Trump falsely says NYSE opened day after Sept. 11 attacks to justify holding rally after Pittsburgh shooting

President Donald Trump falsely claimed Saturday that the New York Stock Exchange re-opened the day after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in an effort to justify holding a rally on the same day that a mass shooting occurred at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Speaking at a planned campaign rally in Illinois, Trump said he had weighed whether to cancel his rally as well as a speech at an agricultural convention earlier in the day in Indianapolis, Indiana, but ultimately decided against it, saying such a move would amount to giving the killer an edge. He compared his decision to continue with the rally to reopening the NYSE after the September 11 attacks, something that did not happen.

“And with what happened early today — that horrible, horrible attack in Pittsburgh — I was saying maybe I should cancel both this and that,” Trump said, referring to the rally and his earlier appearance at the agricultural convention. “And then I said to myself, I remember Dick Grasso, a friend of mine, great guy. He headed up the New York Stock Exchange on September 11. And the New York Stock Exchange was open the following day. He said — and what they had to do to open it you wouldn’t believe. We won’t even talk to you about it. But he got that exchange open.”

“We can’t make these sick, demented, evil people important. And when we start changing around our lives and changing around our schedules … we can’t allow people like this to become important,” Trump said. “And when we change all of our lives in order to accommodate them, it’s not acceptable.”

In fact, as CNN reported at the time, the NYSE closed after the attacks and did not reopen until September 17 because many of the workers were lost or injured in the attack on the World Trade Center, which was just blocks from the NYSE in Manhattan’s financial district, and much of the communications and utilities needed to trade stocks were damaged or destroyed.

It was the longest shutdown for the NYSE since the Great Depression.

Bloomberg first reported Trump’s error.

Trump also used his rally to condemn the shooting that took place earlier Saturday at the Tree of Life synagogue, leaving 11 dead.

“This evil anti-Semitic attack is an assault on all of us. It’s an assault on humanity. It will require all of us working together to extract the hateful poison of anti-Semitism from the world,” he said.

“The scourge of anti-Semitism cannot be ignored, cannot be tolerated and cannot be allowed to continue.”

[CNN]

Trump Posts Breitbart Story on Media ‘Smearing His Supporters’ After Bomb Scare

President Donald Trump is doubling down on defiance in the face of critics who suggested he tone down his anti-media rhetoric after a man sent pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and the CNN headquarters in New York.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted out a story from right-wing website Breitbart — “Donald Trump Thunders at Media for Trying to Smear His Supporters after Bomb Scares” — that detailed his attacks on the media at a rally Friday night.

Per the Breitbart story Trump linked to:

Trump condemned political violence and called for an end to the politics of personal destruction, especially from the media.

“Political violence must never ever be allowed in America and I’ll do everything in my power to stop it,” he said. “The media has a major role to play, whether they want to or not.”

The president paused as his supporters continued to chant “CNN SUCKS!”

“They have a major role to play as far as tone, as far as everything,” Trump said. “The media’s constant unfair coverage, deep hostility, and negative attacks only serve to drive people apart and to undermine healthy debate.”

The man suspected of sending the pipe bombs to the president’s critics was arrested on Friday. He appears to be a fanatical supporter of Trump, and his white van was plastered with decals of the president — as well as one saying “CNN SUCKS.”

[Mediaite]

Trump Warns: ‘I Could Really Tone Up’ Rhetoric Against the Media

On his way to yet another rally Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump suggested that he has toned down his rhetoric and, if anything, he could “tone it up.”

When asked by a reporter on the White House lawn if he saw his face plastered all over suspect Cesar Sayoc‘s alleged van, Trump said he did not but admitted he heard that the suspect was “a person that preferred me over others.”

Then when asked about toning down his rhetoric, Trump said this: “Well, I think I’ve been toned down, if you want to know the truth. I could really tone it up. Because, as you know, the media has been extremely unfair to me and to the Republican Party.”

Then continuing on his media grievances he added, “I think the media has been very, very unfair. In terms of the Republican Party. And the way it’s been covered. And they understand that.”

[Mediaite]

Media

Trump laughs about locking up George Soros moments after calling for national unity

President Donald Trump on Friday briefly tried to strike a conciliatory tone when it came to condemning political violence — but he quickly reverted back to attacking his political foes, including musing about having billionaire Democratic donor George Soros arrested.

While addressing the Young Black Leadership Summit at the White House on Friday, Trump went on the attack against “globalists” whom he accused of undermining American sovereignty.

“I like the globe too, but we have to take care of our people,” the president said.

