Trump knocks ‘Saturday Night Live’ after season premiere: ‘It is just a political ad for the Dems’

President Trump on Sunday bashed “Saturday Night Live” after its season premiere, claiming that the show “is just a political ad for the Dems.”

The president in a tweet claimed he does not watch the show, despite previously hosting it and regularly being a focal point of its sketches.

“Like many, I don’t watch Saturday Night Live (even though I past hosted it) – no longer funny, no talent or charm. It is just a political ad for the Dems,” Trump wrote.

“Word is that Kanye West, who put on a MAGA hat after the show (despite being told ‘no’), was great. He’s leading the charge!” the president added.

“Saturday Night Live” opened its 44th season with actor Adam Driver hosting and West, a vocal Trump supporter, serving as the musical guest.

The opening of the show skewered Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s fiery testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, mocking how frequently he referenced his affinity for beer and his use of a calendar from 1982 as proof that he did not attend a party where Christine Blasey Ford alleged he sexually assaulted her that year.

During the show’s “Weekend Update” segment, co-anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che again largely focused their attention on Kavanaugh, with additional barbs aimed at Trump.

West, who wore a “Make America Great Again” hat during promotional ads for the show, did not make any overt political statements during his two performances on Saturday, but delivered a pro-Trump message onstage while the show was off the air.

West pushed back on criticism of his support for Trump, and was booed loudly by the audience.

“There’s so many times I talk to, like, a white person about this and they say, ‘How could you like Trump? He’s racist,’ ” West said. “Well, uh, if I was concerned about racism, I would’ve moved out of America a long time ago.”

[The Hill]

Trump Repeatedly Interrupts Female Reporter After She Questions Him About Message He’s Sending to Women

During a rare solo press conference from New York City on Wednesday, President Donald Trump was asked by Sky News reporter Hannah Thomas-Peter about the message that it was sending women when he referred to the Kavanaugh accusations as a “con job.”

Trump responded by repeatedly interrupting the reporter and mansplaining the meaning of “con job.”

It all started when Trump first identified the female reporter as “the one that was nodding with every nice thing I said.”

She replied it was a habit of hers.

Then, the reporter asked this: “Are you at all concerned at the message that is being sent to the women who are watching this when you use language like ‘con job’ in relation to allegations of sexual assault?”

“That’s like probably the nicest phrase I’ve ever used. I mean, con job. it is. It’s a con job,” he said, seemingly dismissing her concerns and speaking over her. “You know, confidence. It’s a confidence job. but they — it’s a con job by the Democrats. they know it.”

The Sky News reporter then tried to ask, “What about the message that’s being sent to women who are watching?”

Trump interrupted her again.

“They did the same thing with the Russia investigation. They tried to convince people that I had something to do with Russia. There was no collusion, think of it,” he began before noting con job was “not a bad term.”

“Are you worried…” the reporter tried again, but Trump talked over her again.

Then, the president finally made mention of women, but only to say they are “so angry” by the accusations being made.

“I’ll tell you this. the people that have complained to me about it the most, about what’s happening, are women. women are very angry. you know, I got 52% with women. everyone said this couldn’t happen. 52% — women are so angry…Let her have her day in court. Let somebody else have a day in court. But the ones that I find — I mean, I have men that don’t like it but I have women that are incensed at what’s going on.”

[Mediaite]

Media

Sky News

Trump Didn’t Have A Meeting Scheduled With Trudeau — But He Canceled It Anyway

President Donald Trump claimed he snubbed a meeting request from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the United Nations this week. “I’ve told him forget about it,” Trump remarked Wednesday during a news conference on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

Canada, however, was quick to cry foul. No such meeting was ever requested, a Trudeau spokesman told CNN, adding: “We do not have any comment beyond that.”

The back and forth about the supposed meeting comes amid the U.S. and Canada’s acrimonious renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, and follows months of souring relations between the two North American neighbors.

Speaking at the news conference, Trump alleged he refused a “one-on-one meeting” with Trudeau because of Canada’s high dairy tariffs and poor “negotiating style.” He also took a shot at Canada’s “representative” in the NAFTA negotiations, an apparent reference to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who has been leading Canada’s negotiations with the U.S.

Trudeau’s “tariffs are too high, and he doesn’t seem to want to move, and I’ve told him forget about it, and frankly, we’re thinking about just taxing cars coming in from Canada,” Trump said. “That’s the mother lode. That’s the big one.”

He added: “We’re very unhappy with the negotiations and the negotiating style of Canada. We don’t like their representative very much.”

Trudeau and Trump were captured on camera briefly shaking hands on Tuesday during a luncheon for world leaders.

Trudeau, who was standing, tapped Trump’s shoulder to greet him. The U.S. president stayed seated as he extended his hand for a cursory handshake. Trump’s decision to stay seated during the exchange has been described as a snub and as showing a lack of diplomatic etiquette.

Trump and Trudeau share a rocky history. In June, after the G7 summit, Trudeau told reporters that Canada would retaliate with tariffs of its own following the imposition of U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum.

