Trump contradicts self repeatedly in immigration meeting

President Donald Trump appeared to contradict himself multiple times in a meeting on immigration with a bipartisan group of lawmakers Tuesday — a reflection of growing frustration from Capitol Hill about the lack of direction from the White House on the issue.

The President at times suggested he would be looking to sign everything from a stand-alone fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — set to expire in March — to comprehensive immigration reform, often appearing to being guided by lawmakers in the room to modify his positions.

The comments came during a nearly hour-long conversation between the roughly two dozen lawmakers, the President and White House staff that the press was allowed to record — a window into the difficult negotiations that still surround the issue of replacing DACA, which protected young undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children from deportation, and border security.

At the end of the session, Trump suggested that ultimately, he would sign whatever he was presented with.

“I think my positions are going to be what the people in this room come up with,” Trump said. “If they come to me with things I’m not in love with, I’m going to do it. Because I respect them.”

Sens. Jeff Flake and James Lankford after the meeting both said the meeting was surprisingly helpful and they appreciated the President adding some clarity to the discussions, while noting hammering out the details remains to be worked out.
Lankford acknowledged that the meeting got “confusing,” saying though Trump at the beginning defined “DACA” as a deal that included DACA plus border security and two other areas of reform, it was unclear during some parts of the meeting.

“It got confusing at times, in fact he said later, ‘I just want a clean DACA and we’ll do a comprehensive later,’ and some of us said, ‘Whoa, what do you mean by that?’ And he came back to those four items,” the Oklahoma Republican told reporters afterward.
The White House declared the meeting a success in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.

“President Donald J. Trump just concluded a successful bipartisan and bicameral meeting on immigration reform,” press secretary Sarah Sanders said in the statement. “During the closed-door portion of the meeting, they reached an agreement to negotiate legislation that accomplishes critically needed reforms in four high-priority areas: border security, chain migration, the visa lottery, and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.”

Asked during the White House briefing by CNN’s Jim Acosta whether Trump is demanding border wall funding in exchange for a DACA deal, Sanders would only say: “The President wants border security.”

Pressed again repeatedly, Sanders again insisted Trump wants “border security” funding — but would not commit to the wall.

Trump’s equivocation was the opposite of what lawmakers have long sought from the President. Republicans especially have pushed for the administration to draw clear lines around what would be a doable deal, giving them cover with the base to compromise and giving them leverage with Democrats to move the debate forward.

Asked if Tuesday provided the clarity that lawmakers have been asking for, Lankford said there was still more to be done.

“Oh no, there’s still some room to go on it,” he said. “They’re continuing to get more and more clear on what they’re putting out, we’re getting closer and closer.”

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn made the point directly to Trump during the meeting, saying that House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell both told the President at a legislative retreat with Republicans over the weekend that only a bill with Trump’s support would move forward for a vote.

“So, that’s I think the picture that we need to be looking through, the lens we need to be looking through, not only what can we agree to among ourselves on a bipartisan basis, but what will you sign into law,” Cornyn said. “Because we all want to get to a solution here and we realize the clock is ticking.”

But details in the meeting were still hard to come by.

At one point, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, suggested to Trump that Congress could pass the “Dream Act” alone, which would provide a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and which has been Democrats’ starting point demand, and then turn to comprehensive reform.

When Trump indicated he would agree to that, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said border security would have to be part of the package, prompting Trump to say that’s what he thought Feinstein meant, and then a flurry of clarifications.

Trump said his version of a “clean” deal would include DACA, border security, ending “chain migration” or family-based migration, and ending the diversity visa lottery. But those issues are commonly thought to only be achievable in a comprehensive immigration deal.

Trump then both endorsed doing comprehensive immigration reform sooner and later.
Lawmakers working on a DACA deal have long fought to keep the bill narrow, saying adding more into it would only make it collapse under its own wait.

Trump said he would “take the heat” if lawmakers wanted to move toward comprehensive immigration reform, saying they were “not that far away” from it.

But then a few minutes later, Trump said DACA could come first and reform could come down the road, or immediately after.

“I think what we are all saying is we’ll do DACA and we can certainly start comprehensive immigration reform the following afternoon, OK?” Trump said. “We’ll take an hour off and start. I do believe that. Because once we get DACA done if it’s done properly with security and everything else, if it’s done properly, we have taken a big chunk of comprehensive out of the negotiations. I don’t think it’s going to be that complicated.”