While Trump talked about “globalists,” many audience members started yelling, “Soros!” while another member yelled, “Lock him up!”

The president smiled and pointed to the audience member and laughingly repeated, “Ha, lock him up!”

Trump’s laughter about the prospect of locking up Soros comes after Trump supporter Cesar Sayoc was arrested on Friday on suspicion of sending explosive devices to Soros and several top Democrats. Sayoc’s Facebook and Twitter feed are loaded with attacks on Soros and other liberals.

[Raw Story]

Media

Trump blames ‘bomb stuff’ for slowing GOP momentum in midterms

President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that “this ‘Bomb’ stuff’ has greatly slowed the “momentum” of Republican candidates in early voting in the November midterm elections.

The tweet came hours after the discovery of two more suspected mail bombs, bringing the number to 12 suspicious packages that have been sent to Trump critics including former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and former top intelligence officials.

“Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this “Bomb” stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows – news not talking politics,” Trump said.

Earlier Friday, at around 3:30 a.m., Trump had called out CNN in a tweet that claimed that news network has been “blaming me for the current spate of Bombs.”

CNN’s New York headquarters was evacuated Wednesday, along with the rest of the massive Time Warner Center complex in Manhattan, after a suspected pipe bomb addressed to former CIA chief John Brennan in care of CNN was found in the mailroom.

[NBC News]

Sarah Sanders Suggests Negative Coverage of Trump Partly to Blame for Bomb Scares

On Fox and Friends on Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders spoke about President Trump‘s rally last night and the many devices and suspicious packages mailed to prominent administration critics and foes this week. Sanders said that the media is partly to blame for the events.

Host Brian Kilmeade first noted that there were additional targets, including Robert de Niro and Joe Biden, noting both are critics of Trump, and co-host Steve Doocy brought up the President’s tweet from this morning in which he placed blame on “fake news.”

Sanders first replied to Kilmeade that the administration condemns “violence in all forms”, calling the situation a “despicable act”. She answered Doocy by agreeing with the President.

“Certainly the media has a role to play in this process,” she said. “When 90% of the coverage about this president is negative, despite the historic successes, when ideas are perpetuated and continued of negativity that is not helpful for the American discourse. And Certainly the president is calling on everyone to come together and if you have a problem with one another, let’s voice that but let’s do so peacefully and let’s do that at the ballot box.”

Co-host Ainsley Earhardt then brought up the shooting of Republicans at a softball game just over a year ago in a politically motivated attack by a man who hated Trump and the GOP, as well as the incidents of enraged citizens confronting administration officials with their families in restaurants.

“We saw what happened to Steve Scalise where he was shot. We saw what happened to you and your family in the restaurant. We have Maxine waters that is calling for people to get into the face of folks in the administration they don’t agree with. Hillary Clinton says we won’t be civil until Democrats are in power,” said Earhardt. “Not just saying it is Democrats but it is on both sides but is this a good reminder to us we all need to take a step back? We can disagree about politics, but is this pretty scary to you, we’re seeing more and more violence and threats?”

“Absolutely,” said Sanders. “As the president said yesterday, political violence has no place in our country, and it is certainly something that we won’t tolerate, we won’t stand we’ll continue to condemn it.”

This month the President praised the body-slamming of a reporter, and has repeatedly demonized the press as not only “fake news” but as the “enemy of the people”. One of the bombs in the mail on Wednesday was delivered to CNN.

A Harvard study in 2017 found that most coverage of the Trump administration is negative, but did not also find that most of that coverage was inaccurate.

[Mediaite]

Trump claims media to blame for ‘anger’ after bombs sent to CNN, Dems

President Donald Trump returned on Thursday to blaming the media for much of the “anger” in society, a day after CNN and Democrats were the targets of explosive devices.

“A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News,” Trump tweeted. “It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description.”

“Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!” he continued.

Although the President has often derided the media as “fake news,” even labeling reporters the “enemy of the people,” Thursday’s tweet is especially striking in the wake of potential attacks on a major media outlet and political figures who have criticized him.

[CNN]

When Trump Phones Friends, the Chinese Listen and Learn

When President Trump calls old friends on one of his iPhones to gossip, gripe or solicit their latest take on how he is doing, American intelligence reports indicate that Chinese spies are often listening — and putting to use invaluable insights into how to best work the president and affect administration policy, current and former American officials said.

Mr. Trump’s aides have repeatedly warned him that his cellphone calls are not secure, and they have told him that Russian spies are routinely eavesdropping on the calls, as well. But aides say the voluble president, who has been pressured into using his secure White House landline more often these days, has still refused to give up his iPhones. White House officials say they can only hope he refrains from discussing classified information when he is on them.

