Trump Pushes Origin of Birther Claim on Hillary

After Donald Trump allows a supporter to repeat the lie that President Obama is a Muslim, he faced a round of criticism and questions about why he didn’t correct the supporter.

Then the host of NBC’s Meet the Press asks Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson if it would be okay to have a Muslim president and Carson said, “I absolutely would not agree with that.

This prompted Hillary Clinton to tweet, “Can a Muslim be President of the United States of America? In a word: Yes. Now let’s move on.”

Then Trump responds with a tweet of his own. “Just remember, the birther movement was started by Hillary Clinton in 2008. She was all in!”

Reality

First of all, President Obama was born in Hawaii. Shut up.

The first idea that Barack Obama was not a naturally born citizen can actually be traced back to 2004 with the loony racist ravings of Judah Benjamin and Andy Martin. But the origins of the birther conspiracy theory for the 2008 presidential cycle did indeed start with supporters of Hillary Clinton, but there is no evidence that it came from Clinton directly. Most of the noise from the idiot birther conspiracy theorists came after Jun 13, 2008, days after Clinton ended her campaign on June 7, 2008.

While it is true there was some hand from Clinton supporters, the idea that she started it or was “all in” as Trump claimed, is pure fiction.

Links

http://www.politico.com/story/2011/04/birtherism-where-it-all-began-053563

http://www.mediaite.com/online/hillary-clinton-horrified-by-obama-rumors-her-campaign-helped-create/

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/sep/23/donald-trump/hillary-clinton-obama-birther-fact-check/

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2011/apr/27/obama-birth-certificate-timeline/

https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/646508464085311488

Trump Does Nothing As Questioner Says Obama Is Muslim

At a town hall in New Hampshire, a man stood up and asked the billionaire businessman this question:

“We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American. We have training camps growing when they want to kill us. My question: When can we get rid of them?”

Trump, who had even interrupted the man to say, “We need this question,” didn’t knock down the premise of his question at the end. Here’s how he responded:

“We are going to be looking at a lot of different things. And a lot of people are saying that, and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there. We are going to be looking at that and plenty of other things.”

When confronted by the media for his blunder Trump doubled-down simply stating that he felt he did a much better job.

Reality

Obama is not a Muslim. End of story.

Compare Trump’s handling of the situation to that of John McCain in 2008 and it is clear his failure to allow conspiracy theories to persist shows a lack of being Presidential.

Links

http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/09/18/441458050/trump-does-nothing-as-questioner-alleges-obama-is-muslim

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/09/20/trump_i_handled_obama-is-a-muslim_question_way_better_than_harsh_john_mccain.html

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/aug/26/18-percent-american-public/obama-muslim-no-hes-not-evidence-has-not-changed/

Trump Links Vaccines to Autism

Billionaire businessman Donald Trump on Wednesday doubled down on his controversial stance that vaccinations are linked to what he described as an autism “epidemic.”

“I’ve seen it,” he said at the second main-stage GOP debate on CNN Wednesday night.

“You take this little beautiful baby, and you pump — it looks just like it’s meant for a horse,” he said of vaccines.

“We’ve had so many instances … a child went to have the vaccine, got very, very sick, and now is autistic.”

The GOP front-runner said he still supported certain vaccines, but in smaller doses over a longer period of time. Under current procedures, he said it’s dangerous for the public.

“Autism has become an epidemic, he said. “It has gotten totally out of control.”

Trump was one of several Republican candidates to question the current medical standards for vaccination, including two medical doctors: neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), an ophthalmologist.

Responding to a question, Trump said certain vaccines are “very important.” But he added that there should be “some discretion” given to families — a stance increasingly popular within the GOP despite rising numbers of preventable diseases like the measles.

Carson denied that vaccinations had been linked to autism, citing “numerous studies” that have failed to find any correlations. But he suggested that there still could be a link.

“It has not been adequately revealed to the public what’s actually going on,” Carson said.

Paul, who has previously faced flak for suggesting that vaccines are linked to mental disorders, appeared to walk back his stance on Wednesday.

He described vaccines as “one of the greatest medical discoveries of all time,” while adding, “I’m also for freedom.”

“I ought to have the right so spread my vaccines out, at the very least,” Paul said.

(h/t The Hill)

Reality

Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism.

