Trump tears into ‘Crazy’ Bernie Sanders after Fox News town hall

President Trump lit into Democratic presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in a series of tweets on Tuesday, in which he attacked the senator as “crazy” and took aim at his wealth.

“Many Trump Fans & Signs were outside of the @FoxNews Studio last night in the now thriving (Thank you President Trump) Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for the interview with Crazy Bernie Sanders,” Trump said in the first of a string of tweets on Tuesday evening.

“Big complaints about not being let in-stuffed with Bernie supporters. What’s with @FoxNews?” he claimed without evidence. 

The president went on to call out the senator over his wealth after Sanders recently revealed that he has become a millionaire from the profits he received from his best-selling book. 

“Bernie Sanders and wife should pay the Pre-Trump Taxes on their almost $600,000 in income. He is always complaining about these big TAX CUTS, except when it benefits him,” Trump tweeted.

“They made a fortune off of Trump, but so did everyone else – and that’s a good thing, not a bad thing!” Trump, who has an estimated net worth of $2 billion and proclaims to be a self-made billionaire, also wrote.

He also predicted in another tweet that both Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden, who have emerged as front-runners in a crowded field of Democratic presidential contenders, would be the “two finalists to run against maybe the best Economy in the history of our Country.”

“I believe it will be Crazy Bernie Sanders vs. Sleepy Joe Biden as the two finalists to run against maybe the best Economy in the history of our Country (and MANY other great things)!” he wrote. 

“I look forward to facing whoever it may be. May God Rest Their Soul!” the president added.

Trump’s criticism arrives as the Vermont Independent leads Democratic presidential contenders in a new Emerson poll, which has him at 29 percent in the lead compared to the 24 percent Biden now holds in second place.

[The Hill]

Reality

Trump seemed to be referring to a group of people holding American flags and Trump flags outside the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks while the hour-long program was being shot inside before an audience who cheered Sanders.

Trump Claims ‘USA has the Absolute Legal Right’ to Send Migrants to Sanctuary Cities

President Donald Trump tweeted out on Saturday night that “the USA has the absolute legal right” to send migrants to sanctuary cities.

“Just out: The USA has the absolute legal right to have apprehended illegal immigrants transferred to Sanctuary Cities. We hereby demand that they be taken care of at the highest level, especially by the State of California, which is well known or its poor management & high taxes!” Trump wrote.

Trump’s tweet comes just following a segment on Fox News where his deputy Press Secretary defended the plan.

Speaking with Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro on Saturday, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley praised Trump’s proposal.

He claimed, though, that the actual transport hasn’t started yet because Trump is still considering all of his options and they are still working on the legality of the issue.

In defense of Trump’s proposal, Gidley said this:

“They are telling us you cannot keep family units who come here illegally and unlawfully at the southern border. You can’t keep them at detention facilities. You can’t deport them. The only thing you can do is as an administration is release them into American communities…So, the president said listen, there are sanctuary cities out there where Democrats have said we welcome any and all whether they criminals, whether they are here illegally, seeking asylum, regardless. Anybody who disagrees with us is racist. So the president said fine, I’ve got a great idea. We’d love to work with you guys to figure out exactly the best way to transport these people were here illegally and unlawfully and into your communities and your districts and your states.”

Gidley then added that not a single Democrat has signed up for the plan.

Pirro next asked when all this was going to start.

“He’s looking at any and all options right now,” Gidley said, referring to Trump. “We’re going through the process, reviewing everything we can do lawfully.”

Pirro then asked if it had started already.

“Not yet, we’re trying to figure out if we can do that Legally,” Gidley replied.

A few minutes later, Trump tweeted out that the “USA has the absolute legal right” to what he wants and send migrants to sanctuary cities.

[Mediaite]

Trump Says He Is Considering Releasing Migrants in ‘Sanctuary Cities’

President Trump said on Friday that his administration was “strongly” considering releasing migrants detained at the border into mostly Democratic “sanctuary cities,” suggesting that the idea should make liberals “very happy” because of their immigration policies.

“We are looking at the possibility, strongly looking at it to be honest with you,” he said on Friday in response to a question about the proposal.

“We might as well do what they always say they want,” Mr. Trump said if Democrats do not agree to new immigration policies. “We’ll bring them to sanctuary city areas and let that particular area take care of it,” he said, adding that California welcomed the idea of more people coming to the state.

“We can give them a lot. We can give them an unlimited supply,” he said.

The comments came a day after the administration said the policy proposal was never seriously considered. But after the president’s Twitter posts on Friday, a White House spokesman said Democrats should work with the administration to welcome migrants into their districts.

“Democrats say we must have open borders and that illegal immigrants have a right to be in this country at all costs,” the spokesman, Hogan Gidley, said, adding, “so they should be working with the administration to find the best ways to transport those illegal aliens that are already set for release, into communities in their districts and states.”