Mr. Trump’s use of his iPhones was detailed by several current and former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity so they could discuss classified intelligence and sensitive security arrangements. The officials said they were doing so not to undermine Mr. Trump, but out of frustration with what they considered the president’s casual approach to electronic security.

American spy agencies, the officials said, had learned that China and Russia were eavesdropping on the president’s cellphone calls from human sources inside foreign governments and intercepting communications between foreign officials.

The officials said they have also determined that China is seeking to use what it is learning from the calls — how Mr. Trump thinks, what arguments tend to sway him and to whom he is inclined to listen — to keep a trade war with the United States from escalating further. In what amounts to a marriage of lobbying and espionage, the Chinese have pieced together a list of the people with whom Mr. Trump regularly speaks in hopes of using them to influence the president, the officials said.

Among those on the list are Stephen A. Schwarzman, the Blackstone Group chief executive who has endowed a master’s program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and Steve Wynn, the former Las Vegas casino magnate who used to own a lucrative property in Macau.

The Chinese have identified friends of both men and others among the president’s regulars, and are now relying on Chinese businessmen and others with ties to Beijing to feed arguments to the friends of the Trump friends. The strategy is that those people will pass on what they are hearing, and that Beijing’s views will eventually be delivered to the president by trusted voices, the officials said. They added that the Trump friends were most likely unaware of any Chinese effort.

L. Lin Wood, a lawyer for Mr. Wynn, said his client was retired and had no comment. A spokeswoman for Blackstone, Christine Anderson, declined to comment on Chinese efforts to influence Mr. Schwarzman but said that he “has been happy to serve as an intermediary on certain critical matters between the two countries at the request of both heads of state.”

Russia is not believed to be running as sophisticated an influence effort as China because of Mr. Trump’s apparent affinity for President Vladimir V. Putin, a former official said.

China’s effort is a 21st-century version of what officials there have been doing for many decades, which is trying to influence American leaders by cultivating an informal network of prominent businesspeople and academics who can be sold on ideas and policy prescriptions and then carry them to the White House. The difference now is that China, through its eavesdropping on Mr. Trump’s calls, has a far clearer idea of who carries the most influence with the president, and what arguments tend to work.

The Chinese and the Russians “would look for any little thing — how easily was he talked out of something, what was the argument that was used,” said John Sipher, a 28-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency who served in Moscow in the 1990s and later ran the agency’s Russia program.

Trump friends like Mr. Schwarzman, who figured prominently in the first meeting between President Xi Jinping of China and Mr. Trump at Mar-a-Lago, the president’s Florida resort, already hold pro-China and pro-trade views, and thus are ideal targets in the eyes of the Chinese, the officials said. Targeting the friends of Mr. Schwarzman and Mr. Wynn can reinforce the views of the two, the officials said. The friends are also most likely to be more accessible.

One official said the Chinese were pushing for the friends to persuade Mr. Trump to sit down with Mr. Xi as often as possible. The Chinese, the official said, correctly perceive that Mr. Trump places tremendous value on personal relationships, and that one-on-one meetings yield breakthroughs far more often than regular contacts between Chinese and American officials.

Whether the friends can stop Mr. Trump from pursuing a trade war with China is another question.

Officials said the president has two official iPhones that have been altered by the National Security Agency to limit their capabilities — and vulnerabilities — and a third personal phone that is no different from hundreds of millions of iPhones in use around the world. Mr. Trump keeps the personal phone, White House officials said, because unlike his other two phones, he can store his contacts in it.

Apple declined to comment on the president’s iPhones. None of them are completely secure and are vulnerable to hackers who could remotely break into the phones themselves.

But the calls made from the phones are intercepted as they travel through the cell towers, cables and switches that make up national and international cellphone networks. Calls made from any cellphone — iPhone, Android, an old-school Samsung flip phone — are vulnerable.

The issue of secure communications is fraught for Mr. Trump. As a presidential candidate, he regularly attacked his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, during the 2016 campaign for her use of an unsecured email server while she was secretary state, and he basked in chants of “lock her up” at his rallies.

Intercepting calls is a relatively easy skill for governments. American intelligence agencies consider it an essential tool of spycraft, and they routinely try to tap the phones of important foreign leaders. In a diplomatic blowup during the Obama administration, documents leaked by Edward J. Snowden, a former contractor for the National Security Agency, showed that the American government had tapped the phone of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.

