Trump shares video accusing Google of not promoting his State of the Union addresses

President Trump on Wednesday shared a video that showed Google advertising former President Obama’s State of the Union speeches but not his, escalating his battle with the tech giant over what he claims is bias against conservatives.

Trump shared the video with the caption “#StopTheBias.”

“For years, Google promoted President Obama’s State of the Union on its homepage. When President Trump took office, Google stopped,” the video reads, followed by a montage showing Google’s home page the night of each State of the Union speech dating back to 2012.

But Google said the search engine did promote Trump’s 2018 State of the Union speech on the Google homepage. The search engine acknowledged that it did not promote the speech in 2017.

“We have historically not promoted the first address to Congress by a new President, which is technically not a State of the Union address,” a spokesperson told The Hill. “As a result, we didn’t include a promotion on google.com for this address in either 2009 or 2017.

Trump has in recent days taken on Google as part of broader attacks on social media companies over what he claims is anti-conservative bias.

“I think Google and Facebook and Twitter, I think they treat conservatives and Republicans very unfairly,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday.

He demurred when asked if he would consider regulating Google and other companies.

“We just want fairness. We’re just going to see,” Trump said.

The president first took aim at Google on Tuesday, when he sent a series of early morning tweets characterizing Google’s search results as being biased against the president and other conservatives, a claim the company promptly rejected.

“Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake News Media,” Trump wrote. “In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out,” Trump tweeted.

The president did not cite evidence for his claim, but appeared to be referencing a study that originated on the conservative blog PJ Media. The author acknowledged that the results are “not scientific.”

Trump’s criticism of technology companies comes as other Republicans in Congress, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), have accused technology firms of being biased against conservatives.

McCarthy quickly shared Trump’s video on Wednesday.

[The Hill]

Reality

Google homepage linking to the GEOTUS address from The_Donald

Trump Reaffirms Praise For Gov’t Response to Puerto Rico as Death Toll Updated to 2,975: ‘Fantastic Job’

President Donald Trump responded to the new shocking death toll in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria last year by saying the government “did a fantastic job.”

The new toll, which was found by researchers at George Washington University who were commissioned by Puerto Rico, raised deaths caused by the disaster from 64 to just below 2,975.

“I think we did a fantastic job in Puerto Rico. We’re still helping Puerto Rico. The governor is an excellent guy, he’s very happy with the job we’ve done,” Trump told reporters today. “We’ve put billions and billions of dollars into Puerto Rico, and it was a very tough one.”

He continued by saying that “we’ve put a lot of money and a lot of effort into Puerto Rico” and added that he thinks “most of the people in Puerto Rico really appreciate what we’ve done.”

The comments echoed what Trump has said in the past about the US territory, as he infamously bragged just days after the storm that only “16 people [died] verses in the thousands,” which he claimed was good compared to “a real catastrophe like Katrina.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released a statement of her own after the new death toll came out this week, saying, “The President remains proud of all of the work the Federal family undertook to help our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico.”

[Mediaite]

Trump revives charge Obama spied on his campaign

President Donald Trump is reviving his unverified claims President Barack Obama spied on his campaign and touting the words of a conservative Fox News host who also claims there’s now a precedent for presidents to use the government to spy on political rivals.

Trump, in a series of early morning tweets, quoted Tucker Carlson, who claimed on his show Tuesday night that President Obama had spied on Trump’s campaign and later argued the ‘lunatics on the left’ created a model that future presidents could follow.

‘The Obama people did something that’s never been done…They spied on a rival presidential campaign. Would it be OK if Trump did it next? I am losing faith that our system is on the level. I’m beginning to think it is rotten & corrupt. Scary stuff Obama did.’ @TuckerCarlson DOJ’ Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning.

His ‘DOJ’ might have been an indication the tweet was meant for the Department of Justice, who he has heavily criticized for not reining in the investigation of Russia’s role in the 2016 election and for not probing rival Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s looking into Russia’s role in the presidential contest – and whether or not Trump obstructed that investigation – remains on going.

Trump was quoting Carlson, a conservative pundit who as seen as one of the president’s staunchest defenders.

Carlson, in a conservation with Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist on his Fox show Tuesday night said: ‘The Obama people did something that’s never been done that I’m aware of, they spied on a rival presidential campaign and that’s okay with you. But would it be okay if the Trump did that to the next guy?’

