Trump Baselessly Claims Google ‘Manipulated’ Millions of 2016 Votes: ‘My Victory Was Even Bigger Than Thought!’

President Donald Trump claimed Monday that Google manipulated 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Sen. Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, and called for the company to be sued.

“This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued,” said Trump. ” My victory was even bigger than thought!”

Trump did not link the source of his report, but he tagged conservative watch dog organization Judicial Watch. Psychologist and commentator Dr. Robert Epsteinmade similar claims while testifying before Congress in July.

Trump has repeatedly claimed he did not lose the popular vote, though reportsshow he lost the popular vote by almost 3 million in 2016.

He’s also previously blamed his popular vote loss on “illegal” votes, or those of undocumented immigrants.

[Mediaite]

Reality

Trump appears to be referring to the work of Robert Epstein, a researcher with a group based in Vista, Calif., called the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology. Epstein testified in a Senate hearing in June about what he calls the “Search Engine Manipulation Effect” and claimed that his research shows Google’s search results pushed at least 2.6 milllion people to vote for Clinton in 2016.

In 2017, Google dismissed Epstein’s research, telling The Washington Post that it amounts to “nothing more than a poorly constructed conspiracy theory.”

Trump says he’s ‘certain’ New York Times will endorse him in 2020

President Trump said he is “certain” that he will receive an endorsement from The New York Times in 2020 for the presidential election, he said in a tweet Sunday night.

His tweet appeared to be tongue in cheek.

“The New York Times will be out of business soon after I leave office, hopefully in 6 years,” Trump tweeted after returning to the White House from a vacation at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

“They have Zero credibility and are losing a fortune, even now, especially after their massive unfunded liability. I’m fairly certain they’ll endorse me just to keep it all going!”

Times correspondent and MSNBC analyst Peter Baker responded to Trump’s tweet with a “fact check” on Twitter.

“Revenues up, subscriptions at a record high, profits at $37.9 million in the second quarter,” Baker said.

The tweet included a press release of The New York Times Company’s earnings in 2019.

Mark Thompson, Times’ president and chief executive officer, said in the press release that “we added 197,000 net new digital-only subscriptions, 131,000 of which came from our core news product and the rest from our rapidly expanding Cooking and Crossword products. Today, The Times has 4.7 million total subscriptions.”

[Fox News]

Trump calls Juan Williams ‘pathetic,’ ‘always nasty and wrong’

President Trump on Sunday tore into Fox News political analyst Juan Williams, calling him “pathetic,” “nasty” and “wrong.”

“Juan Williams at @FoxNews is so pathetic, and yet when he met me in the Fox Building lobby, he couldn’t have been nicer as he asked me to take a picture of him and me for his family,” the president tweeted. “Yet he is always nasty and wrong!”

Williams, who is a recurring co-host of the Fox News show “The Five” and a columnist for The Hill, has been a vocal critic of Trump, including during a “Fox News Sunday” panel that reaired at 2 pm ET, just an hour before the president’s tweet.

During that segment, Williams called Trump’s approach to China on trade “brutish,” according to Mediaite.

“It’s not just Democrats who say, ‘Hey, this guy is inartful.’ The Wall Street Journal” has said that — he then attacked The Wall Street Journal at a rally this week,” he said.

“But I think that what you see here is that Trump’s unpredictability, Dana, then risks global recession, and you can do that. I mean, clearly, unpredictability is something that really scares Wall Street, because it depresses the likelihood of capital investment, which is necessary for stock growth,” he added.

Trump last week suspended a new round of tariffs against China, the initial announcement of which rocked global markets.

Williams, who had not seen Trump’s tweet when contacted by The Hill on Sunday, said he is used to the president criticizing him.

He also told The Hill that he had asked Trump for the photo at Fox on behalf of a security guard who wanted a picture with the president, an interaction Williams said Trump misunderstood.

The president is a devoted fan of the Fox News network, frequently tweeting clips from its programming. He is known to have a close relationship with several Fox News personalities, including host Sean Hannity.

However, he has increasingly criticized the network over its campaign coverage, particularly when the network chooses to cover 2020 Democratic candidates.

[The Hill]

Trump on guns: ‘We do have a lot of background checks right now’

President Donald Trumpon Sunday emphasized a need for the country to focus on “a very big mental health problem” in the wake of two mass shootings in one weekend that left 32 people dead earlier this month as he appeared to defend current US gun control measures, stating “we do have a lot of background checks right now.”

“It’s the people that pull the trigger, not the gun that pulls the trigger so we have a very, very big mental health problem and Congress is working on various things and I will be looking at it,” Trump told reporters on the tarmac before heading back to Washington after a vacation at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. 

