perhaps more than any other president, Trump has hitched his success to that of the stock market.

He has signed into law a late-2017 corporate tax cut that delivered a fillip to U.S. stocks. However, Trump is dogged by an investigation into whether his presidential campaign colluded with Russia and his hard-charging tactic in negotiations with China on tariffs has helped to roil markets, even if there is hope that the testy discussions lead to a fairer trade pact between the two largest economies in the world.

[MarketWatch]

Reality

Donald Trump is again trying to take credit for a stock market that was booming, at the start of his presidency.

The reality is, the stock market was booming years before he took office, smashing an all-time record in 2014, thanks to the economic policies of President Barack Obama.

Frazzled and furious Trump attacks McCabe, Mueller and the media in hours-long Twitter meltdown

President Donald Trump closed Presidents Day weekend with a repeat performance of his late Sunday night into early Monday morning tweetstorm. For the second night in a row the President was up late Monday launching angry – and this time, juvenile – tweets, attacking his favorite targets: the Mueller investigation, former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and, as usual, the media.

And accusing some, like McCabe, of “Treason!”

Trump was clearly watching Fox News’ Sean Hannity when he tweeted that attack, and clearly he liked the “lying & leaking” part because about 30 minutes later, this juvenile attack:

Less than nine hours later, Trump was back with the attacks, again, quoting Fox News:

And then, minutes later, the media:

And then, the Democrats. Trump has literally no idea how the U.S. court system works. He thinks California has the option of filing a lawsuit in, say, Maine. They don’t. The 9th Circuit has jurisdiction over California, but Trump doesn’t understand that, so he displays his ignorance time and time again. But he’s also wrong: it’s 16 states, not cities, led by California.

“As I predicted, 16 cities, led mostly by Open Border Democrats and the Radical Left, have filed a lawsuit in, of course, the 9th Circuit! California, the state that has wasted billions of dollars on their out of control Fast Train, with no hope of completion, seems in charge!”

All in all, 10 tweets in 10 hours, including, quite ironically – and an amazing self-own – this:

[Raw Story]


Japan’s PM nominated Trump for Nobel Peace Prize on U.S. request

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe nominated U.S. President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize last autumn after receiving a request from the U.S. government to do so, the Asahi newspaper reported on Sunday.

The report follows Trump’s claim on Friday that Abe had nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize for opening talks and easing tensions with North Korea.

The Japanese leader had given him “the most beautiful copy” of a five-page nomination letter, Trump said at a White House news conference.

The U.S. government had sounded Abe out over the Noble Peace Prize nomination after Trump’s summit in June last year with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the first meeting between a North Korean leader and a sitting U.S. president, the Asahi said, citing an unnamed Japanese government source.

A spokesman for Japan’s Foreign Ministry in Tokyo said the ministry was aware of Trump’s remarks, but “would refrain from commenting on the interaction between the two leaders.”

The White House had no immediate comment when contacted by Reuters.

The Nobel Foundation’s website says a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize may be submitted by any person who meets the nomination criteria, which includes current heads of states. Under the foundation’s rules, names and other information about unsuccessful nominations cannot be disclosed for 50 years.

[Reuters]

Trump Brags of 52% Approval Rating, From a Single Day in a Single Republican Daily Poll, Several Days Ago

n Trump’s third tweet this morning he cited numbers from an unnamed poll that he claims shows a 52 percent approval rating, 93 percent among the Republican Party: “Pretty amazing considering that 93% (also) of my press is REALLY BAD. The PEOPLE are smart!”

[Palm Beach Daily News]

Reality

Trump is cherry picking the Republican-leaning Rasmussen polls again. This number is from a single daily poll from one polling company… from several days ago.


Trump warns Europe he will free ISIS fighters if allies won’t prosecute them

President Donald Trump threatened Sunday to release hundreds of Islamic State fighters being held in Syria if allies in Europe don’t agree to take custody of the militants.

“The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial,” Trump said in a late-night tweet. “The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them.”

Trump, who intends to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria, said the likely destination for the militants would be European countries. “The U.S. does not want to watch as these ISIS fighters permeate Europe, which is where they are expected to go,” Trump said.

During the civil war in Syria, hundreds of militants flooded into the country, many coming from Europe to join ISIS’ ranks. It’s unclear how many of the militants Trump is referring to are actually European citizens.

Trump’s comments come as global leaders wrap up three days of security talks in Munich, where the conflict in Syria was among the agenda items.

James Jeffrey, the U.S.’s special representative on Syria issues, said in Munich that the U.S. will leave northeastern Syria, but the troop pullout will not be abrupt.

“It will be an orderly step-by-step withdraw,”Jeffrey said without offering a timeline.

In December, Trump called for a complete withdraw of U.S. forces in the country. And on Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence reiterated that the U.S. still plans to wind down the mission in Syria.

Still, the U.S. said it intends to keep its coalition together and wants allies to play a larger role in the broader campaign to root out ISIS elements.

Jeffrey said there are hundreds of ISIS cells scattered throughout the region. U.S. air power will remain ready to respond when needed, he said.

