Trump retweets conspiracy theory alleging ‘voter fraud is real’ — even though his government never could find it

President Donald Trump is once again spreading conspiracy theories to his 63 million Twitter followers.

On Tuesday evening, the commander-in-chief retweeted Trump fanboy Charlie Kirk arguing that voter fraud is real.

The tweet in question was originally sent on April 28th.

“Voter fraud is real,” Kirk argued.

“Los Angeles county has a registration rate of 112% its adult population,” he claimed. “The entire state of California has a registration rate of 101%. 11 of 58 counties in CA have registration rates above 100%.

“Is this why California is solid blue?” he asked, with a chin-scratching emoji.

Trump has long had a fixation on voter fraud. He inaccurately claimed that he only lost the popular vote in 2016 because of fraud. So in May of 2017, he created a commission to study the issue and appointed Vice President Mike Pence and then-Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to investigate.

The commission disbanded in January of 2018 and later that year Kobach lost his bid to be governor of Kansas.

[Raw Story]

Trump claims credit for Shell plant announced under Obama

President Donald Trump sought to take credit Tuesday for a major manufacturing complex in western Pennsylvania in his latest effort to reinvigorate the Rust Belt support that sent him to the White House. He was cheered on by fluorescent-vest-clad workers who were paid to attend by Shell, their employer, which is building the facility.

Despite Trump’s claims, Shell announced its plans to build the complex in 2012, midway through President Barack Obama’s term in the White House.

The event was billed as an official White House event, but Trump turned much of it into a campaign-style rally, boasting of achievements he claims as president and assailing his would-be Democratic rivals for the 2020 election.

“I don’t think they give a damn about Western Pennsylvania, do you?” he prodded the crowd.

Trump was visiting Shell’s soon-to-be completed Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex, which will turn the area’s vast natural gas deposits into plastics. The facility is being built in an area hungry for investment and employment, though critics claim it will become the largest air polluter in western Pennsylvania.

Trump contends that America’s coal, oil and manufacturing are reviving and he deserves the credit. He’s been focusing on his administration’s efforts to increase the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels in defiance of increasingly urgent warnings about climate change. And he’s embracing plastic at a time when the world is sounding alarms over its impact.

“We don’t need it from the Middle East anymore,” Trump said of oil and natural gas, proclaiming the employees “the backbone of this country.”

As for the new complex, he declared, “This would have never happened without me and us.”

Trump’s appeals to blue-collar workers helped him win Beaver County, where the plant is located, by more than 18 percentage points in 2016, only to have voters there turn to Democrats in 2018’s midterm elections. In one of a series of defeats that led to Republicans’ loss of the House, voters sent Democrat Conor Lamb to Congress after the prosperity promised by Trump’s tax cuts failed to materialize.

Today, the much of the area is still struggling to recover from the shutting of steel plants in the 1980s that sent unemployment to nearly 30%. Former mill towns like Aliquippa have seen their population shrink, though Pittsburgh has lured major tech companies like Google and Uber, fueling an economic renaissance in a city that reliably votes Democratic.

Trump claimed that his steel and aluminum foreign-trade tariffs have saved the industries and that they are now “thriving,” exaggerating the recovery of the steel industry, particularly when it comes to jobs, which have largely followed pace with broader economic growth.

Trump took credit for the addition of 600,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs. Labor Department figures show that roughly 500,000 factory jobs have been added since his presidency started.

Manufacturing has also started to struggle anew this year as the administration has intensified its trade war with China and factory production has declined. Pennsylvania has lost 5,600 manufacturing jobs so far this year, according to the Labor Department.

The region’s natural gas deposits had been seen, for a time, as its new road to prosperity, with drilling in the Marcellus Shale reservoir transforming Pennsylvania into the nation’s No. 2 natural gas state. But drops in the price of oil and gas caused the initial jobs boom from fracking to fizzle, leading companies like Shell to turn instead to plastics and so-called cracker plants — named after the process in which molecules are broken down at high heat, turning fracked ethane gas into one of the precursors for plastic.

