Trump hammers Federal Reserve, cites commentary from Fox Business

President Trump on Wednesday spent a portion of the day at his New Jersey golf club blasting the Federal Reserve as stocks took a dive amid signs of a potential recession.

The president sent three tweets over a 90-minute span in which he quoted multiple Fox Business Network personalities who echoed Trump’s criticisms of the central bank and defended Trump’s tariff policy toward China.

Trump expressed agreement with Mark Grant, a guest on Stuart Varney’s show who suggested the Federal Reserve should act to boost the U.S. economy.

“Correct! The Federal Reserve acted far too quickly, and now is very, very late. Too bad, so much to gain on the upside!” Trump tweeted.

He later shared comments from Fox Business host Charles Payne, who criticized Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for his handling of the central bank.

“I agree (to put it mildly!)” Trump tweeted.

He also referenced a quote from Varney’s program which downplayed concerns over the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, arguing it had yet to negatively impact the American economy.

Stocks sank sharply Wednesday morning after the U.S. bond market signaled an impending recession. The dip came one day after Trump announced he would delay further tariffs on Chinese imports until after the bulk of the holiday shopping season, reflecting mounting fears that the trade war could derail the robust U.S. economy.

In a pair of tweets later in the afternoon, Trump emphasized that “China is not our problem,” saying the trouble lies with the Fed.

Trump is at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., for the week, and he had no public events listed on his schedule for Wednesday. He has repeatedly hammered the Fed and Powell for its decisions to raise or lower interest rates, arguing that its decisions have held back the economy. 

“This guy has made a big mistake,” Trump said Tuesday at an event in Pennsylvania, referring to Powell. “He’s made a big mistake — the head of the Fed. That was another beauty that I chose.”

The constant critiques have worried critics, who note the central bank has historically been independent of politics.

[The Hill]

Trump Endorses Anti-immigrant Former Baseball Player Known for Collecting Nazi Memorabilia

Former Arizona Diamondbacks pitching great Curt Schilling said he is “absolutely considering” running for the U.S. Congress in Arizona, and it appears he has the support of President Donald Trump.

In an email to the Arizona Republic, Schilling, 52, who retired from baseball in 2007, cited immigration issues as motivation for his possible move into politics. The newspaper report notes that Schilling would run against one of the state’s five Democrats, but he did not specify which district he is considering.

“The state is not the state I grew up in. Making Arizona citizens of EVERY Race, religion and sexual orientation 2nd class citizens to illegal immigrants is about as anti-American as it gets,” wrote Schilling. “When you have homeless veterans, children, and you’re spending tax dollars on people smuggling drugs and children across our border someone in charge needs their ass kicked.”

The three-time World Series champion first revealed his plans for a political future on Sunday in an interview with Armed American Radio’s Mark Walters.

“I haven’t said anything publicly, but I’m considering going back to Arizona and running for a congressional seat, one of the blue ones,” he said Sunday. “It’s something that my wife and I have talked about, and she’s now becoming more and more pumped at the potential. Obviously, we’re still quite a few discussions away, but yeah, it’s something we’re absolutely considering.”

In a tweet Tuesday morning, Trump called the news “terrific,” writing, “Curt Schilling, a great pitcher and patriot, is considering a run for Congress in Arizona. Terrific!”

Schilling has been the center of controversy in the past for his race-baiting tweets and harsh anti-Muslim sentiment. In August 2015, Schilling shared a meme on Twitterthat compared Muslims and Nazis.

[Haaretz]

Reality

https://www.mediamatters.org/curt-schilling/trump-endorsed-curt-schillings-possible-run-congress-hes-conspiracy-theorist-who-0

Trump attacks Obama for statement on shootings

President Donald Trump on Tuesday attacked former President Barack Obama over the latter’s statement on the weekend’s mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, tweeting edited quotes from Fox News hosts to make his point and again claiming he is “the least racist person” in the world.

“‘Did George Bush ever condemn President Obama after Sandy Hook. President Obama had 32 mass shootings during his reign. Not many people said Obama is out of Control,’” Trump tweeted. “’Mass shootings were happening before the President even thought about running for Pres.’ @kilmeade @foxandfriends”

Trump’s message was a distillation of a sentiment “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade expressed on-air shortly after 6 a.m. The president followed up that tweet with another post paraphrasing a comment from Kilmeade’s morning show colleague, Ainsley Earhardt.

“‘It’s political season and the election is around the corner. They want to continue to push that racist narrative.’ @ainsleyearhardt @foxandfriends,” Trump continued. “And I am the least racist person. Black, Hispanic and Asian Unemployment is the lowest (BEST) in the history of the United States!”