Democratic lawmakers do not want “open borders,” as the president has suggested. They favor improving border security, but they do not support many of Mr. Trump’s hard-line immigration policy proposals, such as building a wall along the southwestern border.

Last year, Trump administration officials had floated the idea of transporting migrants to sanctuary cities, which do not strictly adhere to federal immigration laws, as a way to address the influx of migrants crossing the border with Mexico.

One of the highest-profile sanctuary cities is San Francisco, home to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is one of the president’s top political rivals and a thorn in his efforts to change American immigration laws. The White House raised the proposal again in February, suggesting it could punish Democrats for rejecting budget requests for border security.

Ms. Pelosi’s office condemned the Trump administration for the idea, which the Department of Homeland Security said on Thursday was ultimately rejected.

But Mr. Trump’s tweets on Friday indicated it was not off the table, and the president appeared to revel in the Democratic outrage, saying, “The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!”

Senator Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, a state with several sanctuary cities, criticized the president’s proposal.

“Trump’s plan to release migrants into ‘enemy’ cities as if they are some kind of contagion is reprehensible,” Mr. Markey tweeted. “Trump is obsessed with the border and sanctuary cities because he only wins by dividing people.”

There has been an influx of migrant families crossing the southern border into the United States, exceeding the staffing and resources available for immigration enforcement. And with a shortage of space in shelters and detention centers, immigration officials have been releasing migrants into the country as they wait to appear before an immigration court. Those courts are so backlogged with cases that it can be months or years before the migrants are called to appear before a judge.

[The New York Times]

Trump calls Mueller investigation ‘attempted coup’

President Donald Trump on Wednesday blasted special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation as an “attempted coup” that failed and praised Attorney General William Barr for saying he is investigating how the probe began — a move congressional Republicans have long advocated.

“This was an attempted coup. This was an attempted takedown of a president and we beat them. We beat them,” Trump told reporters at the White House ahead of his departure for Texas. “So the Mueller report, when they talk about obstruction, we fight back. You know why we fight back? Because I knew how illegal this whole thing was: It was a scam.”

At about the same time, Barr, on Capitol Hill, said “I think spying did occur: on the Trump campaign and he wanted to look into how it began and whether it was legally justified.

Trump also blasted what he called the “haters of Trump” and “dirty cops” and bad people” who worked on the investigation but, according to him, still found no evidence of the campaign colluding with Russia to influence the presidential election.

“What has been found during this period of time are the illegal acts of getting this whole phony investigation started. And hopefully that’s where people are going now. That’s where people are going, and it’s very interesting. It was an illegal investigation,” Trump said.

Trump said he still has not read the Mueller report and said he’s not interested in the report, beyond the possibility that the Justice Department could look into the origins of the investigation.

“As far as I’m concerned, I don’t care about the Mueller report. I’ve been totally exonerated. No collusion, no obstruction,” Trump said. “I am not worrying about something that never, ever should have taken place.”

[ABC News]

Trump accuses Dems of ‘treason’ even as Mulvaney seeks a border deal with them

President Donald Trump continues accusing congressional Democrats of treason — a crime punishable by death — over their border security policies even as his acting chief of staff was on Capitol Hill Wednesday seeking a deal.

And a senior Democratic aide expressed doubt that a deal is likely over what promises to be among 2020’s most contentious campaign trail issues.

Twice on Wednesday, the president had critical words for Democrats over their ongoing dispute about his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall and a list of other policy differences related to immigration. In a tweet as he returned from Texas on Air Force One, the president again accused unnamed Democrats of betraying their country — apparently for opposing his hardline immigration policies.

“I think what the Democrats are doing with the Border is TREASONOUS. Their Open Border mindset is putting our Country at risk. Will not let this happen!” Trump tweeted at 10:33 p.m. He hit send on the post five minutes before a reporter traveling with him said Air Force One landed at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington.

Trump’s use of the T-word is curious for many reasons, especially because policy differences with a sitting president are not criminal — much less a capital — charge. Another reason: His top spokeswoman recently panned Democrats over their contention that the Robert S. Mueller-led Russia probe would clearly show her boss colluded with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign.

“They literally accused the President of the United States of being an agent for a foreign government. That’s equivalent to treason. That’s punishable by death in this country,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News on March 25.

Trump is eager to make immigration a major part of his 2020 reelection campaign after the issue helped him win the presidency in upset fashion four years earlier. His late-night treason tweet came hours after he called on Democrats to help him and Republicans improve what he dubbed “bad laws” related to the southern border and immigration.

“It’s very important that the Democrats in Congress change these loopholes,” the president said Wednesday morning as he left the White House for the Lone Star State before issuing a warning: “If they don’t change them, we’re just going to be fighting.”