The White House, Trump said, is “very much involved” in the discussions Congress is having to address gun violence and while “a lot of things are happening on the gun level” he said “the concept of mental institutions” must be addressed.

“These are people that have to be in institutions for help, I’m not talking about as a form of a prison, I’m saying for help and I think it’s something we have to really look at, the whole concept of mental institutions,” he said. “I remember growing up we had mental institutions, then they were closed — in New York, I’m talking about — they were, many of them closed. A lot of them were closed and all of those people were put out on the street.”

“So I think the concept of mental institutions has to be looked at,” he said. 

Guns in America

Trump’s comments Sunday mark an increased focus from the President on mental health measures over gun control legislation to address gun violence as lawmakers remain skeptical gun control legislation could pass a divided Congress. 

Trump, who has previously expressed support for tighter gun restrictions only to back off under pressure from the National Rifle Association, added Sunday that he’s “very concerned about the Second Amendment.”

Meanwhile, two gun control groups mobilized to increase the pressure on senators to pass legislation in the wake of the two mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas.

Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action held rallies across the country this weekend after announcing Thursday that they would spend nearly $1 million on ads against a handful of Republican lawmakers. 

The effort from Everytown and Moms Demand comes as the NRA, its biggest adversary, has been noticeably absent from applying pressure on Capitol Hill allies to hold fast against strong forces for gun reform.

Support for background checks 

The Democrat-controlled House passed a universal background check bill in February, but the measure has not been considered by the Republican-led Senate. Trump last week expressed an openness to background checks.

Speaking to a Kentucky radio station last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the Senate will put the issues of background check legislation in addition to “red flag” laws “front and center” when the body reconvenes after its summer recess, but it will not return early as Democrats are demanding.

A mid-July NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found that 89% of Americans considered it a “good idea” to implement background checks for gun purchases at gun shows or other private sales, with a nearly nonexistent partisan divide: 96% of Democrats, 89% of independents and 84% of Republicans called it a good idea.

[CNN]

Trump’s large union crowd at Shell was given the option of not showing up — and not getting paid

The choice for thousands of union workers at Royal Dutch Shell’s petrochemical plant in Beaver County was to either spend Tuesday standing in a giant hall waiting for President Donald Trump to speak, or to take the day off with no pay.

“Your attendance is not mandatory,” read the rules that Shell sent to union leaders a day ahead of the visit to the $6 billion construction site. But only those that showed up at 7 a.m., scanned their cards, and prepared to stand for hours — through lunch but without lunch — would be paid.

“NO SCAN, NO PAY,” the rules said.

Those that decided to sit out the event would have an excused absence, the company said, and would not qualify for overtime pay on Friday. The company has a 56-hour workweek with 16 hours of overtime. That means those workers who attended Mr. Trump’s speech and showed up for work on Friday meeting the overtime threshold are being paid at a rate of time and a half, while those that didn’t go to hear the president are being paid the regular rate, despite the fact that both groups did not do work on the site on Tuesday. 

“This is just what Shell wanted to do and we went along with it,” said Ken Broadbent, business manager for Steamfitters local 449.

The local has 2,400 workers on the site and Mr. Broadbent said he would not “bad rap about it one way or another.”

“We’re glad to have the jobs. We’re glad to have the project built,” he said. “The president is the president whether we like him or dislike him. We respect him for the title.”

Mr. Broadbent said anyone who did not want to show up to work that day was free to do so. “This is America,” he said.

One union leader, reached on Friday, who asked not to be named because he did not want to make trouble for his workers, said that one day of pay might amount to around $700 in pay, benefits and a per diem payment that out-of-town workers receive.  

Ray Fisher, a spokesman for Shell, said on Friday that “this was treated as a paid training day with a guest speaker who happened to be the President.”

He said workers engaged in “safety training and other activities” in the morning.

“It’s not uncommon for us to shut down the site for quarterly visits from VIPs — popular sports figures like Rocky Bleier and Franco Harris have visited the site to engage with workers and to share inspirational messages. Shell/Penske NASCAR driver, Joey Logano was another guest at the site,” Mr. Fisher said.

Several union leaders said they were not consulted about the arrangement before it was sent out. Shell’s list, however, suggested they had green lit it.

“No yelling, shouting, protesting or anything viewed as resistance will be tolerated at the event,” the paper read. “An underlying theme of the event is to promote good will from the unions. Your building trades leaders and jobs stewards have agreed to this.”