Obama on Monday afternoon lamented the violence that transpired Saturday morning in El Paso, Texas, and early Sunday morning in Dayton, Ohio, which left at least 31 people dead and dozens more injured.

In his statement, Obama called on Americans to “soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments.” The former president did not mention Trump or any other politician by name.

The 21-year-old white man accused of carrying out the El Paso shooting is suspected of authoring a racist, anti-Hispanic manifesto before the rampage, and many high-profile Democrats have partly blamed the president’s history of incendiary immigration rhetoric for the attack.ADVERTISING

Trump on Monday morning condemned “racism, bigotry and white supremacy” during a televised address from the White House. “Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart and devours the soul,” he said.

For years, Trump has referred to himself as the “least racist” person on Earth, touting that self-designation as recently as last week after he was widely rebuked for his racially charged criticisms of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the city of Baltimore and four progressive congresswomen of color.

[Politico]

After watching Lou Dobbs, Trump attacked Google for firing an apparent white nationalist sympathizer

President Donald Trump spent part of Tuesday morning tweeting about a segment from Fox Business host Lou Dobbs’ show which championed Kevin Cernekee, a former Google engineer who claims he was fired because of the company’s purported anti-conservative bias. “All very illegal,” Trump concluded of the company’s purported actions, adding, “We are watching Google very closely!” This is at least the third time Trump has publicly suggested he would take action against Google based on what he’s seen on Fox.

Right-wing media have trumpeted Cernekee’s story over the past few days, with outlets fitting him neatly into their narrative that tech companies have it in for Republicans. But the story is more complicated than that: While it portrays him as a rank-and-file conservative, Cernekee appears to have repeatedly defended white nationalists on internal Google message boards.

How Cernekee’s story ended up on the president’s Twitter says a lot about the right-wing media ecosystem, their obsession with finding supposed conservative martyrs of tech companies, and Trump’s reckless consumption and promotion of whatever Fox News happens to put in front of his eyes.

The cautionary tale of “Republican engineer” Kevin Cernekee

On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal’s Rob Copeland profiled Cernekee, portraying him as a “Republican engineer” fired from the company for the conservative views he expressed on the company’s internal message boards.

“Google told Mr. Cernekee in a termination letter that he was let go for multiple violations of company policies, including improperly downloading company information and misuse of the remote-access software system,” Copeland reported. “Mr. Cernekee, who hasn’t spoken publicly before about his status at Google, denies that. He says he was fired for being an outspoken conservative in famously liberal Silicon Valley.” 

Copeland largely paraphrased Cernekee’s message board posts or accepted his explanations of them rather than quoting their content. This made it impossible for readers to assess precisely what his views were. But the story’s 28th paragraph provides a tantalizing detail: A fellow conservative engineer “internally circulated a dossier describing Mr. Cernekee as ‘the face of the alt-right’ at Google” (that engineer was also later fired).

It remains contested whether Cernekee’s views triggered his termination. But the Journal’s framing of Cernekee as simply a “Republican” with “conservative take[s]” who stands up for other “right-leaning employees” created the impression that it is open season on anyone to the right of Hillary Clinton. That makes his actual opinions relevant. 

The Daily Caller, which has its own complicated history with the alt-right, pulled on that thread a few days later (though only after producing multiple stories amplifying Cernekee’s claims). Deputy Editor J. Arthur Bloom reported that Cernekee had “suggested raising money under the auspices of the company’s free speech listserv for a bounty to identify Richard Spencer’s assailant.” 

After Spencer, one of the nation’s most prominent white nationalists, was punched while giving an interview in January 2017, Cernekee suggested putting together a group donation to support the search for the puncher through racist troll Charles Johnson’s website.

Cernekee identified Spencer only as a “well known conservative activist.” When other Google employees pointed out that Spencer is “a prominent, vehement racist and anti­-Semite,” Cernekee defended him. 

The Daily Caller story was subsequently confirmed by BuzzFeed News tech reporter Ryan Mac. 

Bloom also reported that Cernekee had criticized a media description of the “Golden State Skinheads” as a neo-Nazi group, and he praised the organization for “[standing] up for free speech and free association.”

“Conservatives angry at big tech may view such postings as a cautionary lesson in the importance of vetting their cause célèbres,” Bloom concluded. 

Indeed.