A little back story… way back in 1998 there was a Doctor called Andrew Wakefield who published a study in the well-respected medical journal The Lancet that linked the MMR vaccine to autism. Funny thing about well-respected scientific journals is, people in your field of study read your paper and try to duplicate the results, this is called peer-review. Nobody could duplicate the results so people became suspicious. Looking harder they found a sub-standard sample size of only 13 subjects, many subjects who already showed signs of autism at the start of the study, discovered data that was fraudulently modified, uncovered plans by Wakefield exploit the new market he created by profiting from his findings, and a discovered conflict of interest. Every single study that has been performed in regards to vaccines and autism continues to find no link between the two. In short Doctor Wakefield is now Mr. Wakefield and can never study medicine again and vaccines remain one of the greatest discoveries of human history.

Just like Mr. Trump, you probably have one friend, who is not a doctor or scientist, who has some story that might shed doubt in your mind that vaccines do cause autism. Think about this; That is just one story versus the vast body of evidence in well-performed scientific studies over decades of time, all publicly available to read, and all show absolutely no link. Know anyone with polio? Know anyone who died from smallpox? I’ll bet good money the answer is no. Thank you vaccines. And thank you evidence-based science.

There should be zero surprise that year after year we experience outbreaks of vaccine preventable disease in the areas that have the lowest vaccination rates where many adults and children die. We’re not at all implying that Donald Trump is responsible for these deaths. What we are saying is that when you are a leader and you go around promoting dangerous conspiracy theories, what you are doing is reinforcing someone’s deeply held beliefs and this makes it all the more harder for them to accept new factual information. It is very irresponsible and dangerous on the part of Donald Trump, Doctor Rand Paul, and Doctor Ben Carson to propagate these false claims.

More info can be found in the links below.

Media

Links

Here is the journalist who helped shed light on Mr. Wakefield’s skullduggery.

Here is an explanation in pretty comic book form.

The original, now retracted, study in The Lancet.

Here’s a study that looked at half a million subjects with zero link found.

Trump’s tweet in 2014 that prompted the question.

 

Trump University Was a Massive Scam

Trump University logo

They hoped to get rich off real estate, and who would be a better mentor than one of the richest men in the world? So they enrolled in Donald Trump’s university to learn the tricks of the trade, some of them maxing out their credit cards to pay tens of thousands of dollars for insider knowledge they believed could make them wealthy.

With Trump rising in the polls as the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, his brief foray into education is an episode — and a business failure — that remains far more obscure than other chapters of the celebrity billionaire’s career.

Never licensed as a school, Trump University was in reality a series of real estate workshops in hotel ballrooms around the country, not unlike many other for-profit self-help or motivational seminars. Though short-lived, it remains a thorn in Trump’s side nearly five years after its operations ceased: In three pending lawsuits, including one in which the New York attorney general is seeking $40 million in restitution, former students allege that the enterprise bilked them out of their money with misleading advertisements.

Instead of a fast route to easy money, these Trump University students say they found generic seminars led by salesmen who pressured them to invest more cash in additional courses. The students say they didn’t learn Trump’s secrets and never received the one-on-one guidance they expected.

It’s a chapter of Trump’s past that shows how he sometimes defies the usual laws of campaign physics. Such allegations of multi­million-dollar fraud might sink other candidates, but in Trump’s case, even some of the students who felt duped said they haven’t given up on him: They like Trump. They admire him. They might even vote for him.

“He says what he means, not like politicians, not like Obama,” said Louie Liu of Hurst, Tex. Liu, a motel owner, said in a sworn affidavit that he paid $1,495 for a three-day seminar, then felt lured into paying $24,995 for more classes, an online training program and a three-day in-person mentorship. A few days later, he called to ask for a refund, but his request was rejected. Trump University, he concluded, was a “scam.”

Trump’s attorneys vigorously deny the charges. Alan Garten, general counsel for the Trump Organization, said the company offered aspiring real estate investors a quality education and that all but a handful of students were pleased with it.

It is unbelievable, Garten said, that anyone could have thought that Trump University was a university in the traditional sense. Classes were held in hotel ballrooms, after all. “People who say, ‘I thought it was a university with a football team and a bookstore,’ it’s laughable,” he said.

Trump University was born in 2004, when two businessmen proposed to offer distance-learning courses in entre­pre­neur­ship under the Trump brand. Trump gave his blessing, according to court documents, becoming a 93 percent owner of the new enterprise.

By 2007, the business had evolved to focus on live real estate seminars. But Trump University was not a university in any legal sense, and beginning in 2005, New York State Education Department officials told the company to change its name because they deemed it misleading. The business became the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative in May 2010, and it stopped operating shortly thereafter.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) filed his $40 million suit against Trump and Trump University in 2013, alleging that Trump had illegally operated an unlicensed university and defrauded students. Approximately 80,000 people attended Trump University’s free introductory seminars, according to court documents. About 9,200 of them went on to pay $1,495 for three-day seminars, and nearly 800 paid up to $35,000 for packages that included mentorships and workshops.