The company was given massive tax breaks to build the petrochemicals complex, along with a $10 million site development grant, with local politicians eager to accommodate a multibillion-dollar construction project.

But “fracking for plastic” has drawn alarm from environmentalists and other activists, who warn of potential health and safety risks to nearby residents and bemoan the production of ever more plastic. There has been growing concern over the sheer quantity of plastic on the planet, which has overwhelmed landfills, inundated bodies of water and permeated the deepest reaches of the ocean. Microplastics have been found in the bodies of birds, fish, whales and people, with the health impacts largely unknown.

“Of all the things we could invest in, of all the things we should be prioritizing, of all the companies we should be giving our taxpayer money to, this seems like the worst of all worlds,” said David Masur, executive director of PennEnvironment, a statewide environmental advocacy organization.

Trump defended the investment in plastics, claiming pollution in the ocean is “not our plastic.”

“It’s plastics that’s floating over in the ocean and the various oceans from other places,” he told reporters before boarding Air Force One.

A spokesman for Shell, Ray Fisher, said the company has “dedicated a great deal of time and resources” to ensure emissions from the plant meet or exceed local, state and federal requirements. “As designed, the project will actually help improve the local air shed as it relates to ozone and fine particulates,” he said.

The project currently has 5,000 construction workers. Once operational, however, the number of permanent employees at the site will shrink to 600.

The area still faces economic headwinds. The nearby Beaver Valley Power Station, a nuclear plant that has employed 850 people, has announced plans to close in 2021. And the Bruce Mansfield Power Plant, once the state’s largest coal-powered plant, announced Friday that it would close this fall, 19 months earlier than expected, at a cost of at least 200 jobs.

[Yahoo News]

Trump blasts media, Biden, Warren in Pennsylvania

President Trump blasted the media, U.S. trading partners and his Democratic rivals for the White House in a Tuesday speech that had been advertised as focusing on energy and manufacturing.

Trump spent roughly an hour in Monaca, Pa., speaking to workers at a Shell petrochemical plant. While his speech was sprinkled with references to his administration’s efforts to expand pipelines, produce more energy and cut regulations, the president regularly went off on tangents swiping at critics.

“Can you imagine if I got a fair press? I mean, we’re leading without it. Can you imagine if these people treated me fairly? The election would be over,” Trump said, taking a dig at the media.

In another random aside directed at the media, Trump mocked the Academy Awards and suggested the annual show had seen a drop in ratings because it didn’t align with his supporters.

“The Academy Awards is on hard times now,” Trump said. “You know why? Because they started taking us on. Everyone got tired of it.”

The president swiped at various other familiar targets, including the Green New Deal, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and the World Trade Organization.

At one point, he disputed claims that he’s profited off the presidency by claiming that lawsuits over the Emoluments Clause and other legal fees have cost him a “fortune.”

“I don’t care. You know, if you’re wealthy it doesn’t matter,” he said. “I just want to do a great job.”

Trump has a tendency to go off script at official White House events. Standing behind the official presidential seal, he often ignores the teleprompter in favor of ad-libbed remarks recounting his 2016 victory, predicting his 2020 opponent and admonishing those who doubt him.

Tuesday was no different. Trump was in Pennsylvania to tour a Shell petrochemical facility where natural gas will be turned into plastic.

The president at times made references to energy and manufacturing as promised. He touted his administration’s decision to roll back regulations that prevented plants like the one he visited Tuesday from being built and cited the boom in energy production during his presidency.

But even some of his energy-related remarks were retreads from his campaign-style rhetoric. He jabbed at 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton over her comments dismissing the future of coal miners in West Virginia and accused New York state of caring more about suing him than about boosting jobs with fracking.

Trump again mocked the use of wind as an energy source and ripped the progressive Green New Deal and the Democratic presidential candidates who support it.

“I don’t want to speak badly about it. I want to encourage them. That should be their platform, I don’t want to do it too early. I did it very early with Pocahontas. I should’ve probably waited. She’s staging a comeback on Sleepy Joe,” he said, referring derisively to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and former Vice President Joe Biden, respectively.