Mr. Trump received a generally warm and at times cheerful welcome at Shell, where he talked about his political grievances and name-called opponents as much as he praised the natural gas extracted in Appalachia, which will be processed at the Shell plant into plastic pellets.

He also called out union leadership, which Shell had requested to be in attendance.

“I’m going to speak to some of your union leaders to say, ‘I hope you’re going to support Trump.’ OK?” he said. “And if they don’t, vote them the hell out of office because they’re not doing their job.”

More than a dozen unions work at the Shell site, the largest construction project in the state.

[Post-Gazette]

Media

Trump praises his rally audience for not acting like ‘credible people’ after ‘CNN sucks’ chant

President Donald Trump praised an unruly crowd at a 2020 re-election campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire on Tuesday.

Trump was falsely claiming that China is paying for the tariffs in his trade war when he went off on the press.

“But when you listen to the fake news — look how many there are,” he said as he gazed out to the press area.

He then stepped back from the microphone as his supporters booed the concept of a free press.

The crowd started chanting, “CNN sucks.”

“Are we sure that we are in New Hampshire?” Trump asked. “You know, you have a reputation
— I know it is not true because I know you too well. You have a reputation of being staid, very elegant, staid, and credible people. You are not acting it tonight and that’s good.

[Raw Story]

‘You have no choice but to vote for me,’ Trump tells N.H. rally

Even as markets show signs of a coming recession, President Donald Trump told New Hampshire voters Thursday that they had to support his re-election campaign or suffer the economic consequences.

“I won the election, the markets went up thousands of points, things started happening,” Trump said at a rally here. “If, for some reason, I were not to have won the election, these markets would have crashed. That will happen even more so in 2020. You have no choice but to vote for me, because your 401(k), everything is going to be down the tubes.”

“Whether you love me or hate me, you have got to vote for me,” he added.

Trump, appearing at his first campaign stop in New Hampshire this year, delivered a wide-ranging speech lasting more than 90 minutes that addressed Hillary Clinton’s emails, eradicating the AIDS epidemic and the prospects of the nearly two dozen Democrats running for president against him.

“You’ve got Pocahontas is rising. You’ve got Kamala, Kamala is falling. You’ve got Beto, Beto is like, gone. We’ll see what happens. Whoever it is, I don’t know that it matters,” Trump said, referring to Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, before turning to former Vice President Joe Biden: “I think Sleepy Joe might be able to limp across the finish line, maybe. … I sort of hope it’s him.”

The president received his largest applause of the night when he pledged his support for gun ownership, even though he has repeatedly said he is seriously considering several changes to tighten gun restrictions following a police shooting in Pennsylvania, and two deadly mass shootings in Ohio and Texas in recent weeks.

“It’s not the gun that pulls the trigger. It’s the person holding the gun,” Trump said, receiving a standing ovation from the crowd of about 10,000 in the SNHU Arena when he called gun violence a mental health problem. “We can’t make it hard for good, solid, law-abiding citizens to protect themselves.”

Trump repeated his vows to use new scientific breakthroughs to end AIDS within the next decade, though some say his administration’s policies will make that goalmore difficult.

“We will achieve new breakthroughs in science and medicine, ending in the AIDS epidemic in America, and finding new cures for childhood cancer,” he said. “And something I never thought I’d be able to say: Within one decade, the AIDS epidemic in the United States will be gone. In 10 years, the AIDS epidemic will be eradicated. So great. Who thought that was going to be happening? Who thought I would be able to get to say that?”

When Trump briefly mentioned Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), several members of the crowd began a chant of “send her back,” but it did not catch on. He has repeatedly clashed with Omar and a group of progressive, first-year lawmakers in recent weeks, after making racist statements about them. Earlier Thursday, Israeli leaders barred Omar from the country after Trump lobbied them to deny her entry.

A chant that did catch on with the crowd was “lock her up,” when Trump mentioned Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, and her emails, and took the crowd through the wins and losses on his 2016 electoral map.

As Trump was laying out his electoral map, he shared a story about Michigan, a state he narrowly won in 2016. Trump’s own polling has shown him falling behind in the battleground state.

“Five or six years before I even thought about running, for whatever reason, they named me man of the year in Michigan. I said how come? I didn’t even understand it myself,” Trump said. The president has previously used this anecdote in speeches, though it is unclear whether Trump ever received that award.

“I wasn’t even political,” Trump added. “But I was always complaining that our car business was being stolen. I mean it’s sort of obvious right? Mexico now has 32 percent of our car business. It all left. We are bringing it back at a level that nobody’s ever seen before.”