Since Trump decided to end DACA in September, lawmakers have been working to find a deal on the issue. The Tuesday meeting came ahead of a January 19 government funding deadline that Democrats are pushing to include DACA and a host of other issues.

[CNN]

Media

Trump on Fomenting Religious Wars: ‘Who Said That?’ Reporter: ‘You Did’

Well, this doesn’t bode well for the nation’s future. Here’s Trump briefly answering press questions on Wednesday. Specifically, where the reporter asks about his statement on the attack in Berlin:

Reporter: “Your comments about the truck attack in Berlin being against Christians, do think that this might….”
Trump: “Say it again?
Reporter: “The attack in Berlin being an attack on Christians….”

Trump: “Who said that? When was that said?”
Reporter: I believe you said it in a press release….”

Yep, he did. In a statement released just yesterday he said “ISIS and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad.” So there you go.

I don’t know what’s worse: the possibility that he truly doesn’t remember day-to-day whether he made an inflammatory and dangerous statement or that he doesn’t know his team is making them for him.

(h/t Daily KOS)

 

Trump’s ‘Great’ Memory Draws Fire in Trump University Deposition

Trump University logo

During sworn testimony in the Trump University lawsuit, Donald Trump repeatedly said he couldn’t recall specific claims, documents or events related to the case, prompting a lawyer for the plaintiffs to ask if the real estate mogul considered himself to have “one of the best memories in the world.”

In response, Trump said he thinks he has a “good” or a “great” memory, but doesn’t recall claiming it’s one of the world’s best, according to hours of previously unreleased testimony in which Trump was questioned by the plaintiffs’ lawyer Jason Forge.

“So you don’t remember saying that you have one of the best memories in the world?” Forge asked.

“I remember you telling me, but I don’t know that I said it,” Trump replied.

Three weeks earlier, during a conversation about 9/11 with NBC News reporter Katy Tur, Trump had said he had “the world’s best memory,” Tur reported.

The transcript of the testimony was filed in court Wednesday night, as lawyers and media organizations continue their battle over how much of the lawsuit should be available to the public.

The documents provide the fullest picture yet of Trump’s lengthy depositions: Heated, drawn-out sessions tackling Trump’s business practices, the time he called the plaintiff’s lawyers “scam artists” and the questions about Trump’s memory. For his part, Trump repeatedly defended Trump University, saying it was an opportunity to pass on his business expertise to people who need it but said he had little to do with day-to-day operations.

A coalition of news organizations is meanwhile pushing for Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over the case, to order the release of videos of the depositions on the grounds that the Trump University lawsuit is a key issue in the presidential campaign and is illuminating about Trump himself. Two of them took place while Trump was on the campaign trail: One deposition was in December 2015 in New York, and another happened in January 2016, hours before holding a rally in Las Vegas.

The lawyers addressed sprawling questions about Trump’s business practices and his involvement with Trump University, the real estate seminars that plantiffs in the California class-action lawsuit claim charged up to $35,000 but didn’t teach them useful business practices. At one point in 2012, Trump threatened to counter with a lawsuit against the plaintiffs and the lawyer questioning him. He also asked if one of the lawyers could please “not lick [her] finger” before handing him documents to look at.

“Would that be OK? It’s disgusting,” Trump said.

Later, Forge, the plaintiff’s lawyers, asked Trump directly about Trump telling Time magazine in 2015 that they are “known scam artists.” Trump said he was talking about Mel Weiss, a class-action lawyer who went to prison for taking illegal kickbacks, and his business partner, who helped start the firm now representing plaintiffs in the Trump University case.

“I knew Mel Weiss. I considered him to be a scam artist,” Trump told Forge. “I don’t know you.”

Trump also defended a Trump University employee who cursed during his presentations.

While it’s not the behavior he would want from his Trump U instructors, “I’ve used foul language,” Trump said. “Sometimes you do it for emphasis. I’ve used some very bad words.”

Forge questioned Trump about claims made by a Trump University instructor who told students that he had met and had dinner with Trump when he hadn’t. Trump said it was an innocent exaggeration.

“A lot of people say they met with me and they were with me and all of that stuff. It happens all the time. I think it’s hyperbole,” Trump said. Students liked Trump University courses, and the main issue is how well the instructors taught, Trump said.

