Trump jokingly blames Dow plunge on Seth Moulton’s withdrawal from 2020 race

President Trump joked on Twitter that “perhaps” the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 500 points on Friday because Rep. Seth Moulton dropped out of the crowded Democratic race for president.

“The Dow is down 573 points perhaps on the news that Representative Seth Moulton, whoever that may be, has dropped out of the 2020 Presidential Race!” Trump tweeted.

Rather, stocks fell sharply on Wall Street after Trump said he would respond to China’s latest tariff increase by calling on U.S. companies to consider alternatives to doing business in China.

Stocks had been wavering between gains and losses earlier in the day after China said it would retaliate against the latest round of tariffs imposed by Washington with duties on $75 billion of U.S. products.

Moulton, a three-term congressman from Massachusetts and U.S. Marine veteran who served four tours of duty in the Iraq War, struggled to gain traction in the Democratic race. He ended his long-shot bid in San Francisco at the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting.

“I am ending my campaign for president,” Moulton, 40, said Friday, adding, “I am leaving this race knowing that we raised issues that are vitally important to the American people and our future.”

When a reporter for Bloomberg News asked Moulton for his reaction to Trump’s tweet, the Democrat shot back: “I’m glad he thinks that I have more influence over Wall Street than he does.”

[Fox News]

Trump unleashes bizarre stream of gobbledygook when reporter asks him to describe his health care plan

President Donald Trump has vowed multiple times over the past two-and-a-half years to unveil his own replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act, but so far no actual plan has come to light.

As noted by CNN fact checker Daniel Dale, Trump was asked by a reporter in New Hampshire this week to describe his health care plan, and the president responded with a stream of gobbledygook.

“So, we have a great plan coming out,” the president began when asked about his plan. “It’s going to be — if we can take back the House because we’re not going to get the Democrats to vote for it, because they’re doing Medicare for all, which is going to take away your freedom, take away your doctors, take away everything that you should be able to have, and most importantly, it’s going to take away — we have 180 million people right now that have private insurance and they love it, and all of that’s going to be taken away. It’s absolute craziness.”

Instead of talking about his own health care plan, the president then proceeded to make false statements about Medicare for All.

“On top of everything else, they’re looking at 80, 90, 95 percent tax, because there’s no — there’s no way they can afford it,” he said. “But people don’t want to go to a hospital, to go to a doctor. They don’t want to go. They want to have their own doctor, number one, and we went through this with Obamacare, which we got rid of the individual mandate, by the way, which is very important.”

After all this, the president finally pivoted back to talking about his own health care plan, but he offered zero details about what it would contain.

“But we have a great health care plan,” he said. “If we get the House, we hold the Senate, we keep the presidency, we’re going to have great health care, much better than Obamacare, at much less cost.”

[Raw Story]

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]

El Paso’s Republican mayor says Trump called him a ‘RINO’ during visit after mass shooting

The Republican mayor of El Paso, Texas, said this week that President Trump referred to him as a “Republican in name only” – or “RINO” – when the president visited the city following a mass shooting.

Mayor Dee Margo (R) told “PBS Frontline” in an interview that aired Wednesday that Trump made the remark while the two held an impromptu meeting amid the president’s visit in the wake of a shooting that left 22 people dead.

During their discussion, Margo said, Trump called him a “RINO” after he objected to the president’s “misinformation” about crime in El Paso.

“He said, ‘You’re a RINO,’ and I said, ‘No, sir. I am not a RINO.’ I said, ‘I simply corrected the misinformation you were given by [the Texas] attorney general, and that’s all I did,'” Margo told Frontline, adding that his response prompted a grin from the president.

Margo earlier this year denounced Trump for saying in his State of the Union address that El Paso experienced a dramatic dip in crime after installing a border fence. The criticism came amid a push for construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Margo tweeted shortly after the speech that “El Paso was never one of the most dangerous cities in the US.”

“We’ve had a fence for 10 years and it has impacted illegal immigration and curbed criminal activity,” Margo wrote. “It is NOT the sole deterrent. Law enforcement in our community continues to keep us safe.”

He later added that Trump may have been given incorrect information from the Texas attorney general about crime statistics during his previous visit to McAllen, Texas.

Days later, Trump took aim at Margo, saying during a February rally in El Paso that “people were full of crap” if they say a border fence hasn’t made a difference in reducing crime.

“There’s no place better to talk about border security, whether they like it or not,” Trump said at the time. “I’ve been hearing a lot of things. ‘Oh the wall didn’t make that much of a difference.'”

“I don’t care if a mayor is a Republican or a Democrat, they’re full of crap when they say it hasn’t made a big difference,” he added.