As often is the case, Trump recently has signaled he is pivoting toward, in his words, a “tougher” immigration and border security stance. He has removed several senior Department of Homeland Security officials, including former Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

Last Friday, the White House withdrew the nomination of Ron Vitiello to lead the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “Ron is a good man, but we’re going in a tougher direction,” Trump said.

On Friday at the border in California, Trump said this to would-be migrants: “The system is full. We can’t take you anymore. … Our country is full.” This has left Democrats outraged.

But as Trump moves to the right yet again in his public remarks about the border and immigration — including signaling Tuesday that he views his since-scrapped child separation policy as an effective deterrent to illegal immigration even though he is not restarting it — his top aides are looking for a path toward a bipartisan deal.

Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, a former conservative GOP congressman from South Carolina, was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday meeting with senators of both parties.

Those talks were border-related, a source with knowledge of the meetings said, acknowledging the White House is trying anew to strike a deal amid a dramatic upswing in illegal border crossings and apprehensions that has left the president admittedly frustrated.

One senior House aide told Roll Call Thursday morning that among that chamber’s Democratic caucus, “no one views the White House as credible on this issue” because the president and his top aides are “constantly talking out of both sides of their mouths.”

The same Democratic source said there were no signs Mulvaney met with House Democrats on Wednesday.

Neither Trump, congressional Republicans or congressional Democrats have explained any proposal that the other involved parties might support.

The Senate passed a bipartisan immigration overhaul bill in 2013. But it immediately stalled in the then-GOP controlled House. And when a group of Democratic and Republican senators in 2017 pushed a bipartisan measure, Trump himself helped sink it as his more-hardline version received even fewer votes.

The two parties have been in a standoff ever since, both playing a role in a partial government shutdown that bridged 2018 and the start of this year.

That longest shutdown in U.S. history culminated in Trump getting less for his proposed border barrier than he could have gotten in the weeks before those handful of agencies, including DHS, were shuttered.

There has been no movement since. Instead, there have been just words like “treason” being bandied about by the president while Democrats continue to label his border barrier as a waste of taxpayer money and his immigration stances un-American.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California told reporters at a Democratic retreat at a Leesburg, Va., resort said she remains “optimistic” about a deal.

“It’s complicated but it isn’t hard to do if you have good intentions,” Pelosi said of a comprehensive immigration overhaul agreement. “And I’m not giving up on the president on this.”

[Roll Call]

Trump calls Netanyahu ‘your prime minister’ at Jewish American event

Jewish American groups criticized President Donald Trump for calling Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu “your prime minister” during an address Saturday to the Republican Jewish Coalition.

“I stood with your prime minister at the White Hous to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” he told the audience at the RJC’s Annual Leadership conference in Las Vegas.

Some said that Trump’s conflation of American Jews with Israelis played into old anti-Semitic tropes about divided loyalties. 

“Mr. President, the Prime Minister of Israel is the leader of his (or her) country, not ours. Statements to the contrary, from staunch friends or harsh critics, feed bigotry,” the American Jewish Committee said in a response to Trump’s remark that was posted on Twitter. 

“Mr. President, words matter. As with all elected officials, its critical for you to avoid language that leads people to believe Jews aren’t loyal Americans,” tweeted Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. 

Greenblatt included a link to a November 2018 ADL blog post about the “dual loyalty” charge, which it calls an “anti-Semitic allegation” that “Jews should be suspected of being disloyal neighbors or citizens because their true allegiance is to their coreligionists around the world or to a secret and immoral Jewish agenda.”

[USA Today]

Trump Takes Credit for Obama’s Border Wall

On Friday, President Donald Trump stood in front of recently-refurbished border wall along the California-Mexico border and boasted that it was the beginning of construction on the wall he promised voters in the 2016 campaign. And Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen installed commemorative plaque bearing Trump’s name last fall along that section of the fencing, declaring it “the first section of President Trump’s border wall.”

Except, wait: That particular section of wall was actually just a replacement of fence that had been there for decades. And the refurbishment was approved during the Barack Obama administration in 2009. The funding for Trump’s border wall, meanwhile, is still tied up in Congress.

“We just wanted to get out in front of it and let everybody know that this is a local tactical infrastructure project that was planned for quite some time,” David Kim, assistant chief patrol agent for the Border Patrol’s El Centro sector, told the Desert Sun, adding that he wanted to ensure “there is no confusion about whether… this is tied to some of the bigger immigration debates that are currently going on.”

A recent federal court victory allowed the Trump administration to move forward with replacing the fencing thanks to a federal ruling allowing them to bypass environmental laws to speed construction. And the president boastfully tweeted about it recently, again claiming it was part of “the Wall.”