The Trump campaign views New Hampshire as another battleground state in the 2020 general election. Clinton won New Hampshire in 2016, and the president is making a play to turn it red in the next election.

“New Hampshire, you have a reputation. Very, very elegant state. You’re not acting it tonight, and that’s a good thing,” Trump said to the enthusiastic crowd. “New Hampshire was taken away from us [in 2016] but we did great in New Hampshire. We should’ve won in New Hampshire.”

The president also mentioned another race shaping up in New Hampshire. Corey Lewandowski, who was fired as Trump’s campaign manager but remains close to the president, may run for Senate in the Granite State. The two spoke about the race on Thursday, according to a person familiar with the conversation.

As he stood before the crowd, Trump lavished praise on Lewandowski, but he stopped short of outright endorsing him.

“I think he’d be tough to beat. I’ll tell you one thing: He’s gonna go into Washington and he’s gonna have you in mind,” Trump said, adding that Lewandowski would be “fantastic.”

But in the next breath, the president conveyed that he wasn’t yet making a declaration of support.

“People ask if I’ll support him and I say, ‘I don’t know if he’s running,’” the president said, before turning to his former aide. “Corey, let us know, please.”

Lewandowski greeted the president upon his arrival at the Manchester airport. He and his family briefly joined Trump on Air Force One. The president departed the airport with Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican. Sununu, who faces a potentially competitive 2020 reelection bid, has relayed concerns about Lewandowski to party leadership.

During the rally, the president also gave a shout-out to Republican New Hampshire state Rep. Al Baldasaro, who has previously called for Clinton to face a firing squad.

Early on in his speech, the president briefly stopped his remarks when a protester interrupted him. “Go home, start exercising,” Trump taunted as police escorted the man out of the crowd. “That guy’s got a serious weight problem,” he said, though the protesters appeared to be thin.

In the next breath, the president said his campaign was part a movement “built on love.”

[Politico]

No evidence of Trump receiving Michigan “Man of the Year” Award

At a campaign rally in New Hampshire on Thursday, President Donald Trump made a handful of false claims, including returning to a claim he’s made since the final days of the 2016 campaign.

He said he was once named Michigan’s “Man of the Year.”

Sounds impressive, but there is a significant problem here.

Facts First:Nobody has been able to find any evidence of Trump receiving such an award.

It is hard to definitively prove that something vague has not happened. So we’ll leave open the possibility that Trump is talking about some actual event and that he and his team are just being coy about the details.

But neither we nor anyone else has been able to find a single detail. CNN has reached out to the White House and the Trump campaign about the claim, but has not heard back.

What Trump has said

Trump first publicly uttered the claim on November 6, 2016, two days before the election, when he was making his successful last-ditch effort to win Michigan.

“I’ve been fighting for the car industry for years. I was honored five years ago. Man of the Year in Michigan. That was a great honor for me,” he said at a rally in Sterling Heights, Michigan.

He then described a supposed controversy over his supposed Man of the Year acceptance speech.

“During my speech, all I talked about is what Mexico and these other countries are doing to us. And especially what they’re doing to Michigan,” he said. “That’s all I talked about. And I was criticized. They said, ‘Donald, speak about something else.’ I said, ‘No. What’s happening is horrible.”

Trump has repeated versions of the claim at least six times since, including at a roundtable with corporate leaders in Michigan in 2017 and a rally in Wisconsin this April.

At the New Hampshire rally on Thursday, he seemed to acknowledge it sounded odd that a non-resident of Michigan would win such an award.

“In fact, five or six years before I even thought about running, for whatever reason they named me Man of the Year in Michigan. I said, ‘How come?’ I didn’t even understand it myself,'” he said. “When I was named Man of the Year, I wasn’t even political. That was years before I did this. But I was always complaining that our car business is being stolen.”

No evidence at all

Trump’s boast immediately piqued our interest. So, back in November 2016, we contacted the Trump campaign, dove into news archives and did a bunch of Googling.

The Trump campaign never responded. None of the searches brought up anything.

HuffPost went on a similar research journey and also found nothing. The website reported that the Michigan Chamber of Commerce said it didn’t give out an award like that; Trump was never on the Detroit News’s annual “Michiganians of the Year” list; then-Gov. Rick Snyder’s office was reportedly no help; Trump had never mentioned the alleged honor on his Twitter feed.

Trump has received some “Man of the Year” kinds of accolades, including Time magazine’s 2016 Person of the Year and the Statesman of the Year” award from the Republican Party of Sarasota County, Florida.

But none of the awards were for being Michigan’s top man.