“No one, no matter how rich or popular they are, has a right to scam hard working New Yorkers,” Schneiderman said in a news release at the time.

Trump attacked Schneiderman, calling him a “political hack” whose lawsuit was a publicity grab and a shakedown for campaign contributions. “We have a school that’s a terrific school. It did a fantastic job,” Trump told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in 2013.

Trump’s campaign referred questions to Garten, Trump’s lawyer, who said the allegations are baseless and expressed confidence that Trump will prevail.

“We’re completely winning this case,” Garten said.

Matt Mittenthal, a spokesman for Schneiderman, said the attorney general could not comment on the pending suit. “We will continue to pursue our claims against Mr. Trump in court on behalf of the people he defrauded,” Mittenthal said.

The judge in the New York case ruled last year that Trump is personally liable for illegally operating a university without a proper license. But the judge also ruled that the statute of limitations prevents Schneiderman from seeking restitution for most of Trump University’s students, a decision Schneiderman is appealing. Whether the university defrauded students and how much Trump might owe in damages are yet to be decided.

Trump University introduced itself to potential customers with advertisements on radio and television, and in newspapers. The ads promoted a free, two-hour real estate seminar and a chance to learn Trump’s strategies from his “handpicked instructors.”

“He’s earned more in a day than most people do in a lifetime,” reads a 2009 ad featuring Trump’s photograph. “He’s living a life many men and women only dream about. And now he’s ready to share — with Americans like you — the Trump process for investing in today’s once-in-a-lifetime real estate market.”

The ad goes on to quote Trump: “I can turn anyone into a successful real estate investor, including you.”

The soundtrack for the free seminars was “For the Love of Money,” the theme song for “The Apprentice,” Trump’s reality television show. Instructors allegedly told inspirational stories of their own business successes and then encouraged students to pay $1,495 for a three-day workshop.

Students said they were swept along by the promise that they were getting the best real estate education money could buy, according to interviews and several dozen complaints and sworn affidavits filed with the court. But they claimed that the seminars were another sales pitch: To learn how to make it in real estate, they needed additional workshops and mentoring at a cost of up to $35,000.

(h/t Washington Post)

Reality

Was Trump University a scam? We take a look at the available evidence.

Did Trump University sell itself off as an educational institution?

Yes. Trump himself marketed Trump University as a premier institution of higher learning rivaling Wharton Business School. Trump University had advertisements touting their function as a higher educational entity.

Trump University online advertisement.

Trump University free class advertisement

They had course books (that you can still purchase on Amazon) with their course numbers.

Trump University Real Estate 101 course book

Was Trump University a licensed school?

No. A New York judge found Donald Trump was running an unlicensed school and was liable. The New York Department of Education demanded that the name Trump University be changed since it was misleading and in violation of the state’s education laws.

Were the professors the best brains in the industry and hand picked by Donald Trump as he promised?

No. They were hired motivational speakers with limited-to-none real estate background and not picked by Trump. In a deposition in the Cohen case last December, Trump suggested under oath that he was not very involved in hiring instructors, despite the program’s promotional materials suggesting otherwise and his lawyers asserting he was “very involved.” Rather, Trump said, “I would see résumés. … I told [Trump University’s president] I want very good people.” He also said he did not personally select instructors for 2009 live seminars

What did students find when the got there?

Courses with instructors pressing them to buy more courses for tens of thousands of dollars more.

Did Trump University have a A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, as Trump claims in his defense.

Yes, Trump University had an ‘A+’ rating from the Better Business Bureau… only after all of the bad reviews and complaints were removed. The policy of the Better Business Bureau is to remove all claims for a company after 3 years. When Trump University was active it had a rating of ‘D-‘. Donald Trump’s defense of an ‘A+’ rating is a clear deception.

Conclusion

Our conclusion based on all of the available evidence is that Trump University is a textbook example of a bait-and-switch scam.

Media

Deceptive advertisement by Trump University:


Media piece on Trump University:

Links

Court documents

Lawyers prosecuting Trump University

Trump Misstates Part of the Iran Deal

In criticizing the Iran deal as one of the “worst contracts” he would have to inherit as president, Trump has also incorrectly said that the agreement includes a stipulation that the United States would have to fight Israel in defense of the Iranians.

But there is a clause in there that people are not even talking about that we’re supposed to essentially come to their defense, the Iranian’s defense, and if Israel attacks, you know, where are we? Well, believe me, that will never happen. But how do they agree to things like this? We have a horrible contract. But we do have a contract.