Foreign governments are well aware of the risk, and so leaders like Mr. Xi and Mr. Putin avoid using cellphones when possible.

President Barack Obama was careful with cellphones, too. He used an iPhone in his second term, but it could not make calls and could receive email only from a special address that was given to a select group of staff members and intimates. It had no camera or microphone and could not be used to download apps at will. Texting was forbidden because there was no way to collect and store the messages, as required by the Presidential Records Act.

“It is a great phone, state of the art, but it doesn’t take pictures, you can’t text. The phone doesn’t work, you know, you can’t play your music on it,” Mr. Obama said on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” in June 2016. “So basically, it’s like — does your 3-year-old have one of those play phones?”

When Mr. Obama needed a cellphone, the officials said, he used one of those of his aides.
Mr. Trump has insisted on more capable devices, although he did agree during the transition to give up his Android phone (the Google operating system is considered more vulnerable than Apple’s). And since becoming president, Mr. Trump has agreed to a slightly cumbersome arrangement of having two official phones: one for Twitter and other apps, and one for calls.

Mr. Trump typically relies on his mobile phones when he does not want a call going through the White House switchboard and logged for senior aides to see, his aides said. Many of those Mr. Trump speaks with most often on one of his cellphones, such as hosts at Fox News, share the president’s political views, or simply enable his sense of grievance about any number of subjects.

Administration officials said Mr. Trump’s longtime paranoia about surveillance — well before coming to the White House he believed his phone conversations were often being recorded — gave them some comfort that he was not disclosing classified information on the calls.

They said they had further confidence he was not spilling secrets because he rarely digs into the details of the intelligence he is shown and is not well versed in the operational specifics of military or covert activities.

In an interview this week with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Trump quipped about his phones being insecure. When asked what American officials in Turkey had learned about the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, he replied, “I actually said don’t give it to me on the phone. I don’t want it on the phone. As good as these phones are supposed to be.”

But Mr. Trump is also famously indiscreet. In a May 2017 meeting in the Oval Office with Russian officials, he shared highly sensitive intelligence passed to the United States by Israel. He also told the Russians that James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, was “a real nut job” and that firing him had relieved “great pressure.”

Still, Mr. Trump’s lack of tech savvy has alleviated some other security concerns. He does not use email, so the risk of a phishing attack like those used by Russian intelligence to gain access to Democratic Party emails is close to nil. The same goes for texts, which are disabled on his official phones.

His Twitter phone can connect to the internet only over a Wi-Fi connection, and he rarely, if ever, has access to unsecured wireless networks, officials said. But the security of the device ultimately depends on the user, and protecting the president’s phones has sometimes proved difficult.

Last year, Mr. Trump’s cellphone was left behind in a golf cart at his club in Bedminster, N.J., causing a scramble to locate it, according to two people familiar with what took place.

Mr. Trump is supposed to swap out his two official phones every 30 days for new ones but rarely does, bristling at the inconvenience. White House staff members are supposed to set up the new phones exactly like the old ones, but the new iPhones cannot be restored from backups of his old phones, because doing so would transfer over any malware.

New phone or old, though, the Chinese and the Russians are listening, and learning.

[The New York Times]

Trump Campaign Sends Out Anti-CNN Fundraising Email Shortly After Bomb Scare

Hours after CNN’s New York headquarters were evacuated when an explosive device was found mailed to the building, President Donald Trump‘s campaign sent out a fundraising email blasting the network.

Reporter Yashar Ali tweeted out a screenshot of the fundraising email, signed by Lara Trump, which included a “Media Accountability Survey.”

“It’s time for us to give the media another wake-up call from the American people,” the email says.

The first question of the survey is: “Do you trust the mainstream media to put the interests of Americans first?”

[Mediaite]

Trump Calls Tallahassee ‘One of the Worst & Most Corrupt’ Cities in America

President Donald Trump tweeted out his support for a Republican candidate that also took a swipe at Tallahassee, Florida.

Trump supports Ron DeSantis, the Republican congressman running for governor in Florida against Democrat Andrew Gillum. Gillum is the mayor of Tallahassee, and Trump tweeted a dig at the city this morning:

“His opponent runs one of the worst & most corrupt cities in USA!”

Trump is likely referring to the ongoing FBI investigation into corruption in Tallahassee, which has become the subject of one of DeSantis’ ads. A spokesperson for Gillum responded to DeSantis by saying the Democratic candidate is “not a subject of the FBI investigation.”

[Mediaite]

1 3 4 5 6 7 21