Trump calls LaVar Ball an ‘ungrateful fool’

President Donald Trump took to Twitter to continue to rail against LaVar Ball, the father of a UCLA basketball player who was detained for shoplifting in China.

At 5:25 am, ET, Trump rehashed his beef with Ball, who has been reluctant to thank the President for his role in his son’s release from China.

“It wasn’t the White House, it wasn’t the State Department, it wasn’t father LaVar’s so-called people on the ground in China that got his son out of a long term prison sentence – IT WAS ME. Too bad! LaVar is just a poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair,” Trump tweeted in part.

Trump called Ball an “ungrateful fool,” adding that getting his son home is “a really big deal.”

The tweets come after Ball said Monday in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo that he didn’t know what the President had done to get his son and two other UCLA basketball players out of China.

After Ball’s refusal to thank Trump in an interview with ESPN a few days after the players’ release, the President said he should have left the three players in jail.

LaVar Ball’s 39 most amazing lines on Donald Trump in Monday’s CNN interview
“Did he help the boys get out? I don’t know. … If I was going to thank somebody I’d probably thank President Xi (Jinping),” Ball said Monday night when asked about his back-and-forth with the President by CNN’s Chris Cuomo.

“It wasn’t like he was in the US and said, ‘OK, there’s three kids in China. I need to go over and get them.’ That wasn’t the thought process,” he told Cuomo.

Ball suggested Trump, who frequently brought up the conversation he had with Xi about the release during a trip to Asia, should stay quiet.

“If you help, you shouldn’t have to say anything,” he said. “Let him do his political affairs and let me handle my son and let’s just stay in our lane.”

[CNN]

Trump Blames Generals for Niger Ambush That Got Four U.S. Soldiers Killed

Did President Donald Trump, the commander-in-chief, just blame U.S. generals for the deadly October 4 ambush in Niger?

When asked by reporters on Wednesday if he authorized the mission in Niger that left four U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers dead, Trump said, “No, I didn’t, not specifically.” The generals have “decision-making ability,” he added.

“I have generals that are great generals,” he said during an impromptu press conference outside of the White House before heading off to Dallas. “These are great fighters; these are warriors. I gave them authority to do what’s right so that we win. That’s the authority they have. I want to win. And we’re going to win.”

Trump referred to the leaders as “my generals” and “my military.” He’s used such phrasing before, which has angered the military community.

“When it comes to the military, the military belongs to the country. Our defense system belongs to the country. And it’s not the president’s military, it’s the military of the United States of America,” Leon Panetta, a former defense secretary and director of the CIA, said in April.

This is also not the first time Trump has seemingly placed responsibility for a deadly military incident on the generals. After a botched raid in Yemen resulted in the death of U.S. Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens in late January, Trump said, “My generals are the most respected that we’ve had in many decades I believe. And they lost Ryan.”

During his presidential campaign, Trump said, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me.” His actions since becoming president, however, suggest Trump doesn’t believe this at all.

Trump has delegated far more autonomy to the Pentagon in conducting military operations than was offered by his predecessor, Barack Obama. He’s also filled his cabinet with military men. Chief of Staff John Kelly and Defense Secretary James Mattis are both retired Marine generals.

“What I do is I authorize my military…. We have given them total authorization, and that’s what they’re doing,” Trump said in April. The president argued this is why the military has been “so successful” under his watch compared to “what has happened over the last eight years.”

The military seems to appreciate this newfound independence under Trump.

“It has freed us up a bit to prosecute the war in a more aggressive manner, I think,” said Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend, commander of the U.S.-led coalition forces fighting the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria from August 2016 to September 2017, during an interview with Time over the summer.

But some have argued that the lack of restrictions has only made the military more trigger-happy, which could help explain the extreme rise in civilian deaths from U.S. air strikes under Trump. The rules the president has rolled back were designed to prevent civilian casualties.

Does the military’s increased autonomy also place troops in greater danger? This is less clear. But some argue that Trump has skirted portions of his responsibility as commander-in-chief, and that on more than one occasion this has allowed him to point to his generals when things have gotten messy.

Meanwhile, many questions remain about what exactly happened in Niger on October 4, and an investigation is ongoing.

[Newsweek]

Media

Trump says his recollection of call with Gold Star widow is better than hers

President Trump on Wednesday said he has a better recollection of his condolence call to the widow of a U.S. soldier killed in Niger than she does.

Trump told reporters during a gathering at the White House that he used Sgt. La David Johnson’s name “right from the beginning” of the call and with “no hesitation.”

Trump added that he had a chart with the fallen soldier’s name in front of him during the call.

The president also said he has “one of the great memories of all time” while pointing to his own head.