Conservative media made Cernekee a cause célèbre

Right-wing media outlets have spent the last several years trumpeting complaints that social media platforms are biased against conservatives. This behavior is consistent with conservatives’ decades-long strategy of decrying the news media as biased against them in order to influence media coverage. But it is inconsistent with the facts.

“There is no evidence that Google, Facebook, or any other major tech company is biased against conservative employees or conservative content,” Recode reported in response to Cernekee’s allegations. “While it is true that most tech employees lean liberal in their personal beliefs, that doesn’t mean that their employers discriminate in the workplace, or in the products they build and maintain.”

Cernekee’s story echoed the conservative narrative about tech companies’ bias, and it rocketed through the right-wing media after Thursday’s Wall Street Journal profile. He was treated as both a conservative martyr and as a credible source for information on Google’s operations.

Notably, these aggregations portrayed Cernekee as a typical conservative, with only the Post mentioning that Cernekee had been linked to the “alt-right.”

By Friday night, Cernekee was being feted on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show, a regular home for both deceptive attacks on tech companies and white supremacist talking points. After providing the former engineer the platform to repeat his allegation that he was fired for being a conservative, Carlson turned his attention to Google’s influence on the 2020 election. 

“Do you believe that Google will attempt to influence the election outcome or will attempt to try to prevent Trump from being reelected?” Carlson asked. 

“I do believe so. I think that’s a major threat,” he replied. 

“And yet, Congress, including Republicans are just sitting back and acting like it’s not happening,” Carlson responded. “It’s disgusting. Kevin, thank you for sounding that alarm.” 

That appearance launched a new wave of aggregations by conservative media outlets.

Fox’s morning show Fox & Friends hosted Cernekee on Monday where he repeated his allegation that Google intends to prevent Trump’s reelection. 

That interview, in turn, became the basis for a segment on the Monday night edition of Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs Tonight, which aired several hours after the Daily Caller published its story detailing Cernekee’s postings. 

“That is nasty stuff,” the host commented of Cernekee’s allegations, “and by the way, it’s illegal.” He later added that the Justice Department “should be sitting right inside the Google complex” to prevent “a fraud on the American public.” His guest, Breitbart.com’s Peter Schweizer, added that DOJ should be “monitoring what Google is doing in real time now.”

Dobbs’ show attracts fewer than 400,000 viewers on average. But Trump is often one of them, and he was apparently watching Monday night. 

Cernekee’s allegations enter the Trump-Fox feedback loop

Trump is obsessed with Fox, watching hours of its programming every day and frequently tweeting about segments that catch his attention. This Trump-Fox feedback loop regularly influences the Trump administration’s policy, personnel, and political strategy. 

On Monday morning, Trump promised to “honor the sacred memory of those we have lost” during mass shootings in El Paso, TX, and Dayton, OH, by “acting as one people.” That night, he tweeted three clips from Dobbs’ show. Two of the president’s tweets dealt with the program’s discussion of Cernekee’s claim that Google is biased against him. 

The next morning, after tweeting two quotes from the morning’s edition of Fox & Friends, Trump returned to the issue of Google’s bias. 

In a tweetstorm, the president contrasted what he said he had been told by Google CEO Sundar Pichai with what he had heard on Dobbs’ show the previous night, including from Cernekee.

The Trump-Fox feedback loop is particularly salient in giving the president targets for his ire, and the network’s obsession with tech platform bias has repeatedly resulted in angry Trump tweets. This is at least the third time Trump has responded to Fox segments by tweeting that his administration would take action against Google.

In August 2018, in response to a conspiracy-minded Dobbs segment, the president accused Google of illegally “suppressing voices of Conservatives” adding that his administration would address the situation. 

And last month, Trump tweeted that his administration would review whether Google has committed “treason” after he saw a Fox & Friends news brief in which one of his supporters baselessly floated that claim. 

Conservatives have a political and financial interest in ginning up claims that the tech platforms are biased against them, and right-wing media eagerly amplify their claims for their own interests. This pattern will continue and such issues that don’t hold up to scrutiny will be thrust into the mainstream discourse because the president of the United States loves to watch Fox News.