“I don’t know who’s going to win,” he continued. “But we’ll have to hit Pocahontas very hard again if she does win. But she’s staging a little bit of a comeback. What a group. Pocahontas and Sleepy Joe. I don’t think they give a damn about western Pennsylvania.”

Parts of Trump’s speech were intended to highlight his personal role in boosting economic prospects for some in Pennsylvania, which will serve as a key swing state in the 2020 election as he seeks to retain support in Rust Belt communities that helped propel him to victory four years ago.

The president won the state by roughly 45,000 votes in 2016 and won the county where Tuesday’s speech took place by 18 percentage points.

Even though plans for the Monaca plant were first announced while former President Obama was in office, Trump attempted to broadly take credit for the economic conditions in the state.

[The Hill]

Trump defends promoting conspiracy theory about Epstein’s death: ‘It was a retweet’


President Trump
 on Tuesday defended promoting a baseless conspiracy theory that ties the Clintons to the death of accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, saying it was “fine” because he was only retweeting what someone else said.

“The retweet — which is what it was, it was a retweet — was from somebody that is a very respected conservative pundit. So I think it was fine,” Trump told reporters before heading to Pennsylvania for a speech.

Asked later if he truly believes the Clintons are involved in Epstein’s death, Trump said “I have no idea” before pointing to former President Bill Clinton‘s relationship with the disgraced financier.

Trump, who ran in the same social circles with Epstein before he said they had a falling out, said he would like there to be a “full investigation” into the convicted sex offender’s death.

“I want a full investigation and that’s what I absolutely am demanding,” Trump said.

Trump on Saturday shared a tweet from Terrence K. Williams that blamed Epstein’s death on Bill and Hillary Clinton without providing any evidence. 

The tweet included the hashtags #ClintonBodyCount and #ClintonCrimeFamily, as well as a photo of both the former president and former secretary of State.

Attorney General William Barr said Monday that Justice Department officials will thoroughly investigate “serious irregularities” at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where Epstein was found dead of an apparent suicide over the weekend.

Epstein was found dead early Saturday in his jail cell in the New York federal prison, where he was awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges. He had been a registered sex offender following an earlier conviction in 2008 of soliciting sex from underage girls.

Trump and Epstein were known to run in the same social circles in New York and Florida. Trump told New York magazine in a 2002 article that Epstein is a “terrific guy” and “a lot of fun to be with.”

The president said last month in the wake of fresh charges against Epstein that the two had a falling out 15 years ago.

“I knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him. I mean, people in Palm Beach knew him,” Trump said a day after the charges against Epstein were unsealed. “He was a fixture in Palm Beach. I had a falling out with him a long time ago. I don’t think I’ve spoken to him for 15 years. I wasn’t a fan.” 

[The Hill]

Trump Calls Chris Cuomo an ‘Out-of-Control Animal’ Who Uses ‘Horrible’ Language and ‘Spews Lies’

President Donald Trump weighed in on the viral outrage of the day by calling CNN anchor Chris Cuomo an “out-of-control animal” who also “spews lies every night,” while also seeming to criticize Cuomo for not assaulting the man who taunted him.

During an impromptu press gaggle in New Jersey Tuesday afternoon, Trump was asked about his tweets attacking Cuomo over the aborted bar fight that was caught on video.

“I think that what Chris Cuomo did was horrible,” Trump told reporters. “His language was horrible, he looked like a total out-of-control animal. He lost it.”

“And frankly, I don’t think anybody should defend him, because he spews lies every night,” Trump continued. According to The Washington Post, Trump recently made the 12,000th false or misleading statement of his presidency.

The president then paraphrased his earlier assertions, saying “I don’t know why anybody would defend him, but, Chris Cuomo was out of control, I watched it I thought it was terrible. So I don’t know who is defending him, maybe they didn’t see it, maybe they haven’t gotten the whole picture, but I think anybody that would have seen Chris, would have said that was a disgrace. You’ve never seen me do that.”