Trump has essentially declared victory over the group, which has been forced out of all its former strongholds in Iraq and Syria. But there remain concerns that ISIS could regroup if the U.S. pulls out. Trump said the time has come for other countries to pick up the slack.

“We do so much, and spend so much – Time for others to step up and do the job that they are so capable of doing. We are pulling back after 100% Caliphate victory!,” Trump tweeted.

[Stars and Stripes]

Reality

Trump promised in the campaign he had a secret plan to defeat ISIS in 90 days. Instead:

1. 90 days came and went.

2. Said you’ll have a plan soon.

3. Your plan was to give the generals 90 days to formulate a plan.

4. Their plan was Obama’s strategy.

5. You take credit for #winning.

Trump cited Putin to push back on North Korea long-range missile reports

Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe wrote in his new book that President Trump did not believe U.S. intelligence reports about North Korean missile advances because of claims he’d heard from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Washington Post reported that McCabe’s book, “The Threat,” details an instance in July 2017 where Trump did not believe information in an Oval Office briefing that North Korea test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time. 

McCabe wrote that Trump called the launch of the long-range missile a “hoax,” telling officials he knew North Korea did not have the ability to launch that type of missile “because Vladimir Putin had told him so.”

Asked for comment, the White House pointed to a statement earlier Thursday from press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders that said McCabe “has no credibility and is an embarrassment to the men and women of the FBI and our great country.”

Those remarks came in response to an interview in which McCabe revealed he opened a probe into whether Trump obstructed justice when the president fired James Comey as FBI chief in 2017 amid the Russia investigation.

Trump ripped McCabe on Thursday morning, tweeting that the former FBI official “pretends to be a ‘poor little Angel’ when in fact he was a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax.”

McCabe was fired last year after an internal watchdog report found he had a “lack of candor” with investigators looking into FBI leaks about its probe into the Clinton Foundation during the 2016 presidential race.

The former deputy director’s account of the 2017 meeting is the latest instance calling into question Trump’s relationship with Putin. Democrats and critics of the president have repeatedly chastised Trump for his friendly rhetoric toward Russia and the Putin.

Special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election has so far implicated six former Trump associates. The president has repeatedly decried the investigation as a “witch hunt,” and denied colluding with Russia.

The president’s defenders have argued that Trump has been tougher on Russia than past administrations, pointing to various sanctions.

[The Hill]

Trump demands California pay him for funds sent for high-speed rail

Always one to attack the state of California, President Donald Trump demanded the state send him $3 billion after Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) said that the project is on hold while the state figures out some of the problems facing the state.

“California has been forced to cancel the massive bullet train project after having spent and wasted many billions of dollars. They owe the Federal Government three and a half billion dollars. We want that money back now. Whole project is a ‘green’ disaster!” Trump tweeted.

Newsome announced in his first state of the state address that he would scale back plans. The decision isn’t a surprise as California is grappling with one of the largest fires in their history, sparked in part by the main energy company. PG&E is steps from bankruptcy to avoid the billions of dollars courts have ordered them to pay to repair and maintain their electrical lines.

“We’re going to make high-speed rail a reality for CA,” Newsome said on Twitter. “We have the capacity to complete the rail between Merced and Bakersfield. We will continue our regional projects north and south. Finish Phase 1 enviro work. Connect the Central Valley to other parts of the state.”

[Raw Story]

Trump Falsely Claims Violent Crime Plummeted After Border Wall Went Up In El Paso

President Donald Trump on Monday presented the border wall as a work in progress, hailing the start of a “big, big portion” with much more coming soon. That’s a hefty exaggeration from a president who has yet to see an extra mile of barrier completed since he took office.

With another possible government shutdown looming, and illegal immigration still at the heart of the budget dispute, Trump is pulling out the stops to portray his proposed wall as essential to public safety, including stemming crime. As he’s done repeatedly, Trump also defied the record in claiming that the wall that Congress has refused to pay for is rapidly coming together anyway.

Trump addressed the subjects at an El Paso, Texas, rally Monday night and an earlier White House meeting with sheriffs. A look at some of his comments:

TRUMP, on the effect of a border wall on crime in El Paso: “When that wall went up, it’s a whole different ball game. … I don’t care whether a mayor is a Republican or a Democrat. They’re full of crap when they say it hasn’t made a big difference. I heard the same thing from the fake news. They said, ‘Oh crime, it actually stayed the same.’ It didn’t stay the same. It went way down. … Thanks to a powerful border wall in El Paso, Texas, it’s one of America’s safest cities now.” — rally remarks.

Reality

Trump falsely suggests a dramatic drop in crime in El Paso due to a border wall. In fact, the city’s murder rate was less than half the national average in 2005, the year before the start of its border fence. It’s true that the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report shows that El Paso’s annual number of reported violent crimes dropped from nearly 5,000 in 1995 to around 2,700 in 2016. But that corresponded with similar declines in violent crime nationwide and included periods when the city’s crime rates increased year over year, despite new fencing and walls.

Before the wall project started, El Paso had been rated one of the three safest major U.S. cities going back to 1997.

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