He went on to argue there was now a precedent for presidents to use the government to spy on rival political campaigns.

‘What’s the next election is going to be like?’ he asked attorney Richard Goodstein, who was also a guest on his show. ‘I don’t want the Trump Administration to spy on rival campaigns, but you and the lunatics on the left have created a precedent that will allow them to, and future presidents to do that. I don’t want to live in that country, that’s all I’m saying.’

There has been no proof Obama spied on the Trump campaign. The FBI was investigating the campaign’s ties to Russia during the 2016 election, which Trump argues is evidence of a ‘deep red state’ conspiracy to keep him out of the White House.

In May, Trump demanded the Justice Department investigate his allegation that the Obama administration’s FBI ‘infiltrated or surveilled’ his 2016 campaign.

The agency directed its Office of Inspector General y to formally probe those claims, an investigation that remains ongoing.

Trump’s demand came after multiple reports that the FBI had sent an informant to speak with campaign advisers about matters related to possible Russia ties, which the president has used to claim Obama was spying on him.

Some reports named Stefan Halper, an American professor at Cambridge University, as the FBI informant who met with Trump campaign aidesCarter Page and George Papadopoulos.

Both aides were suspected of dealing with the Russians.

Halper also reportedly met with a third Trump campaign official, Sam Clovis, to whom he reportedly expressed interest in helping the president’s campaign.

The use of an information is common FBI practice in criminal investigations but there is no public evidence that Halper was an FBI informant, and official sources have refused to comment on the subject. Halper has not given any comment on the issue.

Papadopoulos revealed in a plea agreement to having been told by an apparent Russian agent that Vladimir Putin government had access to a raft of hacked Clinton emails before this was made public. He has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

Page, meanwhile, was under surveillance by the FBI at the time he met with the FBI informant.

Trump and his allies claim that FBI surveillance of Page was a done through a tainted FISA warrant that relied on the unverified Christopher Steele dossier, paid for by a law firm with ties to Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.

The dossier claimed the Russians had information on Trump that it could use for blackmail, which the president has denied.

Last month, documents released through a Freedom of Information Act request showed federal agents relied on more information than the Steele dossier to obtain the warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

But Trump on Tuesday morning quoted Carlson making another charge – that Clinton and the DNC paid for information from the Russians to use against the American government, likely in a reference to the Steele dossier.

‘Hillary Clinton and the DNC paid for information from the Russian government to use against her government – there’s no doubt about that!’ @TuckerCarlson,’ Trump wrote.

Carlson, on his Fox show Tuesday night told attorney Richard Goodstein:  ‘The Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC paid for information from the Russian government to use against their opponent. There is no debate about that.’

[Daily Mail]

Trump tries to take credit for Obama’s accomplishments in Consumer Confidence

Trump tweeted the Consumer Confidence Index hit a 18 year high and the GDP is booming, taking credit for both.

Reality

Donald Trump thinks you are so stupid, you wouldn’t look at the Consumer Confidence Index or the GDP growth and see that he’s taking credit for the continuing trends of Barack Obama’s achievements.

Consumer Confidence has been growing since Obama turned the country around after The Great Recession.

And our GDP has been steadily growing over the past decade

Trump Takes Aim at Google, Claims Search Results ‘RIGGED’ Against Him: ‘Illegal?’

President Donald Trump unleashed some unusually early morning tweets on Tuesday, citing a report from a conservative website to rip Google for allegedly biased search results.

Trump first claimed that “Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media.”

“In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD,” he continued. “Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out.”

Trump then asked if the search results were “Illegal”, before elaborating: “96% of… results on ‘Trump News’ are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous.”

“Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good,” he added. “They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!”

The president appears to be referencing a report by conservative blog PJ Media, which claimed that “96 Percent of Google Search Results for ‘Trump’ News Are from Liberal Media Outlets.”

The report tested out results from searching “Trump” in the news section of Google, analyzing the results using Sharyl Attkisson‘s “media bias chart.” The report looked at the first 100 items that appeared, and found that supposedly “left-leaning sites” made up “96 percent of the total results.” CNN — one of the highest trafficked news websites in the world — appeared the most frequently by a “large margin”, the report said, while conservative websites like National Review or Breitbart did not.