Trump’s comments conflict with Myeshia Johnson’s account of the call. She said that the president did not remember her husband’s name during the call. “I was extremely nice to her. I’ve never seen her, I’ve never met her, but she sounds like a lovely lady. I was extremely courteous, as I was to everyone else,” Trump said Wednesday, referring to the Gold Star widow.

“I respect her, I respect her family, I certainly respect La David. Who I, by the way, called La David right from the beginning,” Trump added.

Myeshia Johnson backed up a description of the call by Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.), who said the president was disrespectful to the Johnson family.

Trump and White House chief of staff John Kelly have both repeatedly rejected Wilson’s claims.

[The Hill]

Media

A college professor criticized Trump. Now the White House wants an investigation

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wants the University of Las Vegas to investigate one of its professors after she strongly criticized President Donald Trump and the consequences of his election as the city reeled from the mass shooting.

Recordings of assistant professor Tessa Winkelmann showed her speaking to her class about the president’s violent rhetoric and the power of his words.

“Right when he got elected, I told my classes, three semesters ago, that some of us won’t be affected by this presidency, but others are going to die,” Winkelmann said in the video, obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Other people will die because of this.”

One student was “dumbfounded” and said the professor’s comments were “appalling,” in the wake of the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, the Review-Journal reported.

“He’s [Trump] threatened to declare violence against North Korea and other places,” the professor added. “And words, especially if they’re coming from someone who is the president, have consequences. . . I don’t know that these events would have inevitably happened whether or not he got elected, but he has rhetorical powers every president has to encourage or to discourage (violence). So far all he’s done is to encourage violence.”

The White House condemned the comments and said the school should “look into” the professor’s actions.

“It is sad she is teaching students such divisive, inaccurate and irresponsible rhetoric,” Sanders said. “She should be ashamed of herself, and the university should look into it. What a terrible example to set for students.”

Winkelmann apologized in an emailed statement to the Review-Journal and said she wished she had been “more thoughtful in how I directed the conversation.”

“This week has been very difficult for members of our community, and we have allowed students space in our classes to discuss how they have been affected and to openly convey their feelings,” she wrote. “I regret that my comments caused more pain during this difficult time. Emotions were running high and I wish I would have been more thoughtful in how I directed the conversation.”

UNLV issued a statement that said Winkelmann’s comments were insensitive, but did not announce any potential disciplinary action against her.

“While we respect academic freedom in the classroom and the right to free speech, we believe the comments were insensitive, especially given the series of events this week and the healing process that has begun in the community,” university spokesman Tony Allen said, according to the Review-Journal.

Unfortunately this is not the first time the White House has commented on civilians who are outspoken in their criticism of the president. On Tuesday morning the president once again attacked the recently suspended ESPN anchor Jemele Hill as part of his long-running crusade against NFL players who have knelt during the national anthem in protest of social and racial injustice.

Press secretary Sanders also previously said Hill had committed a “fireable offense” when the anchor called the president a white supremacist on Twitter.

Conservatives have long advocated for free speech on college campuses, yet have remained quiet when the White House suggested disciplinary action be taken against a professor who was well within her free speech rights.

[Salon]

Trump offers to ‘compare IQ tests’ with Tillerson after ‘moron’ report

President Trump in a new interview offered to compare IQ tests with Rex Tillerson after reports that the secretary of State had called him a “moron.”

“I think it’s fake news, but if he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests,” Trump told Forbes in an interview published Tuesday.

“And I can tell you who is going to win.”

Tillerson called Trump a “moron” and considered leaving the administration, according to an NBC News report earlier this month.

In a press conference last week, Tillerson denied he ever considered leaving the administration.

He did not directly deny that he called Trump a “moron,” but the State Department later said the report wasn’t true.

Trump tweeted last week that his secretary of State never threatened to resign, referred to the report as “fake news” and called for NBC News to apologize.

The relationship between Trump and Tillerson has reportedly grown more tense in recent months.

Trump said Saturday he sometimes wishes Tillerson would “be a little tougher.”

[The Hill]

Reality

The State Department released a statement saying Rex Tillerson’s IQ was “high.” This is where we are at now.

Trump says Pence’s trip to NFL game was ‘long planned’

President Donald Trump on Monday morning doubled down on Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to the Indianapolis Colts game Sunday, saying it was “long planned.”

“The trip by @VP Pence was long planned. He is receiving great praise for leaving game after the players showed such disrespect for country!” the president wrote on Twitter.

Pence left an Indianapolis Colts game on Sunday after several players on the opposing San Francisco 49ers team kneeled in protest during the national anthem.

“I left today’s Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem,” Pence wrote on Twitter on his official @VP account following his departure.