Trump has, in the past, offered to pay the legal fees of rallygoers if they carried out violence on his behalf.

Trump was then asked if his tweets undermine the validity of so-called “red flag” laws.

“Well I think Chris Cuomo was so out of control that I would not have wanted to see a weapon in his hand,” Trump said, then appeared to criticize Cuomo for not punching the man who accosted him, saying “I guess his fist is not a weapon, or he would have done something, you know he talked about it but he didn’t do anything.”

Seconds after observing that Cuomo did not commit violence during the altercation, Trump again insisted “But I think Chris Cuomo was very much out of control actually.”

[Mediaite]

Trump: Voter ID must play ‘very strong part’ in deal on election security

President Trump on Tuesday said Congress should not consider any “final agreement” on election security that does not include provisions mandating voters present identification while casting ballots. 

“No debate on Election Security should go forward without first agreeing that Voter ID (Identification) must play a very strong part in any final agreement. Without Voter ID, it is all so meaningless!” Trump tweeted Tuesday. 

Trump has long touted unfounded claims that he only lost the 2016 popular vote by 3 million ballots because of “millions of people who voted illegally.”

The president went on to retweet a post claiming without evidence that certain areas in California, a reliably blue state, have more registered voters than adults. 

The tweets come as Democrats pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to take up two election security bills that have passed through the House. The legislation requires the use of paper ballots, includes funding for the Election Assistance Commission and mandates candidates, campaign officials and their family members to notify the FBI if foreign governments offer assistance.

McConnell has resisted calls to take up the bills, saying Democrats are trying to give themselves a “political benefit” and the request “is not a serious effort to make a law.”

Democrats renewed their calls for the Senate to boost election security after former special counsel Robert Mueller, who spent two years investigating Russia’s election meddling in 2016, testified last month that Moscow is seeking to replicate its efforts next year. 

“Mueller’s testimony was a clarion call for election security. Mueller’s testimony should be a wake-up call to every American, Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative, that the integrity of our elections is at stake. … This is all about the future of this country,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said last month.

[The Hill]

Immigration Chief: ‘Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor Who Can Stand On Their Own 2 Feet’

“Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge,” Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said Tuesday, twisting Emma Lazarus’ famous words on a bronze plaque at the Statue of Liberty.

Cuccinelli was speaking to NPR’s Morning Edition about a new regulation he announced Monday that targets legal immigration. The rule denies green cards and visas to immigrants if they use — or are deemed likely to need — federal, state and local government benefits including food stamps, housing vouchers and Medicaid. The change stands to impact hundreds of thousands of immigrants who come to the United States legally every year.

The final version of the “public charge” rule is scheduled to be published Wednesday in the Federal Register. A public charge refers to a person who relies on public assistance for help.

On Tuesday, Cuccinelli described the public charge as a “burden on the government.” He told NPR the new regulation was a prospective rule, “part of President Trump keeping his promises.”

The new rule will go into effect Oct. 15, and only government aid used after that point will be assessed, Cuccinelli said.

Welfare benefits will be just one factor that immigration service officers use to determine an applicant’s fate in the United States, in addition to age, health, education and financial status.

“If they don’t have future prospects of being legal permanent residents without welfare, that will be counted against them,” Cuccinelli said.

“All immigrants who can stand on their own two feet, self-sufficient, pull themselves up by their bootstraps” would be welcome, he added.

Asked if that changes the definition of the American dream, Cuccinelli said, “No one has a right to become an American who isn’t born here as an American.”

Then he clarified: “It is a privilege to become an American, not a right for anybody who is not already an American citizen, that’s what I was referring to.”

He said the welcoming words from the 1903 plaque at the Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor,” were put there “at almost the same time” as when the first public charge law was passed — in 1882.

Critics have denounced the rule as a sweeping attempt to stem immigration and favor wealthy migrants. The regulation is expected to be challenged by immigration groups in court.