Reality

The State Department disputed Trump’s characterization of the deal’s Section 10 of Annex III.

“This provision of the [agreement] is designed to help bring Iran’s nuclear security and safety practices in line with those used by other nuclear programs around the world,” said Marie Harf, Secretary of State John Kerry’s senior communications adviser, during a CNN fact check.

“The IAEA provides this kind of training routinely, as it is in the interest of all countries that nuclear material be safeguarded from theft and terrorist attacks — the types of ‘sabotage’ in question. This would be the focus of any such assistance by the P5+1 or other states,” she noted. “Nevertheless, this provision does not commit any country to engage in this kind of routine nuclear security cooperation, and it is absurd to suggest it [commits] anyone to ‘defend’ Iran’s nuclear facilities.”

Links

http://www.politico.eu/article/donald-trumps-11-worst-foreign-policy-gaffes-us-election-syria-mexico-iraq/

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/09/04/donald_trump_slams_third_rate_radio_announcer_hugh_hewitt_after_bombing_mideast_quiz.html

Trump Vows to Never Eat Oreo Cookies Again

Trump versus oreo cookies

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump confirmed on Tuesday that he will stop eating Oreos, a decision he came to after Nabisco parent company Mondelez International, announced last month that it’s replacing production lines in Chicago with new ones at a plant in Salinas, Mexico.

“I’m never eating Oreos again,” Trump said on Tuesday, reaffirming statements he first made last week at a rally in Alabama, where he said, “Mexico is the new China . . . I love Oreos. I will never eat them again. Nabisco closes the plant in Chicago and they are moving the plant to Mexico.”

Reality

Mondelez is not closing the Chicago plant, but it is cutting 600 jobs there as a result of the new investment in Mexico, the Associated Press reports. A spokesperson for Mondelez told the Associated Press that the company’s new investment of $130 million in Mexico is an effort to save production costs, as the new lines in Mexico will cost $46 million less per year than those in Chicago. Only two of the four new lines will make Oreo cookies.

Jobs moving out of the United States has been one of Trump’s signature positions and has struck a cord with his supporters. The irony is not lost that voters believe that a billionaire businessman would save them from billionaire businessmen.

Media

Links

http://fortune.com/2015/08/26/donald-trump-oreos/

http://www.factcheck.org/2015/11/about-trumps-oreo-boycott/

Immigration Reform That Will Make America Great Again

In his first policy paper, Trump laid out a highly racist and nationalist immigration reform based on faulty data and promoted crimes against humanity all while failing the mention of its high cost to taxpayers.

For many years, Mexico’s leaders have been taking advantage of the United States by using illegal immigration to export the crime and poverty in their own country (as well as in other Latin American countries)

The paper goes on to explain the core issues of Donald Trump’s reforms:

  1. A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border.
  2. A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced.
  3. A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans.

Reality

Allow me to break down each core issue and explain the problem. As we read these we first need a dose of reality for context. If at any time you start leaning towards Trump’s side just remember a few things:

  1. Mexican immigration net zero. Meaning more Mexicans are leaving the US and moving back to Mexico than the Mexicans coming in. Illegal immigration is not as big of a problem as you think it is.
  2. Undocumented immigrants commit far less crime than the rest of the population. In general the people who are living in the country illegally don’t want any contact with law enforcement.
  3. The Obama recovery worked, the economy is strong, unemployment is at record lows, S&P 500 is up. While wage growth has been stagnant, it’s not like billionaire business owners couldn’t have done something about that.
A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border.

Let’s play a game of logic. Drugs are coming across the southern border so Trump wants to build a wall with Mexico and is cheered for it by Republicans. Drugs are coming across the northern border and Governor Scott Walker makes the suggestion that we should also build a wall with Canada and is laughed at and called crazy by Republicans. How could this be that Republicans see 1 problem happening in 2 different places and have vastly different ideas? Logically if this was really about drugs then they would have jumped at the idea of a northern border wall. The only logical conclusion then is race, Canadians in general look and talk like Americans, Mexicans are brown and have a different word for everything. Therefore this idea has its roots in racism.

A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced.

This is really vague and kind of a “no duh” comment. But what Trump is talking about here is rounding up every illegal immigrant and returning them to their place of origin, nationwide e-verify, ending birthright citizenship, defunding sanctuary cities, increasing the number of ICE officers, and more.