[Mediaite]

Reality

The author of the report has since distanced herself from the claims, calling them “not scientific” and “based on only a small sample size” of 100 results.)

Trump Slams Democrats Over Mollie Tibbetts Death: Their Policies Are ‘Spilling Very Innocent Blood’

Speaking at an Ohio Republican State Party fundraiser in Columbus Friday evening, President Donald Trump invoked the death of Mollie Tibbetts to slam Democrats on immigration.

Shortly after saying the Republican party “stands strongly behind ICE,” Trump then brought up how “they charged an illegal alien in the murder of a college student Mollie Tibbetts.

“Everybody loved her. Everybody that met her loved her,” Trump said. “And the father was saying she’s coming back, she’s coming back… This went on for a long time. When they found out that it was this horrible, illegal immigrant that viciously killed her, all of a sudden that story went down. They didn’t want to cover it the way it should have been covered. But what happened to Mollie was a disgrace.”

He added “Our hearts go out. We mourn for Mollie’s family.”

Tibbetts family has said publicly they do not want her death politicized.

Yet, Trump did not stop at Tibbetts’ tragedy to make his point.

He then mentioned the death of an elderly homeless woman in New York City who was allegedly beaten to death by an undocumented immigrant who Trump said “was not supposed to be in this country” and a rape of a young child in the “sanctuary city” of Philadelphia also allegedly at the hands of an illegal immigrant.

“Democrat immigration policies are destroying innocent lives and spilling very innocent blood,” he concluded. “We believe that any party that puts criminal aliens before American citizens should be voted out of office, not into office.”

The audience applauded.

[Mediaite]

QAnon Conspiracy Theorist Got a Photo with Trump in the Oval Office

By now you’re probably heard about the conspiracy theory “QAnon,” particularly after a Trump rally last month featured some very noticeable Q signs, shirts, etc. from the rallygoers.

Well, one QAnon conspiracy theorist actually got a photo with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office this week.

According to The Daily Beast, Lionel Lebron said he didn’t ask Trump directly about the issue, but believes Trump knows all about it already.

And White House officials didn’t really have a good answer for this:

All four White House officials the Beast did speak with about how Trump, the leader of the free world, ended up in a smiling photo op at the Resolute Desk with a prominent QAnon conspiracy theorist, pleaded ignorance about when this occurred, and why. Two of these West Wing officials audibly could not contain their laughter.

The Washington Post confirmed that White House officials had no idea how this happened:

[Mediaite]

Trump touts the economy, says US is ‘setting records on virtually every front’

There’s no questioning how Donald Trump would rate the economy for his time in office. The president took to Twitter Friday amid renewed legal troubles to highlight a few things going right for the U.S.

“Our Economy is setting records on virtually every front – Probably the best our country has ever done. Tremendous value created since the Election,” the president said in a tweet Friday. “The World is respecting us again! Companies are moving back to the U.S.A.”

Since the election, the S&P 500 is up more than 33 percent, advancing a historic bull run that began in 2009. Unemployment has fallen to 3.9 percent to the around the lowest since 1969, and the economy expanded at a 4.1 percent pace last quarter.

[CNBC]

Reality

All trends that started years ago under Barack Obama, who led us through the 2nd fastest recovery from the 2007 financial crisis, when compared globally. The economy was booming YEARS before Trump took office by EVERY measure. DJIA, unemployment, jobs, job openings, home prices, median household income, etc…

Trump accuses de Blasio of stealing campaign slogan

President Trump on Tuesday accused New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio of ripping off his reelection campaign slogan.

The president lobbed the accusation at his longtime Democratic foe after the mayor spoke at a Brooklyn event in front of a sign that read “Promises Made, Promises Kept,” a phrase Trump has used at his campaign-style rallies.

“Bill DeBlasio, the high taxing Mayor of NYC, just stole my campaign slogan: PROMISES MADE  PROMISES KEPT! That’s not at all nice. No imagination!” Trump tweeted.

A de Blasio spokesman denied that the mayor was copying Trump, noting that the slogan has been used by many politicians.

“This is stupid,” spokesman Eric Phillips told the New York Daily News. “It is not novel rhetoric.”

