Trump Defends Sinclair Amid Controversy: ‘Far Superior to CNN and Even More Fake NBC’

In response to the controversy surrounding Sinclair Broadcasting Group, which went viral over the weekend, President Donald Trump came to the company’s defense, claiming on Twitter that “Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC.”

Scrutiny of the company began after Deadspin video showed local anchors working at stations owned by Sinclair repeating the exact same anti-media talking points that echoed Trump’s attacks on the mainstream press. The segment was part of a new intuitive on “fake stories” that Sinclair is forcing their stations to air.

Trump predictably sided with Sinclair in the controversy, tweeting this morning, “So funny to watch Fake News Networks, among the most dishonest groups of people I have ever dealt with, criticize Sinclair Broadcasting for being biased. Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke.”

CNN’s media reporter Brian Stelter, who first broke the Sinclair story, responded to the president on Twitter by thanking him for watching CNN.

[Mediaite]

Media

Trump Praises Roseanne During Infrastructure Speech: ‘Look at Her Ratings!’

President Trump delivered a speech on infrastructure in Ohio today that touched upon a number of different topics including, yes, Roseanne‘s debut ratings.

The eponymous star revealed that the President called her to congratulate her on the huge ratings numbers.

And he brought up the ratings again today during his speech:

“Look at Roseanne! I called her yesterday! Look at her ratings! Look at her ratings! I got a call from Mark Burnett, he did The Apprentice, he’s a great guy. He said, ‘Donald, I called just to say hello, and to tell you: did you see Roseanne’s ratings?’ I said, ‘Mark, how big were they?’ They were unbelievable! Over 18 million people! And it was about us! They haven’t figured it out! The fake news hasn’t quite figured it out yet.”

[Mediaite]

Trump’s border wall proposal is exactly what Ann Coulter pitched on Fox News Saturday night

On March 25, President Donald Trump released a cryptic tweet proposing to use funds dedicated to national defense to build a wall along the southern border, a plan conservative commentator Ann Coulter had proposed hours earlier on one of Trump’s favorite Fox News shows, Justice with Judge Jeanine.

On Sunday morning, Trump tweeted:

The tweet was widely interpreted as a proposal to use military funding to build a border wall, a proposal Coulter had made the night before on Justice with Judge Jeanine. The show’s host, Jeanine Pirro, is a longtime friend of Trump’s and has earned a special place on his watch list through her fawning coverage.

JEANINE PIRRO (HOST): What can the president do? What can the president do as commander-in-chief?

ANN COULTER: Look, on the day after his inauguration, it’s his authority under the Constitution that cannot be taken away from him by any legislature, by any court — I’m quite confident the Supreme Court would uphold this — to defend our borders. I mean, he has — the last war that had a declaration of war from Congress in it was World War II, and we engage in a lot of military actions around the world. I think it can be done right on our border as part of the defense. Have the Seabees do it. But if he needs to —

PIRRO: OK, so where does he get the money? Where does he get the money to build the wall that you can say he can build as national defense. Where does he take the money from?

COULTER: The same place Reagan took the money to invade Grenada. The same place he took the money to bomb Syria. He has money to spend on national defense, and this is a much bigger problem of national defense. This is our people being attacked with chemical warfare, not allegedly Syrians.

 

[Media Matters]

Media

Trump: It’s ‘FAKE NEWS’ When Pundits Say My Approval Ratings Are ‘Somewhat Low’

President Donald Trump has been extremely online this morning, shooting off a series of tweets. Having already taken aim at the “Failing New York Times,” NYT reporter Maggie Haberman and Democrats, the president decided to take a shot at political pundits for calling his approval ratings low.

As you can see in the tweet above, the president claims that Republican-leaning poll Rasmussen and “others” have his poll number “around 50%,” which he claims are higher “than Obama.” Furthermore, he wants people to “[t]urn off the show” because it is “FAKE NEWS” when pundits say his ratings are “somewhat low.”

One wonders exactly what polls the president is looking at right now. Currently, Rasmussen has his approval rating at 45%, not “around 50%.” Checking other recent polls, none are higher 43% except for the previous Rasmussen poll that had him at 48%.