In response, Trump lambasted the prime minister on Twitter as being “very dishonest & weak.”

The U.S. has suggested it will forge a new NAFTA deal with just Mexico if it fails to reach an accord with its northern neighbor.

NAFTA, a trilateral trade pact comprising the U.S., Canada and Mexico, has been in force since 1994.

[Huffington Post]

Trump attacks second Kavanaugh accuser: ‘She admits that she was drunk’

President Trump on Tuesday went after the second woman who has come forward to accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, suggesting she lacks credibility in part because she was intoxicated during the alleged incident.

Deborah Ramirez alleges that Kavanaugh exposed himself and thrust his genitals in her face at a college party during their freshman year at Yale in the 1980s. She acknowledged in her account to The New Yorker that she had been drinking prior to the alleged incident, and had gaps in her memory of the event.

“The second accuser has nothing,” Trump told reporters during a meeting with the Colombian president at the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.

“She thinks maybe it could have been him, maybe not. She admits that she was drunk. She admits that there are time lapses,” the president said.

Trump claimed that allegations from Ramirez and Christine Blasey Ford are part of a “con game” by Democrats against his Supreme Court nominee.

“I can tell you that false accusations of all types are made against a lot of people,” the president added. “This is a high-quality person and I certainly hope – it would be a horrible insult to our country if this doesn’t happen. And it would be a horrible horrible thing for future political people, judges… it cannot be allowed to happen.”

[The Hill]

Trump, at Missouri campaign rally, says Democrats are ‘dangerous,’ ‘crazy’

President Trump held a rally on Friday night in Springfield, Missouri in support of state Attorney General Josh Hawley, who is attempting to unseat Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Trump said that Hawley was needed “in the Senate to fight for Missouri” and the “whole country” because the Republican party would “never, ever get a vote” from McCaskill, including on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

“Brett Kavanaugh, fantastic man. She just announced she won’t vote for him,” Trump said of McCaskill. “He was born for the U.S. Supreme Court. He was born for it. And it’s going to happen. It’s going to happen. But she just announced, she’s not voting … and she’ll vote against everything we want to do.”

McCaskill tweeted Wednesday night that she would not vote for Kavanaugh. In her message, she explicitly wrote that his legal rulings and ideology — and not the allegations by Christine Blasey Ford — were the reason for her decision.

Ford alleged that Kavanaugh forced himself onto her and covered her mouth in the 1980s, when Kavanaugh was 17 and she was 15.

The president also said that “a vote for Claire McCaskill” was one in favor of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.

Trump also slammed Democrats, calling them “dangerous” and “crazy,” noting that some have called to abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“And they aren’t just extreme, they are frankly dangerous and they are crazy. They’re crazy,” Trump said. “Democrats want to abolish ICE. In other words, they want to abolish immigration enforcement entirely. Let violent, sadistic gangs like MS-13, the worst gang in the world, run wild in our communities.”

“I’ve seen our guys from ICE. I’ve seen it. I’ve watched it. MS-13, they’re tough but they’re not tough like our guys. They’re not tough like our ICE people,” Trump continued.

Trump won Missouri during the 2016 presidential election, defeating opponent Hillary Clinton by double digits.

The president has previously campaigned for and endorsed Hawley in the state’s Senate race, telling an audience over the summer, “We need Josh badly.”

In a June tweet, he dubbed McCaskill “so phony” for her use of a private plane for two of the three days of her supposed campaign RV tour.

“Senator Claire McCaskill of the GREAT State of Missouri flew around in a luxurious private jet during her RV tour of the state,” Trump wrote. “RV’s are not for her. People are really upset, so phony! Josh Hawley should win big, and has my full endorsement.”

For her part, McCaskill reportedly acknowledged that she had used a private plane, but insisted she had not used office funds and made no apologies for taking trips to see her constituents.

[Fox News]

Trump questions why Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser waited to report alleged assault

President Donald Trump on Friday questioned why the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a sexual assault waited years to report the incident, leveling his most direct criticism yet at Christine Blasey Ford.

“I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!”

The comments departed from the more restrained approach Trump has taken when discussing Blasey Ford. In his comments earlier this week, Trump has focused on defending Kavanaugh’s character while lamenting the public attention the case has received.

Blasey Ford has come forward with claims Kavanaugh and a friend took her into a room where he pinned her to a bed, groped her, tried to remove her clothes and put his hands over her mouth to muffle her screams at a house party in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., in the early 1980s, when he was 17 and she 15.

Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegations.

Experts say it is common for victims to delay reporting sexual abuse, in part because they feel ashamed or are fearful. Some studies suggest that only about one-third of rapes and sexual assaults are reported to law enforcement officials.

Blasey Ford reiterated Thursday that she would be willing to testify before senators about her allegations. Ford’s attorney spoke with staff for the Senate Judiciary Committee and laid out requests for her to testify next week, including that Kavanaugh not be in the same room.