Former congressman sheds some light

After the original version of this article was published on Friday, former Republican congressman Dave Trott told CNN that Trump had claimed at the 2017 roundtable that he had been given the Man of the Year award at a 2013 event where Trott had invited him to speak.

The event was a Lincoln Day dinner Trott had chaired in Oakland County, Michigan. Trott, who represented Michigan’s 11th District from 2015 to January 2019, said Trump’s speech was well-received, but there was no award.

The transcript of the 2017 roundtable shows that, after Trump spoke of the 2013 speech and thanked Trott — somewhat vaguely, but seemingly over the supposed award — Trott simply responded, “Great speech.”

Trott said Friday that, as a congressman, “I wasn’t going to correct the president in front of the automotive executives.”

“But now that I’m out of Congress, I feel comfortable correcting the story,” he said.

Trott did not seek reelection in 2018. He has said (including in an interview on Friday) that his concerns about Trump were a factor in his decision.

[CNN]

Trump accuses news media of trying to crash the economy

President Donald Trump on Thursday baselessly accused the press of trying to tank the American economy, shrugging off any blame for a prospective economic slowdown and possible recession heading into his reelection next year. 

“The Fake News Media is doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election,” he said in a tweet. “The problem they have is that the economy is way too strong and we will soon be winning big on Trade, and everyone knows that, including China!”

The president offered no evidence to support his claim that the media, a frequent target of his ire, is working to weaken the U.S. economy.

Trump and his allies have signaled that the president intends to run on his economic record next year, hoping that record-low levels of unemployment and sustained growth building on recovery from the 2008 recession will persuade voters otherwise turned off by his more controversial policies and rhetoric to nonetheless cast their ballot for him. 

Trump’s outburst comes after the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its worst day of the year on Wednesday, sliding 800 points after one economic measure that has reliably preceded the last five recessions triggered alarm bells on Wall Street.

The White House has shrugged off concerns that another recession is looming, pointing to a strong jobs market and continued wage growth and echoing Trump’s rhetoric that the U.S. is not on a level playing field when it comes to monetary or trade policy. 

Despite the Trump administration’s insistence that the strong economy is on track to continue, many economists have warned of the potential of a recession amid a global economic slowdown. The president’s trade war with China and his threats to level tariffs on other U.S. allies and trade partners have created uncertainty in global markets and contributed to lower spending by businesses. 

Late last month, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time since the 2008 recession, a step the president had hammered the central bank for not taking earlier, and is set to slash them at least once more this year. That the Federal Reserve could cut interest rates again is seen by some as yet another warning of potential economic turmoil.

But despite widespread talk of a potential economic downturn, the stock market began to rebound Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbing slightly by mid-afternoon. The federal government, too, offered good news, reporting that consumer spending exceeded expectations last month.

[Politico]

Trump Just Shared an Anti-Immigrant Tweet from a QAnon Conspiracy Theorist Named ‘MAGA Michelle’

Imagery for the QAnon conspiracy movement has become increasingly present at Trump rallies and among pro-Trump social media users. It even made a campaign ad

Now, the president has breathed yet more life into it.

During his morning Twitter session Thursday, Trump quote-tweeted an anti-immigrant post by “MAGA Michelle.” The user’s bio includes the hashtag #WWG1WGA — short for “where we go one, we go all” — a phrase that followers of the deep-state conspiracy frequently attach to their social media posts. 

“My children & grandchildren are dreamers & should COME FIRST! Trump we got ur back, build that wall 100 ft tall!” MAGA Michelle wrote over a video of a black Trump supporter. “Hey Democrats that plantation is getting smaller by the day!”

Trump replied in sharing the post: “Thank you, and the Wall is under major construction!”

MAGA Michelle has previously tangoed with the Trump family, as noted by Alex Kaplan, a researcher for the liberal group Media Matters for America. After the author E. Jean Carroll accused Trump of rape in New York magazine in June, the user helped promote the conspiracy that Carroll had ripped off the story from a 2012 episode of Law & Order. Donald Trump Jr. later liked at least one post spreading that hoax.

President Trump — who’s blown all his predecessors out of the water in lies and falsehoods — has been on a tear recently sharing conspiracies. Along with recent tags or retweets of QAnon and Pizzagate-linked accounts, he shared a post by an avowedly pro-Trump social media personality that suggested Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide was actually a staged hit by the Clinton family. 

Trump’s explanation for sharing the tweet? The man has a lot of followers.

“The retweet — which is what it was, just a retweet — was from somebody that’s a very respected conservative pundit,” Trump told reporters afterward. “So I think that was fine.”

[Vice]

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