In terms of aggregated poll numbers, RealClearPolitics has the presidential approval rating average at 40.9%. HuffPost Pollster shows the same in their polling average.

[Mediaite]

Trump taunts press over North Korea news

President Trump is back to attacking the press again.

After a series of more subdued tweets about North Korea, the President apparently couldn’t resist taking shots at the media again:

Culminating in…

Trump did get some positive media coverage over this week’s announcement. CNN’s Erin Burnett said Trump could go down as a great president if this is successful, and even Bill Maher said Trump could pull it off while telling liberals to stop “reflexively hating” the idea.

[Mediaite]

Trump tweets — and then deletes — bizarre attack on ‘Alex Baldwin’ and his ‘dieing’ career

President Donald Trump launched a misspelled attack against actor Alec Baldwin over his “Saturday Night Live” portrayal but deleted the post minutes later.

The president twice misspelled the actor’s name as “Alex” in the tweet, which was posted at 5:42 a.m., and insisted Baldwin revived his “dieing” career by playing Trump on the sketch comedy program.

“Alex Baldwin, whose dieing mediocre career was saved by his impersonation of me on SNL, now says playing DJT was agony for him,” Trump tweeted. “Alex, it was also agony for those who were forced to watch. You were terrible. Bring back Darrell Hammond, much funnier and a far greater talent!”

The tweet was deleted by 6 a.m., but multiple Twitter users took screenshots of the misspelled post.

Like many of his early morning tweets, this one was prompted by a Fox News report that aired at 4:24 a.m. about Baldwin, who gave a lengthy interview Thursday with The Hollywood Reporter.

[Raw Story]

Trump hits CNN as ‘fake news’ over Florida student’s claim network gave him scripted question

President Trump went after CNN over a Florida school shooting survivor’s claim that he didn’t participate in a CNN town hall because the network wouldn’t let him ask his original question and replaced it with a scripted one.

“Just like so much of CNN, Fake News. That’s why their ratings are so bad! MSNBC may be worse,” Trump tweeted Thursday.

CNN quickly replied to Trump’s tweet, reiterating its past denial of the student’s account.

“There is absolutely no truth to this story — and we can prove that. CNN did not provide or script questions for anyone in last night’s town hall, nor have we ever. Those are the facts,” the network tweeted at the president.

Trump appeared to have been responding to a segment on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” featuring the student, who reiterated his previous claims.

Colton Haab, a survivor of the mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school last week, said earlier Thursday that CNN had initially asked him to “write a speech and ask questions” for the town hall but that the event “ended up being all scripted.”

He said his question was about using veterans as armed security guards at schools.

“I expected to be able to ask my questions and give my opinion on my questions,” Haab said.

“I don’t think that it’s going get anything accomplished,” he added. “It’s not gonna ask the true questions that all the parents and teachers and students have.”

CNN disputed Haab’s account.

“There is absolutely no truth to this,” Richard Hudock, CNN’s senior manager of public relations, said in a statement provided to The Hill. “CNN did not provide or script questions for anyone in last night’s town hall, nor have we ever.”

“After seeing an interview with Colton Haab, we invited him to participate in our town hall along with other students and administrators from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School,” Hudock said. “Colton’s father withdrew his name from participation before the forum began, which we regretted but respected.”

Trump has repeatedly attacked CNN and other networks, including MSNBC, since his presidential campaign and into his administration.

[The Hill]

 

 

 

Trump Touts Comments from Fox & Friends Guest Who Says POTUS Was ‘Victimized’ by Obama Admin

President Trump watched Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton on Fox & Friends this morning and touted his comments this afternoon.

Fitton has defended Trump on the Russia probe, and on the Fox News morning program today, he talked about the dossier and ties between Hillary Clinton and the Russians.

At one point, he said the following remarks, tweeted by POTUS:

[Mediaite]

Media

Trump prefers oral report to reading daily intel briefing

President Trump is declining to read his daily brief and is instead having officials orally brief him on certain issues, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Trump is breaking with precedent set by seven past presidents in choosing to rarely read the President’s Daily Brief (PDB), which includes what officials have deemed to be the most important U.S. intelligence from hot spots around the globe.

Reading the report is not Trump’s chosen “style of learning,” one source told the Post.