Elected officials used the phrase “Promises Made, Promises Kept” for years, dating back to Michigan Gov. John Engler (R), who served in the 1990s, and Chicago’s mayor in the 1980s, Harold Washington (D).

Former President Obama also used the slogan during his 2012 reelection race.

Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” was also used by former President Reagan.

De Blasio and Trump have long been enemies, with the New York mayor likening the president to a “third-world dictator” and the president calling the mayor “pathetic.”

[The Hill]

Trump Claims Power to Bypass Limits Set by Congress in Defense Bill

When President Trump signed a $716 billion military spending bill on Monday, he claimed the authority to override dozens of provisions that he deemed improper constraints on his executive powers.

In a signing statement that the White House quietly issued after 9 p.m. on Monday — about six hours after Mr. Trump signed the bill in a televised ceremony at Fort Drum in New York — Mr. Trump deemed about 50 of its statutes to be unconstitutional intrusions on his presidential powers, meaning that the executive branch need not enforce or obey them as written.

Among them was a ban on spending military funds on “any activity that recognizes the sovereignty of the Russian Federation over Crimea,” the Ukrainian region annexed by Moscow in 2014 in an incursion considered illegal by the United States. He said he would treat the provision and similar ones as “consistent with the president’s exclusive constitutional authorities as commander in chief and as the sole representative of the nation in foreign affairs.”

The statement was the latest example of Mr. Trump’s emerging broad vision of executive power. His personal lawyers, for example, have claimed that his constitutional authority to supervise the Justice Department means that he can lawfully impede the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election no matter his motive, despite obstruction-of-justice statutes.

Signing statements, which are generally ghostwritten for presidents by Justice Department and White House lawyers, are official documents in which a president lays out his interpretation of new laws and instructs the executive branch to view them the same way.

Once obscure, the practice became controversial under President George W. Bush, who challenged more provisions of new laws than all previous presidents combined — most famously a 2005 ban on torture championed by Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona. (Democrats are pressing for access to any White House papers of Mr. Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett M. Kavanaugh, related to that statement.)

Mr. McCain is now fighting brain cancer, and Congress named the new military law in his honor. But Mr. Trump pointedly did not mention his name when signing the bill, the latest slight in the long-running acrimony between the two men. Mr. Trump’s signing statement also quoted only part of the bill’s title, evading any acknowledgment of the senator.

Last month, Mr. McCain issued a statement calling Mr. Trump’s Helsinki summit meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.”

The American Bar Association in 2006 took the position that presidents should not use signing statements, but should instead veto legislation if it has constitutional defects so that Congress has an opportunity to override that veto if lawmakers disagree. But presidents of both parties, including Barack Obama, have continued to use them, with current and former executive branch lawyers arguing that the focus should be on the credibility of the legal theories that presidents invoke when they make their objections.

Mr. Trump’s new statement relied upon a mix of theories, some of which had greater support in Supreme Court precedent than others. For example, in 2015, the court upheld presidents’ constitutional authority to disregard a statute requiring American passports to say that Jerusalem is part of Israel, which could support Mr. Trump’s claim that he could recognize Crimea as part of Russia if he wanted.

But many of Mr. Trump’s challenges invoked his purported powers as commander in chief, a type of objection that the Bush administration frequently made but that the Obama administration generally shied away from.

For example, Mr. Trump also declared that he could bypass a provision in the bill that extended restrictions on certain bilateral military-to-military cooperation between the United States and Russia.

He also challenged a provision requiring the Pentagon to create a senior civilian position charged with coming up with uniform standards for counting — and reducing — civilian bystander deaths as a result of American military operations, and a provision that would halt certain in-flight refueling of Saudi and Emirati aircraft over Yemen unless those countries took more steps to bring an end to the civil war there and to reduce civilian suffering and collateral damage from their airstrikes.

And the president said he could disregard a restriction against reducing the number of active-duty troops stationed in South Korea below 22,000, unless Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis were to certify that doing so would be in the national-security interest of the United States and would not undermine the security of regional allies like South Korea and Japan.

In May, Mr. Trump had ordered the Pentagon to prepare options for drawing down troop levels in South Korea ahead of his Singapore summit meeting with North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un. But later in June, Mr. Mattis said that current troop levels of about 28,500 would remain in place.

[The New York Times]

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