Trump also praised Pence’s decision to leave in a tweet Sunday, adding that if any players kneeled, he had asked Pence to leave the stadium.

The tweets, along with Pence’s subsequent trip to Los Angeles, have prompted some to speculate that the vice president’s departure was a pre-planned stunt.

Pence’s office put out a statement Sunday night, responding to critics: “The Vice President was not going to miss the Las Vegas memorial prayer walk on Saturday, which he was honored to attend on behalf of President Trump. If the Vice President did not go to Indiana for the Colts game, he would have flown back to D.C. for the evening – which means flying directly over Indiana. Instead, he made a shorter trip to Indiana for a game that was on his schedule for several weeks.”

The 49ers are the former team of quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who in 2016 started the protest of kneeling during the anthem as a way to bring attention to police mistreatment of African-Americans.

[Politico]

Reality

Vice President Mike Pence was shocked… shocked… that 49er players, who have protested racial injustice during the National Anthem for over a year now, protested the National Anthem. While the anthem was still playing, Pence performed a protest of his own and left the stadium, showing by his own standards a disrespect for soldiers, the Flag, and anthem.

Just last week both Trump and Pence were critical of NFL players, who were also protesting Trump calling Colin Kaepernick a “son of a bitch” and demanding free speech be stifled, for injecting politics into sports… but now Trump and Pence are injecting politics into sports?

And Trump admitted in a tweet that this was planned for a long time, proving it was nothing more than an expensive PR stunt and that Trump is more interested in running a reality show than a country.

Trump Incorrectly Cites FCC Equal Time Rule in Dig at ‘Unfunny’ Late-Night Comedians

President Donald Trump mused Saturday morning about whether he and his fellow Republicans should receive equal time on TV due to what he sees as consistently unfair coverage from late-night comedians.

“Late Night host are dealing with the Democrats for their very “unfunny” & repetitive material, always anti-Trump! Should we get Equal Time?” Trump wrote on Twitter Saturday.

He later added: “More and more people are suggesting that Republicans (and me) should be given Equal Time on T.V. when you look at the one-sided coverage?”

Trump appears to be referencing the FCC’s “equal time” rule, which has been applied to broadcast TV and radio stations and locally originated cable TV. The rule requires broadcasters to treat legally qualified political candidates fairly both in free air time from appearances and paid advertising, with exemptions for programs like newscasts.

The president also seemed to be inferring that the equal time provision would apply to commentaries, like Kimmel’s monologues on health care, which have lambasted the president and Republicans.

Jimmy Kimmel, host of ABC’s late night show, responded to the president on Twitter by jokingly agreeing that Trump should have more time on TV, if he did one thing: quit the presidency.

“You should quit that boring job – I’ll let you have my show ALL to yourself #MAGA,” Kimmel wrote.

[Politico]

Update

Trump sent this tweet after watching a segment on Fox News on the exact same subject.

Reality

Two things, first, Trump is on television every day. CNN, MSNBC, Fox, CBS, ABC, Bloomberg, and every other new station can’t stop talking about him.

And second, the Equal time rule has to do only with political candidates, Trump might be talking about the “Fairness Doctrine” which itself only deals with the discussion of controversial issues. Of course this difference is something a President should know.

Trump says NBA player Stephen Curry no longer invited to White House

President Trump on Saturday said the “invitation is withdrawn” for Stephen Curry to visit the White House because the NBA All-Star “is hesitating.”

“Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team,” he tweeted. “Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!”

Golden State Warriors guard Curry said this week he didn’t want the team to visit the White House to celebrate their NBA championship title.

“I don’t want to go,” Curry told reporters on Friday. He said in June he “probably” wouldn’t go to the White House, and this week said he didn’t think the team should go either.

Managers said they will discuss the decision as a team in an open forum. It was unclear whether the president would bar the entire team from the White House, or just Curry. A formal White House invitation has not been issued, but the NBA has been communicating with the White House about a visit, according to ESPN.

Curry said his reasons for not wanting to visit the White House were “that we basically don’t stand for what our president has said, and the things he hasn’t said at the right time,” according to SF Gate.

“By not going, hopefully it will inspire some change for what we tolerate in this country and what we stand for, what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye toward,” he said.

“It’s not just the act of not going. There are things you have do on the back end to push that message into motion,” he continued. “You can talk about all the different personalities that have said things and done things from [Colin] Kaepernick to what happened with Michael Bennett to all sorts of examples of what has gone on in our country that has led to change. We’re all trying to do what we can, using our platforms, our opportunities, to shed light on it. I don’t think not going to the White House will miraculously make everything better. But this is my opportunity to voice that.”

Trump on Friday again spoke out against Kaepernick, an NFL player Trump has criticized multiple times in the past.