Leon Fresco, a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Obama administration, said the case could wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

“I also expect lawsuits from individuals who say that, at the end of the day, if Congress provided certain benefits to be accessible by certain groups of immigrants, that meant that they did not want them then banned under the public charge rule,” Fresco told NPR.

Rumors that the Trump administration was considering the regulation already led to a chilling effect on immigrants looking to put down roots through legal and permanent residency. Public health and social service providers report that immigrants are worried about seeking medical and housing aid for themselves and their children, who may be U.S. citizens.

Cuccinelli, a former Virginia attorney general, has long held a hard-line stance against immigration and asylum policies. President Trump tapped him to be the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in June, bringing him to the helm of an agency he had never worked in.

[NPR]

Trump tore out magazine picture of Justin Trudeau, scrawled odd message and mailed it to Canadian embassy

Donald Trump reportedly tore out a magazine picture of Justin Trudeau, scrawled a brief note about the Canadian prime minister “looking good”, and made White House officials mail it to the neighbouring country’s embassy.

The message – first reported by Axios – is said to have been written by the US president on the torn-out cover of a May 2017 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek, which featured an image of Mr Trudeau alongside a caption reading “The Anti-Trump”.

On it, Mr Trump reportedly jotted a note reading something to the effect of, “Looking good! Hope it’s not true!” according to the US news outlet.

The Canadian ambassador considered the note so strange he thought it was a prank, but after calling US officials was told the note was genuine.

Although some White House staff reportedly considered the note inappropriate, the National Security Council ultimately decided it was done in good humour and would be considered by Ottawa to be friendly contact.

Another exchange in December of that year reportedly saw Mr Trump send Mr Trudeau a document purporting to show a US trade deficit with Canada.

Mr Trudeau reportedly responded by including in his letter a printout of a US government website showing America actually has a trade surplus over its neighbour when services are included with goods.

The Canadian prime minister reportedly included a smiley face alongside the document.

Months later, on Dec. 8, 2017, President Trump falsely told a rally crowd in Pensacola, Florida, that the U.S. has a trade deficit with Canada. Around that same time, Trump also mailed Trudeau a document purporting to show that the U.S. had a trade deficit with Canada, according to a source with direct knowledge.

  • Trump wrote in Sharpie on the document: “Not good!!” or something to that effect, the source recalled. Trump’s document only mentioned America’s deficit in the trade of goods and ignored its surplus in services (the two combined would gave the U.S. its overall surplus).

A few weeks later, Trump received a handwritten letter from Trudeau. The note, on Trudeau’s official stationery marked by the Maple Leaf, began with a friendly tone, but ended with a drop of acid.

  • “Dear Donald,” Trudeau wrote in the letter dated Dec. 20, 2017, according to a source with direct knowledge of its contents, which 2 other sources confirmed. “It’s been a busy year! Enjoy the Christmas holidays — you deserve it.”
  • “One thing,” Trudeau added. “You gave a great speech in Pensacola, but you were slightly off on the balance of trade with Canada. USTR says so! All the best for 2018, Justin.”

The second page of the letter brought the kicker. Trudeau enclosed a printout of Canada’s informational page from the website of the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

  • Trudeau underlined the section on the USTR website, which at the time reported that “the U.S. goods and services trade surplus with Canada was $12.5 billion in 2016.” Trudeau circled the $12.5 billion and drew a cheeky little smiley face next to it, according to a source with direct knowledge.

A Canadian government official responded to this reporting: “We’re not going to comment on whether or what paper was exchanged between our 2 countries. There was a lot of back and forth. That said, it is certainly true that there were disagreements between our 2 countries about the figures, and we repeatedly pointed to USTR and U.S. Commerce’s own figures. On your second point (the Bloomberg cover), no comment, but we don’t deny it.”

Why this matters: The U.S.-Canadian relationship is, in normal times, low-friction. But not under Trump, who views Trudeau as an irritant at best. In a conversation in the White House last year, Trump told aides he thought Canada was “the worst” country to negotiate with. “Who would think? Canada?” Trump said.

  • Trump now says very little about Trudeau, according to an adviser, and believes he and his trade representative Bob Lighthizer got the better of the Canadians in their trade negotiations.