After barreling ahead, Kavanaugh’s confirmation was abruptly halted this week when Ford came forward to identify herself as the author of an anonymous letter detailing the accusations. The committee has scheduled a meeting Monday to hear from both Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford, but negotiations over that hearing are ongoing.

Some Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, have said the Senate should move quickly to confirm Kavanaugh before the November midterm elections. Others, notably Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, have been more cautious.

Republicans can confirm Kavanaugh without support from Democrats, but they can afford to lose only one of their own members.

Trump’s tweet went a step further in questioning Ford’s account than remarks he made in an interview with with Fox News late Thursday night.

“Why didn’t somebody call the FBI 36 years ago?” Trump said in the Fox interviews broadcast live before a rally in Las Vegas. “I mean, you could also say when did this all happen, what is going on? To take a man like this and besmirch …”

While Trump himself approached the issue cautiously in his initial comments, some of his surrogates have not.

Donald Trump Jr. drew criticism, including from Republicans, for making light of Blasey Ford’s accusations in an Instagram post over the weekend. The post included a fake letter, written in crayon, suggesting Kavanaugh was too young to have harmed Blasey Ford.

“This is sickening,” Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., wrote on Twitter Wednesday in response to the post. “No one should make light of this situation.”

[USA Today]

Trump on Sessions: ‘I don’t have an attorney general’

US President Donald Trump has said he does not “have an attorney general” in his fiercest attack yet on Jeff Sessions.

In an interview with Hill.TV, Mr Trump renewed criticism of Mr Sessions’ decision to step aside from the inquiry into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.

He also said he was unhappy with Mr Sessions’ response to immigration.

The attorney general is yet to respond to Mr Trump’s comments.

It is unusual for a sitting president to attack their attorney general and critics accuse Mr Trump of trying to meddle in the legal system.

After the president criticised Mr Sessions last month, two key Republican senators signalled that they would support Mr Trump if he were to fire Mr Sessions after the November mid-term elections.

However, other Republicans told Politico they thought this would be a bad move and said they were standing by the attorney general.

Mr Sessions has pushed back against previous criticism by Mr Trump. “While I am attorney general, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations,” he said in August.

“I demand the highest standards, and where they are not met, I take action.”

[BBC News]

Trump Goes After ‘Illegal Mueller Witch Hunt’ Again Following Manafort Deal: ‘Continues in Search of a Crime’

President Donald Trump went after Robert Mueller and the special counsel investigation this morning two days after the Paul Manafort deal was announced.

Trump didn’t tweet about Manafort specifically, but instead attacked the Mueller probe again as “illegal” and grasping at straws:

[Mediaite]

Trump Tweets Out Outdated Death Count for Hurricane Florence

On Saturday, President Donald Trump tweeted out his “deepest sympathies” to the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones in Hurricane Florence.

“Five deaths have been recorded thus far with regard to Hurricane Florence! Deepest sympathies and warmth go out to the families and friends of the victims. May God be with them!” Trump wrote.

The death toll in Florence is actually, and sadly, up to at least 11 (some reports have it at 12) on Saturday after being reported as 5 on Friday.

As per Fox News:

The death toll attributed to Florence stands at 11, including 10 in North Carolina and one in South Carolina. Authorities say some other fatalities were unrelated.

Trump’s misreporting of the death toll comes on the heels of his repeated denial that 3000 people died in Puerto Rico following the devastating hurricanes on the island.

[Mediaite]

Trump: Republicans’ and my poll numbers would be higher if not for Mueller’s ‘witch hunt’

President Trump accused special counsel Robert Mueller on Saturday of hurting his and Republican candidates’ approval ratings, again characterizing the special counsel’s investigation as a “witch hunt.”

The president tweeted Saturday afternoon that his approval ratings, which have hovered below 50 percent for weeks in most polls, and those of Republican candidates around the country would be higher if not for Mueller’s investigation into possible ties between his campaign and Russia in the 2016 presidential election.

“While my (our) poll numbers are good, with the Economy being the best ever, if it weren’t for the Rigged Russian Witch Hunt, they would be 25 points higher!” Trump said.

“Highly conflicted Bob Mueller & the 17 Angry Democrats are using this Phony issue to hurt us in the Midterms. No Collusion!” he added.

Trump’s tweet comes one day after Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded guiltyFriday to two federal charges. In pleading guilty, Manafort agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s team in its investigation.

As part of his cooperation, Manafort has agreed to submit to interviews with the special counsel, testify in any future cases and provide related documents.

Manafort, the fourth Trump associate to plead guilty in Mueller’s investigation, was found guilty last month of tax and bank fraud charges in a Virginia court and faced another trial in Washington, D.C., this month.

What Manafort’s plea agreement means for Mueller’s probe is yet unknown, but his cooperation could be significant for Mueller’s investigation given his work on the Trump campaign.

Trump’s tweet also followed a series of endorsements for Republican candidates across the country, including several candidates facing tight races in November like Nevada congressional candidate Danny Tarkanian (R) and Texas Rep. Pete Sessions (R).

[The Hill]

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