Administration officials told the Post that Trump still receives full briefings and that different presidents get the intelligence in different ways.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told the Post that “any notion that President Trump is not fully engaged in the PDB or does not read the briefing materials is pure fiction and is clearly not based on firsthand knowledge of the process.”

He added that Trump “engages for significantly longer periods than I understand many previous presidents have done.”

However, top experts — including former CIA Director Leon Panetta — said that Trump could be missing valuable context by not reading the full briefing, which could put himself and the U.S. in a more vulnerable position.

“Something will be missed,” Panetta told the Post. “If for some reason his instincts on what should be done are not backed up by the intelligence because he hasn’t taken the time to read that intel, it increases the risk that he will make a mistake.”

Trump’s intelligence briefings have been a point of interest since he took office. Intelligence analysts have been recommended to keep their daily briefings with Trump short, limiting them to three topics and keeping their findings to a single page.

The briefings have also reportedly been structured in a way that won’t upset Trump, including having information about Russia only included in the written version of the briefing.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo praised Trump last month for his understanding of the intelligence briefings, comparing Trump’s grasp of the information to 25-year intelligence professionals.

[The Hill]

Trump’s secret, shrinking schedule

President Trump is starting his official day much later than he did in the early days of his presidency, often around 11am, and holding far fewer meetings, according to copies of his private schedule shown to Axios. This is largely to meet Trump’s demands for more “Executive Time,” which almost always means TV and Twitter time alone in the residence, officials tell us.

The schedules shown to me are different than the sanitized ones released to the media and public.

The schedule says Trump has “Executive Time” in the Oval Office every day from 8am to 11am, but the reality is he spends that time in his residence, watching TV, making phone calls and tweeting. Trump comes down for his first meeting of the day, which is often an intelligence briefing, at 11am.

That’s far later than George W. Bush, who typically arrived in the Oval by 6:45am. Obama worked out first thing in the morning and usually got into the Oval between 9 and 10am, according to a former senior aide.

Trump’s days in the Oval Office are relatively short – from around 11am to 6pm, then he’s back to the residence. During that time he usually has a meeting or two, but spends a good deal of time making phone calls and watching cable news in the dining room adjoining the Oval. Then he’s back to the residence for more phone calls and more TV. Take these random examples from this week’s real schedule:

On Tuesday, Trump has his first meeting of the day with Chief of Staff John Kelly at 11am. He then has “Executive Time” for an hour followed by an hour lunch in the private dining room. Then it’s another 1 hour 15 minutes of “Executive Time” followed by a 45 minute meeting with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. Then another 15 minutes of “Executive Time” before Trump takes his last meeting of the day — a 3:45pm meeting with the head of Presidential Personnel Johnny DeStefano — before ending his official day at 4:15pm.

Other days are fairly similar, unless the president is traveling, in which case the days run longer. On Wednesday this week, for example, the president meets at 11am for his intelligence briefing, then has “Executive Time” until a 2pm meeting with the Norwegian Prime Minister. His last official duty: a video recording with Hope Hicks at 4pm.

On Thursday, the president has an especially light schedule: “Policy Time” at 11am, then “Executive Time” at 12pm, then lunch for an hour, then more “Executive Time” from 1:30pm.
Trump’s schedule wasn’t always like this. In the earliest days of the Trump administration it began earlier and ended later. Trump would have breakfast meetings (e.g. hosting business leaders in the Roosevelt Room). He didn’t like the longer official schedule and pushed for later starts. The morning intelligence briefing ended up settling around 10:30am.

Aides say Trump is always doing something — he’s a whirl of activity and some aides wish he would sleep more — but his time in the residence is unstructured and undisciplined. He’s calling people, watching TV, tweeting, and generally taking the same loose, improvisational approach to being president that he took to running the Trump Organization for so many years. Old habits die hard.

In response to this article, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wrote:

“The time in the morning is a mix of residence time and Oval Office time but he always has calls with staff, Hill members, cabinet members and foreign leaders during this time. The President is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen and puts in long hours and long days nearly every day of the week all year long. It has been noted by reporters many times that they wish he would slow down because they sometimes have trouble keeping up with him.”

[Axios]

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