The president argued people should protest players that don’t stand for the national anthem, as Kaepernick has done, by leaving games.

“When people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they are playing our great national anthem – the only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium,” Trump said at a rally in Alabama. “I guarantee things will stop.”

Fox News coverage of Curry’s resistance could have motivated Trump’s Saturday morning tweet. Trump is a known fan of Fox News coverage.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/352029-trump-withdraws-white-house-invitation-to-stephen-curry

 

Trump Slams McCain Blocking Obamacare Repeal: ‘Honestly, Terrible’

President Donald Trump slammed Sen. John McCain for opposing efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, vowing at a Friday campaign rally for an Alabama Senate candidate that Republicans would succeed on health care “eventually.”

The crowd booed as Trump said the opposition from McCain, R-Ariz., who announced on Friday that he would vote against the latest GOP health care bill, was “terrible, honestly, terrible” when he cast the deciding vote against an earlier measure.

“That was a totally unexpected thing,” Trump told the crowd.

The president went on to say that McCain’s opposition was “sad.”

“It was sad,” Trump said. “We had a couple of other senators, but at least we knew where they stood. That was really a horrible thing, honestly. That was a horrible thing that happened to the Republican Party.”

“It’s a little tougher without McCain’s vote, but we’ve got some time,” Trump said, acknowledging the difficulty in passing the Senate health care bill before a critical September 30 deadline. “We are going to do it, eventually.”

The boisterous arena rally recalled the heady days of Trump’s insurgent 2016 campaign. Thousands of supporters in the stands reprised chants of “lock her up” about Hillary Clinton and “build the wall,” and erupted in cheers when the president called North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un “little Rocket Man.”

But this time, Trump came as the president, using his first big endorsement trip outside of the Beltway to tout the establishment’s favored candidate in the heated special election to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Trump’s all-out support for interim Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., who is trying to close his gap in polls ahead of Tuesday’s GOP runoff election, is a political gambit, which the president acknowledged.

“I’m taking a big risk,” Trump said. “Luther Strange is our man.”

Challenger Roy Moore is an anti-establishment favorite, backed by many of Trump’s most prominent supporters — including Ben Carson, Trump’s HUD Secretary.

Trump said critics had given Strange “a bum rap.” And he praised the senator’s loyalty in the health care battle, recalling that Strange asked for nothing in return for his support to repeal Obamacare — unlike McCain and other unhelpful GOP senators.

“They are not doing a service to the people that they represent,” Trump said.

Democrats are as rare in Alabama as Louisiana State fans, but Trump warned that Moore, a controversial religious fundamentalist, would have “a very good chance of not winning in the general election” later this year.

If Strange pulls off a come-from-behind-win, Trump will get the credit and an infusion of political capital with elected Republicans when he needs it most.

“Our research indicates that he is the decisive factor,” said Steven Law, the president of the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC tied to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that has spent almost $8 million backing Strange.

Trump is hugely popular in deep-red Alabama, gushing, “It’s nice to go places where people love you.”

Richard “Gator” Payne, the former commander of the local Purple Heart chapter, acknowledged he didn’t know much about Strange, but said Trump’s endorsement was enough for him. “I’m for Trump, and if Trump’s for Strange, then I’m for Strange,” he said.

[NBC News]

Media

Trump Takes a Jab at the Emmys After Threatening to ‘Destroy North Korea’ in First UN Speech

Two days after celebrities threw verbal jabs at President Donald Trump during the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, Trump fired back at his critics with a tweet.

“I was saddened to see how bad the ratings were on the Emmys last night – the worst ever,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday evening.

“Smartest people of them all are the “DEPLORABLES,” Trump said, referencing a term Hillary Clinton used to describe some of Trump’s supporters during the contentious 2016 election.

Though the 2017 Emmys ratings were not “the worst ever” as Trump described, they averaged 11.4 million viewers, about 100,000 more than in 2016 – the show’s all-time low, according to Variety.

During the awards Sunday night, Trump bore the brunt of several jokes made by its host, comedian Stephen Colbert and several other celebrities who won awards that night.

“Unlike the presidency, Emmys go to the winner of the popular vote,” Colbert joked at one point, referring to the results of the US presidential election.

Trump’s comments about the Emmys came just hours after he delivered a fiery speech before the United Nations General Assembly in New York, in which he threatened the US could “totally destroy North Korea” if its nuclear aggressions continue.

[Business Insider]

Reality

Let’s also remember that Donald Trump once said during a debate the Emmys were “rigged” because he never won one for Celebrity Apprentice.

Also he tweeted that the Emmys were last night, but his tweet was on a Tuesday and the Emmys aired on Sunday.

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