[Media Matters]

Trump Calls Bannon One of His ‘Best Pupils’ After the Former Aide Showers Him With Compliments on T

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Friday to embrace  former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon as one of his “best pupils” after his ex-aide appeared on CNBC and dissed Trump’s 2020 rivals. “Nice to see that one of my best pupils is still a giant Trump fan,” the president wrote on Twitter. “Steve joined me after I won the primaries, but I loved working with him!” The tweet, which also included a clip of Bannon praising Trump as a “great leader,” was a far cry from Trump’s earlier Twitter takedowns of his former aide, in which he mocked Bannon as “Sloppy Steve” and claimed he’d “cried” when he was booted from the White House. In his comments to CNBC, Bannon talked up Trump’s chances of winning a second term and said no current Democrat in the presidential race could beat Trump. “If the Democratic Party wants to take on Donald Trump, I got a news flash for them: They’re not going to take on Donald Trump with Joe Biden,” he said, adding that Biden likely couldn’t take Trump’s “withering assault” during the campaign. He described the rest of the Democratic field as “a pillow fight” that couldn’t withstand the “amazing campaigner” Trump is. “If they want to take out Donald Trump, I don’t see anybody on the stage on either night that are going to come close to taking out Donald Trump,” Bannon said.

Trump parrots Lou Dobbs in flip-flopping attack on his own Fed chairman

On Wednesday night, President Donald Trump quoted Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs’ attack on Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for cutting interest rates — ironically, something that he has spent the past several months demanding that Powell should do:

Trump has been at odds with Powell ever since he appointed him to the role in 2018, accusing him of trying to stifle the economy.

[Raw Story]

Trump calls Cummings’ district a ‘disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess’

President Donald Trump lashed out against House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., on Saturday, saying his Baltimore district was “far worse” than the southern border.

The attack came days after the House Oversight Committee voted to subpoena personal emails and texts of top White House aides, including Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner.

Trump did not refer to the committee’s decision and instead attacked the civil rights icon.

“Why is so much money sent to the Elijah Cummings district when it is considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States,” Trump wrote. “Where is all this money going? How much is stolen? Investigate this corrupt mess immediately!”

“The Border is clean, efficient and well run, just very crowded,” Trump said, adding that Cummings’ district is “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

Cummings responded via Twitter.

“We have rats all over the country,” said Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young. “We have two-legged rats.”

City Council President Brandon Scott, who was joined by all four women on the council, implored the president to better fund federal programs under the Department of Housing and Urban Development that he says would improve life in Baltimore.

“Stop tweeting,” he said, “let’s start working.”

On Thursday, Cummings said the committee has obtained “direct evidence” that Ivanka Trump, Kushner and other top aides were using personal accounts for official business in violation of federal law and White House policy.

[NBC News]

Trump Quotes Fox & Friends Celebration: Mueller Hearing ‘Changed Everything’ … Trump ‘Wins’

President Donald Trump and Fox & Friends celebrated together on Thursday morning in response to Robert Mueller’s less-than-stellar appearance before Congress.

Mueller drew headlines when he stated that his special counsel report showed how Trump welcomed Russian election interference in 2016, that the president was not exonerated on obstruction of justice, and that Trump could be charged with a crime once he’s out of office. However, the special counsel’s constant referrals to his written words, inability to answer certain questions, and shaky performance dashed expectations that he would breathe life into an impeachment groundswell.

As Fox & Friends recapped the hearings, Ainsley Earhardt said it was “clear he was not in charge of his investigation” and his testimony “changed nothing.” Brian Kilmeadefollowed up by remarking on the setbacks to the possibility of impeachment, and Steve Doocyremarked that Mueller “did not know what was in his own report.”

Trump was clearly watching this morning, because he quote-tweeted the trio’s 6 a.m. opening segment, during which Earhardt said, “Yesterday changed everything, it really did clear the President. He wins.”

The curvy couch continued to break down the “disaster” of a hearing and call it “a great day for the president,” Kilmeade especially tore into Mueller for punting on many of the questions that came his way. When he arrived at the obstruction of justice matter, he said “I think you could sum up the obstruction part of the Mueller report: Trump being Trump.”

“Even if you did not rob the bank, if they are going to investigate you for robbing the bank, you got to wonder why are they questioning everyone around me for something I didn’t do? What does Trump do? He fights you every step of the way…If you say something wrong, he will call you out, and that’s what this.”

[Mediaite]

Trump Continues Attacks on Democratic Congresswomen – Calls Them the ‘Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse’

President Donald Trump is not letting go of his latest obsession: the four progressive Democratic freshmen Congresswomen who are also women of color.

In an early Wednesday morning rant Trump quoted Louisiana Republican Senator John Kennedy, a chameleon who likes to appear as a moderate on MSNBC, then take off his mask and reveal himself as strongly conservative.

Trump, quoting Kennedy, called the four Congresswomen, “wack jobs” and “the four horsewomen of the apocalypse,” a phrase white nationalist Fox News host Laura Ingraham coined to attack the progressive Democrats when they were first elected in November.