Mass deportations would involve rounding up every undocumented person and forcibly removing them from the country. What Trump is advocating here already has a name, it’s called “ethnic cleansing” and it is not seen as a positive and moral thing. What Trump also fails to mention is the cost. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told lawmakers that it costs about $12,500 to deport one immigrant from the United States. Multiply that by 11.3 million, and you get $141.3 billion. Not great for the deficit and smaller government.

Tripling the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers would cost $8.4 billion per year, again not great for the deficit and smaller government. What Trump also neglects is that President Obama has deported more illegal immigrants than any of his predecessors. So vote Democrat.

Nationwide E-Verify system, while the least controversial of his reforms, would still cost taxpayers $2.15 billion, again not great for the deficit and smaller government.

All-in-all Trumps plan would be a giant middle finger to freedom and morality and cost the taxpayers over $160 billion, again not great for the deficit and smaller government, but great for people who hate Mexicans.

A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans.

Want to improve jobs? Vote Democrat. Under President Obama, unemployment is at a 20 year low and is below natural unemployment rate, meaning we are at total employment.

Want to improve wages? Don’t vote for Trump. He believes we must keep wages low in order to compete with other countries.

Want to secure America? Well Republicans don’t have the best track record.

Links

https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/immigration-reform

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/11/20/what-we-know-about-illegal-immigration-from-mexico/

http://immigrationpolicy.org/special-reports/criminalization-immigration-united-states

http://cronkite.asu.edu/buffett/canada/borderdrugs.html

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jul/26/canada-border-is-drug-wars-2nd-front/?page=all

Trump Overstated His Military Credentials From Marines

In an answer trying to bolster his military credibility, Trump referenced receiving an award in April, saying it came from the United States Marines Corps when it was actually the charity The Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation.

During an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Trump made the claim:

“I was given the biggest award by the Marines the other day, one of the biggest civilian awards by the Marines the other day. I was with all of the Marines, I was with the new head of the joint chiefs of staff, he’s a very impressive guy, at the Waldorf Astoria the other night. I was given one of the most distinguished awards, which was a great honor for me.”

Cuomo interjected: “So you’re saying they respect you.”

“I think they do. Well, I got the award from them. And they presented it to me, so I think they do.”

But the award came at a charity gala, where Trump pledged to donate $100,000 to the organization in his speech, the New York Post’s Page Six reported at the time.

Trump’s spokeswoman confirmed that was the award he was referring to.

But that doesn’t add up because Trump boasted many times before that he was receiving the award from the actual United States Marines.

A picture of the award from the Marine Corps clearly shows the name of the charity on the award. The Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation is a charity that gives scholarships to the children of fallen Marines and federal law enforcement officers.

The Marines also confirmed they did not give an award to Trump.

“The U.S. Marine Corps has not presented any awards to any presidential candidates this year,” said Marine Corps spokesman Maj. Paul Greenberg. “It is not customary for the Marine Corps to make such presentations.

Greenberg said the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation is a nonprofit not officially affiliated with the Department of Defense or the government.

(h/t CNN)

Media

Best, Memory, Ever

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, boasted about his amazing memory when asked about the last thing he apologized for, he replied:

It was too many years ago to remember. I have one of the great memories of all time, but it was too long ago.

I’ll just let that logic sink in for a moment…

Reality

Ummm…

Links

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/donald-trump-murdoch-ailes-nbc-816131

Trump Gets Foreign Policy Advice From TV Shows

Donal Trump on Meet the Press

In an August 16 appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Chuck Todd grilled Trump on who he turned to for foreign policy advice.

“Well I really watch the shows. You really see a lot of great, you know, when you watch your show and all of the other shows, and you have the generals and you have certain people that you like,” Trump said.

“But is there somebody — a go-to for you?” Todd pressed. That’s when Trump made his next mistake…

“Probably there are two or three. Yeah, probably there are two or three I mean, I like [former U.N. Ambassador John] Bolton. I think he’s, you know, tough cookie, knows what he’s talking about. [Ret. Col. Jack] Jacobs is a good guy… and I see him on occasion,”

In an interview with Mother Jones later that week, retired colonel Jack Jacobs said that while knew Trump, the two had never discussed military policy.

“He may have said the first person who came to mind,” Jacobs said. “I know him. But I’m not a consultant. I’m not certain if he has a national security group of people. I don’t know if he does or if he doesn’t. If he does, I’m not one of them.”

Links

http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/video/full-interview-trump-on-immigration-hillary-clinton-and-his-controversial-campaign-505901123767

http://www.politico.eu/article/donald-trumps-11-worst-foreign-policy-gaffes-us-election-syria-mexico-iraq/

 

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