Margo said his recent meeting with Trump occurred as the president traveled to the airport after visiting medical staff and shooting survivors in El Paso. The two discussed border security, according to Margo, who said he told Trump that a physical barrier is not a “panacea.”

“I said, ‘If you want to deal with immigration, the first thing you do is you have Homeland Security define what is a secure border and what they need in the way of resources to handle that,'” Margo said, adding that his comments about crime in El Paso seemed to “resonate” with Trump.

Asked about Trump calling his previous comments “full of crap,” Margo said he he hoped Trump “wouldn’t say that now, given our conversation.”

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

[The Hill]

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’s Chris Cuomo Jab Appears to Make Light of ‘Red Flag’ Laws

As millions of Americans woke up to the news that Chris Cuomo hadthreatened a guy for calling him “Fredo,” President Trump inserted himself into the most important story of our time with his usual measured perspective:

The tweet appears to be both an attack on Cuomo — the president would never miss the opportunity to go after a CNN anchor — and a joke about “red flag” laws, which grant authorities the power to remove guns from those who have been deemed unstable by their family or law enforcement. (Cuomo’s tough-guy act isn’t exactly the kind of thing the regulation’s architects had in mind.)

In the aftermath of the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio last weekend, Trump indicated his support for red-flag laws, which have recently gained traction as a point of rare bipartisan compromise. Since 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida in February 2018, the number of states with such rules on the books has more than tripled from five to 17. If Trump’s endorsement means he’s in favor of a federal red-flag mandate — it’s unclear whether that’s the case — he could conceivably sign one into law after Congress reconvenes in September. That is, if he can pull himself away from Twitter.

[New York Magazine]

Trump Slams U.S. Military Exercises, Helps Kim Jong Un Blame America for Missile Launches

President Donald Trump released some details of the “beautiful letter” that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un sent him recently, which apparently included a “small apology” for the recent missile tests, which Kim blamed on the U.S. military exercises that Trump called “ridiculous and expensive.”

During an impromptu press gaggle on the South Lawn of the White House Friday, Trump told reporters that he “got a very beautiful letter from Kim Jong Un yesterday,” and while he gushed about the beauty and three-page (“right from top to bottom”) length of the letter, Trump would not reveal its beautiful contents.

But on Saturday morning, Trump did reveal some of Kim’s letter, writing that the dictator mostly complained about our country’s military exercises, and promised to end missile tests once those exercises stop. Trump called the exercises “expensive and ridiculous.”

Since Trump announced receipt of that beautiful letter, North Koreas has reportedly conducted another missile launch, its fifth in recent weeks. Trump has been a consistent critic of the U.S. military’s joint military exercises with South Korea, which Trump and the North Koreans call “war games.”

Watch Trump describe the beautiful three full page, right from top to bottom, feat of correspondence above, via CBS.

[Mediaite]

Trump Attacks Ohio Senator After Leaving Visit to Dayton Shooting Victims: ‘Failed Presidential Candidate (0%)’

Shortly after departing Dayton, OH after visiting victims of Sunday’s mass shooting, President Donald Trump attacked the city’s mayor and one of Ohio’s senators.

In a pair of tweets while en route to El Paso, the president ripped Sen. Sherrod Brown(D-OH) and Dayton mayor Nan Whaley for comments they made in a news conference following the president’s visit Wednesday afternoon.

“Just left Dayton, Ohio, where I met with the Victims & families, Law Enforcement, Medical Staff & First Responders,” Trump wrote. It was a warm & wonderful visit. Tremendous enthusiasm & even Love. Then I saw failed Presidential Candidate (0%) Sherrod Brown & Mayor Whaley totally … misrepresenting what took place inside of the hospital. Their news conference after I left for El Paso was a fraud. It bore no resemblance to what took place with those incredible people that I was so lucky to meet and spend time with. They were all amazing!”

In the news conference, Brown (who never officially declared himself a candidate for the presidency) said this when asked why he reversed course on taking part in Trump’s visit to Dayton, after originally balking.

“I didn’t want to in any way encourage the president’s racist talk and divisive talk,” Brown said. “I came because Mayor Whaley asked me to come.”

Whaley was critical of Washington at large, talking about what she views as the dim prospect of gun control legislation being enacted.

“I’m not holding my breath,” she said.

[Mediaite]

Trump blames news media for causing ‘anger and rage’ in wake of domestic terror attack

Donald Trump has blamed what he called “Fake News” for stoking “anger and rage” in the wake of two gun attacks that killed a total of 29 people, one of which is being treated as a case of domestic terrorism.

In a tweet on Monday morning, the president said the media had a responsibility to safeguard “life and safety” in the United States. 

“Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years,” he wrote. 

“News coverage has got to start being fair, balanced and unbiased, or these terrible problems will only get worse!”

The tweet came at the end of a string of angry missives about the El Pasoand Dayton mass shootings over the weekend, which saw 29 people shot dead in less than 24 hours. 

Earlier, Mr Trump had thrown his support behind tougher background checks for buying guns, but then insisted any legislation was tied to immigration reform. 

There is no obvious connection between the two shootings and immigration reform. The suspect in El Paso, Patrick Crusius, is believed to be a white nationalist and police are treating the attack as an act of domestic terrorism.

Now, the president has turned his ire on the familiar foe of the media and appeared to accuse journalists of being partly to blame for the epidemic of gun violence which blights America. 

Speaking to reporters just before boarding Air Force One, Mr Trump had offered his condolences to the families of those killed in Dayton and El Paso. 

“We love the people,” he added. “Hate has no place in our country.”

However, earlier Democrats had accused Mr Trump of “sowing seeds of hate” and said he, not the media, was responsible for the wave of right-wing terrorist attacks in recent years.

Cory Booker, a Democratic senator and presidential candidate, told NBC: “You reap what you sow, and he is sowing seeds of hate in this country.

“This harvest of hate violence we’re seeing right now lies at his feet. He is responsible.”

Mr Trump has repeatedly attacked the media since he was elected, condemning almost any critical coverage of his divisive presidency as “fake news”. 

Although the business mogul’s linking of the press with the two shootings appears to simply continue this trend, he is not the first person to connect journalism and gun violence. 

There is some evidence the media’s coverage of mass shootings can lead to a wave of copycat attacks. 

One study from last year by Australian researchers concluded there were spikes in the numbers of shootings in America after a high profile incident is given wall-to-wall exposure on rolling TV news. 

In total, the study suggested 58 per cent of all shootings in the three year sample they examined could be linked to coverage of previous tragedies. 

[The Independent]

Trump Lies and tells 9/11 first responders: ‘I was down there also’

Donald Trump signed the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund on Monday at the White House Rose Garden while reminding first responders that he was also in New York City at the time of the historic terror attacks. 

“I was down there also,” the president said to an audience of 60 first responders and their families who had gathered in Washington to witness the signing ceremony. “But I’m not considering myself a first responder,” he added. 

The president celebrated the first responders for their service in the single deadliest terror attack in US history while signing a bill that effectively makes the victims’s health care compensation fund permanent. Many of the first responders and other victims have continued to suffer debilitating medical issues due to the debris and destruction that blanketed downtown Manhattan in the wake of the attacks responsible for nearly 3,000 deaths.

“I spent a lot of time down there with you,” the president added, appearing to suggest without evidence that he participated in either rescue efforts or surveying the damage after the attacks.

Mr Trump also joked with the first responders that the stage set up in the White House Rose Garden might fall as they were all convening for a photo. He added that if the stage falls, the responders “are not falling very far”.

While there is no evidence to indicate Mr Trump was at ground zero — the site of the terror attacks — during or immediately after the events, an interview with the president from that day features him discussing how one of his buildings had allegedly become “the tallest” in the city after the Twin Towers were destroyed. 

Speaking with a local TV station hours after the attacks, Mr Trump described an “amazing phone call” he received about 40 Wall Street, a building he owned that “was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually before the World Trade Centre the tallest.”

“When they built the World Trade Centre it became known as the second-tallest, and now it’s the tallest,” he said. “And I just spoke to my people, and they said it’s the most unbelievable sight, it’s probably seven or eight blocks away from the World Trade Centre, and yet Wall Street is littered with two feet of stone and brick and mortar and steel.”

Mr Trump’s claims his building was the tallest in downtown Manhattan was not accurate from the very start, according to reports.

On Monday, the president described the group of first responders present at the White House as a “great looking group of people”.

“You inspire all of humanity,” he said.

First responders of the September 11 attacks had been frequently visiting Capitol Hill in recent weeks to battle Republican leadership in high-profile public hearings surrounding the victims compensation fund, which several GOP leaders wanted to prevent from getting a vote. 

They were joined by comedian and activist Jon Stewart, who slammed Republicans like Senate Leader Mitch McConnell for refusing to vote on the bill that would extend health care benefits to victims of the attacks through 2092.

The signing ceremony arrived after the Senate approved a final version of the plan last week that would add over $10bn (£8.2bn) over ten years to the victim compensation fund. Funds had been depleted and awards were sharply cut in recent years amid fears that Congress would not provide necessary funding to keep it available to victims of the terror attacks.

[The Independent]

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