Behind the scenes: Trump privately refers to Trudeau as a “wise guy,” per sources with direct knowledge. He describes Trudeau as young and cocky, and he resents it when Trudeau comments on American politics.

  • Trump has gleefully recounted to aides how he threatened the Canadians with auto tariffs. He says it got him a better deal on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
  • Trump has also privately described Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland as “very nasty,” according to senior administration officials.
  • Trump was pleased with the optics of the G7 last year, an adviser said. Trump says he dominated Trudeau there, the adviser added, and loves the viral photo of himself sitting with his arms crossed as world leaders hover over him. Trump also relished leaving the summit early — snub to Trudeau, who Trump said had treated him with disrespect.
  • The White House did not respond to requests for comment.

The big picture: The president is in Year 3 of his relationships with foreign leaders, and in some cases they’ve changed substantially. Trump’s bromance with France’s 41-year-old leader Emmanuel Macron has faded, and Trump privately places Macron in a similar “wise guy” category as the 47-year-old Trudeau.

  • Last week, Trump chided Macron on Twitter for “purporting” to represent the U.S. in conversations with Iran.
  • Trump has also hammered China with escalating tariffs and increasingly tough rhetoric — a significant change from his more frequent emphasis on his close personal relationship with President Xi Jinping in Year 1.

[Yahoo News ,Axios]

Panicked Trump retweets claim farmers love him and Democrats are to blame for auto industry job losses

President Donald Trump seemed panicky Sunday night, searching for validation that everything is going well in his country despite reports to the contrary.

The president retweeted the chair of the Republican Party, who posted a video showing an Iowa farmer who loves Trump. The move comes after Trump’s Secretary of Agriculture got an ear full from farmers about not doing “great” under this presidency.

“We are not starting to do great again,” said Brian Thalmann, who serves as the president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association. “We are starting to go down very quickly.”

Second, the president tweeted that a Joe Biden presidency would kill the fossil fuel industry and the auto industry along with it. Unfortunately for the GOP, the auto industry is already making a move to more fuel-efficient vehicles and autonomous cars. One plant that Trump promised to save in 2017 just closed in an Ohio townthat isn’t far from Michigan.

“He came to our community and said: ‘Don’t sell your house. These jobs are coming back,’” said David Green, president of United Auto Workers Local 1112. “We’ve seen nothing but job losses around here.”

Trump went on to retweet claims the economy is strong and everything in the United States is going extremely well.

[Raw Story]

Trump blasts Scaramucci as ‘incapable’

President Trump on Saturday slammed former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci as having been “incapable” of the job.

“Anthony Scaramucci, who was quickly terminated (11 days) from a position that he was totally incapable of handling, now seems to do nothing but television as the all time expert on ‘President Trump.'” Trump tweeted Saturday night. 

Trump’s tweets came after Scaramucci said Trump’s visit to survivors of a Texas mass shooting was a “catastrophe.”

He added that Scaramucci “knows very little about me…other than the fact that this Administration has probably done more than any other Administration in its first 2 1/2 years of existence.”

Trump also wrote that his former aide “should remember the only reason he is on TV, and it’s not for being the Mooch!” 

Scaramucci was ousted from his White House position after he made insulting comments to a reporter about fellow White House staff in an interview with the New Yorker.

Scaramucci on Thursday said on MSNBC that the president “didn’t do well on the trip” to El Paso, Texas. “Maybe he’ll tweet something negative about somebody for saying he didn’t do well, but the facts are he did not do well on the trip because if the trip is being made about him and not the demonstration of compassion and love and caring and empathy for those people, then it becomes a catastrophe for him, the administration, and it’s also a bad reflection on the country,” he added. 

[The Hill]

Reality

Donald Trump took time out of his 10-day vacation to blast his former employee Anthony Scaramucci as “incapable” and the only reason he is on TV is because Trump hired him.

Donald Trump hired Scaramucci after watching him as a pundit on CNBC!!!

1 2 3 4 5 134