“In America, if you hate our Country, you are free to leave. The simple fact of the matter is, the four Congresswomen think that America is wicked in its origins, they think that America is even more wicked now, that we are all racist and evil. They’re entitled to their opinion, they’re Americans. Now I’m entitled to my opinion, & I just think they’re left wing cranks. They’re the reason there are directions on a shampoo bottle, & we should ignore them. The ‘squad’ has moved the Democrat Party substantially LEFT, and they are destroying the Democrat Party. I’m appalled that so many of our Presidential candidates are falling all over themselves to try to agree with the four horsewomen of the apocalypse. I’m entitled to say that they’re Wack Jobs.”

Here’s Sen. Kennedy last night talking to Fox News’ host Tucker Carlson, who has been accused of being a white supremacist.

Trump finished his rant by claiming – falsely – House Democrats are getting nothing done. Meanwhile, the truth is the House has passed 325 bills but “grim reaper” Mitch McConnell is refusing to allow almost any to come to the floor.

[The New Civil Rights Movement]

Trump calls for a “treason” investigation based on a Fox & Friends news brief

President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that his administration would review whether Google has committed “treason” after seeing a Fox & Friends news brief in which one of his biggest Silicon Valley supporters floated that baseless claim.

Trump was responding to a Fox & Friends segment from earlier Tuesday morning, as he indicated by tagging the show’s Twitter handle and using quotes from its programming. An hour earlier, Fox news reader Jillian Mele began a news brief, “Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel believes China should be investigated for treason.” As she spoke, Fox’s chyron read, “Thiel accuses Google of working with Chinese Govt.”

Trump regularly watches Fox News programs like Fox & Friends (often on delay using his “Super Tivo”) and tweets about segments that catch his attention. This creates a feedback loop between the president and his most avid propagandists which can swing both the national news cycle and federal policy

Fox segments spur some of the president’s most inflammatory comments — this morning’s tweet marks at least the fourth time the president has responded to the network’s coverage by promoting a treason charge against his perceived enemies.

In this case, Trump was picking up on an accusation from Thiel, a wealthy tech investor and major Trump donor who spoke at the 2016 Republican convention. In a speech on Sunday, Thiel said that Google’s decision to work with the Chinese government to produce a censored version of its search while letting a Pentagon contract lapse was “seemingly treasonous,” and he suggested without evidence that Google’s executive corps had been “infiltrated” by foreign intelligence services. “These questions need to be asked by the FBI and the CIA,” he added. (Thiel sits on the board of Facebook, a Google competitor.)

The Pentagon has previously alleged that Google’s work in China provides a “direct benefit to the Chinese military,” and Trump has echoed the point. The tech company responded that it is not working with the Chinese military. 

Thiel returned to the subject during a Monday night appearance on Fox News host and sometime Trump adviser Tucker Carlson’s show, floating what he described as “a few different possibilities” while offering no evidence for his claim of Chinese infiltration of and treason by Google. 

“If [Google CEO] Sundar Pinchai was sitting right here, what would you say to him?” Carlson asked at one point.

“Well, I would say, answer my three questions,” Thiel replied. “How many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated Google? Have the Chinese in particular infiltrated? And why are you working with Communist China and not the U.S.? What is the reason you’re doing that?”

“The questions you raise, and this is not in any way to minimize their importance, are kind of obvious questions,” Carlson replied. “Why hasn’t the U.S. government ascertained the answers?”

“It’s possible that there are people in the U.S. government looking into it and they haven’t told us, but yeah, I think the FBI and CIA would be the natural places to look into it,” Thiel said.

Mele aired a clip from that interview during her news brief the following morning. 

Fox’s credulous coverage of Thiel’s speculation — and Trump’s parroting of those claims — is no surprise. Right-wing activists and journalists have treated tech companies as an emerging enemy force in recent years. By inflating claims of purported bias against conservatives on social media platforms, they sought to redeploy ref-working tactics previously used against news media outlets. 

Fueled by Fox, Trump has adopted this campaign as his own. Last year, Trump claimed Google’s search engine was “suppressing voices of Conservatives” and promised to act against it, apparently in response to a conspiracy-minded segment he saw on Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs Tonight

Last week, Trump took that accusation from Twitter to the White House Rose Garden. “We had a terrible bias,” Trump said at Thursday’s “Presidential Social Media Summit,” an event that sought to mainstream previously fringe pro-Trump figures. “We have censorship like nobody has any understanding or nobody can believe.” 

[Media Matters]

1 2 3 12