It’s a classic Trumpian move: claim credit for something that was actually President Obama’s doing. He’s done it with the economy and jobs, and now with the border wall.

[Rolling Stone]

Trump: I get why Barbara Bush disliked me — ‘Look what I did to her sons’

President Donald Trump says he understands why Barbara Bush wasn’t fond of him, saying that the former first lady was right to be “nasty” to him, because he was so critical of her sons.

“I have heard that she was nasty to me, but she should be. Look what I did to her sons,” Trump told the Washington Times in an interview published Thursday night about his comments about former president George W. Bush and former presidential candidate Jeb Bush.

“She’s the mother of somebody that I competed against. Most people thought he was going to win and he was quickly out,” Trump added, referring to Jeb, who he beat in the 2016 GOP primary. “I hit him very hard.

“That’s when his brother came to make the first speech for him,” Trump said. “And I said, ‘What took you so long?’”

As a candidate, Trump was aggressively critical of Jeb Bush — whom he blasted as having “low energy” — as well as the former president, who Trump repeatedly criticized for his handling of the war in Iraq.

Trump’s comments about Barbara Bush came after the late first lady’s intensely critical comments about him to USA Today reporter Susan Page for her biography “The Matriarch” became public.

Bush, who passed away last April, had told Page she so fiercely disliked Trump that she blamed his attacks on her son Jeb Bush for what she called a heart attack and, by the end of her life, no longer considered herself a Republican.

Excerpts of the book released last week detailed Bush’s long-standing scorn for Trump, which went back decades. In diary entries from the 1990s, which she made available to Page, she described Trump as “greedy, selfish, and ugly.”

[NBC News]

Trump Posts Insane Video of Biden Getting Touched Inappropriately By Biden: ‘WELCOME BACK JOE!’

President Donald Trump tweeted another comedy video clip Thursday afternoon, this one taking a shot at former Vice President Joe Biden.

Biden has come under criticism for what several women have labeled inappropriate touchiness and feeliness that didn’t rise to the claim of harassment but nonetheless made each feel uncomfortable. Biden posted a non-apology apology video on Wednesday — that received a tepid response from some progressive provinces — and that provided source material for the satirical video Trump tweeted below:

According to AP’s Zeke Miller, it appears that the satirical video was first posted by White House Social Media Director Dan Scavino:

The video was originally posted by Twitter user and — self-described “Eternally Sarcastic MemeSmith” — @CarpeDonktum, and an apparent favorite at the White House, since he was the individual behind the “Everybody Hurts” State of the Union video that eventually had to be edited with a different music bed after R.E.M. called out copyright ownership for the song.

[Mediaite]

Trump administration doubles down on opposition to Puerto Rico funding

The White House doubled down Wednesday on President Donald Trump’s comments opposing disaster funding for Puerto Rico, drawing outrage from Democratic members of Congress and raising questions about the administration’s rationale.

On Tuesday, Trump told Republican legislators at a closed-door Capitol Hill meeting that Puerto Rico had gotten too much money to rebuild after Hurricane Maria. The amount “is way out of proportion to what Texas and Florida and others have gotten,” Trump said, according to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who was in the room.

On Wednesday, White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere told NBC News that while Puerto Rico is on track to receive tens of billions of dollars in unprecedented aid, “the Trump administration will not put taxpayers on the hook to correct a decades-old spending crisis that has left the island with deep-rooted economic problems.”

Rep. Nydia Velázquez, D-N.Y., who is Puerto Rican, blasted the administration’s comments in a statement.

“The President’s remarks as reported in the media have at long last laid bare the central reason for his Administration’s callous response to Maria’s devastation in Puerto Rico,” said Velázquez, “namely that he does not value the lives of millions of American citizens who reside there.”

“For the President to vocally oppose and target aid to the most vulnerable in Puerto Rico is shameful, heartless and inexcusable,” the congresswoman added.

In September of 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico; its aftermath led to the deaths of at least 2,975 people and made it the deadliest U.S. natural disaster in a century. Trump has not yet publicly acknowledged or mourned the victims of the catastrophe following the revised figures.

On Wednesday, a White House official told NBC News on background some of the reasons why the administration was opposed to more spending.

But in doing so, the administration got some facts wrong.

The official said that the Puerto Rican government had not yet submitted a plan to fix the island’s power grid. However, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced on Tuesday that he’s ready to sign into law a bill approved by the Puerto Rican legislature that would determine how the island plans to privatize its public power authority, known as PREPA, and expand renewable energy.

The bill has been in the works for over a year, when the island’s government first announced its plans to privatize at least part of its power authority.

An official also said that Puerto Rican officials have mismanaged disaster funds that have been received.

The claim is not new; since last yearTrump has repeatedly asked Congress to stop providing relief and reconstruction money to Puerto Rico.

[NBC News]

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