“It would be false for me to say that you and I had breakfast together this morning; right?” Forge asked.

“Yes, it’s sort of false. It would depend on how you meant it, how you said it,” Trump replied. “We sort of had lunch together.”

(h/t Politico)

Trump Fails To Condemn KKK On Television

After former head of the KKK David Duke had detailed his support for Trump in a Facebook post, Trump was asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper whether he would disavow Duke and other white supremacist groups that are supporting his campaign.

Just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK?

Trump was pressed three times on whether he’d distance himself from the Ku Klux Klan — but never mentioned the group in his answers.

I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists,” he said. “So I don’t know. I don’t know — did he endorse me, or what’s going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke; I know nothing about white supremacists.

Trump eventually did disavow David Duke and clarified his comments on NBC’s Today show later in the day blaming a bad earpiece:

I was sitting in a house in Florida, with a bad earpiece. I could hardly hear what he’s saying. I hear various groups. I don’t mind disavowing anyone. I disavowed Duke the day before at a major conference.

Reality

Isn’t it funny that Trump “could hardly hear what [Tapper] was saying” but in the interview with Tapper heard that Duke endorsed him and enough to claim he knew nothing about David Duke and white supremacists?

Also despite what he said, Trump apparently did know Duke in 2000 — citing him, as well as Pat Buchanan and Lenora Fulani — in a statement that year explaining why he had decided to end his brief flirtation with a Reform Party presidential campaign.

“The Reform Party now includes a Klansman, Mr. Duke, a neo-Nazi, Mr. Buchanan, and a communist, Ms. Fulani. This is not company I wish to keep,” Trump said in a statement reported then by The New York Times.

Liar, liar pants on fire.

Links

http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/28/politics/donald-trump-white-supremacists/

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/02/28/468455028/trump-wont-condemn-kkk-says-he-knows-nothing-about-white-supremacists

Donald Trump Mocks Reporter With Disability

Trump mocks reporter's disability

The New York Times is angry that Donald Trump appeared to mock one of its reporters who has a physical disability, but the candidate denied Thursday that he was mimicking the reporter.

In a statement Trump said:

I have no idea who this reporter, Serge Kovalski (sic) is, what he looks like or his level of intelligence

After confronted with backlash, Trump backtracked and in his speech at a rally:

I merely mimicked what I thought would be a flustered reporter trying to get out of a statement he made long ago. If Mr. Kovaleski is handicapped, I would not know because I do not know what he looks like. If I did know, I would definitely not say anything about his appearance.

In an article The New York Times then pointed out that Serge Kovaleski covered Donald Trump extensively for many years, rebuking Trump’s claim that he does not know him. Trump responded with even more insults:

Serge Kovaleski must think a lot of himself if he thinks I remember him from decades ago — if I ever met him at all, which I doubt I did.

“He should stop using his disability to grandstand and get back to reporting for a newspaper that is rapidly going down the tubes.

(h/t CNN)

Reality

Trump claims he has the world’s greatest memory, but now he claims he doesn’t know a man who covered and interviews him for The New York Daily News for ten years.

Media

Reality

Serge Kovaleski and Donald Trump

Trump mocks Serge Kovaleski

By stating, “You should see the guy”, then making hand and arm motions to imitate him Trump obviously knows who Kovaleski is, as Trump was Kovaleski beat for many years. To debate otherwise requires a burden of proof.  Trump said things about Kovaleski’s appearance and clearly mocked a reporter with disabilities.

Links

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/27/us/politics/donald-trump-says-his-mocking-of-new-york-times-reporter-was-misread.html

Trump Bombs on Foreign Policy Question

Donald Trump stumbled when asked about the heads of major terrorist organizations on Thursday and then lashed out at what he called a “gotcha question.”

Trump, the front-runner for the GOP nomination, blasted conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt in an interview and said it is “ridiculous” to be questioned about who leads Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Nusra and ISIS.

“I think it’s ridiculous. I’ll have, I’m a delegator. I find great people. I find absolutely great people, and I’ll find them in our armed services, and I find absolutely great people,” Trump said.

Trump sought to downplay the importance of knowing who controls the terror groups. He suggested that those leaders — some of whom have led their groups for years — would likely no longer be in power by the time he would reach the White House.

“As far as the individual players, of course I don’t know them. I’ve never met them. I haven’t been, you know, in a position to meet them. If, if they’re still there, which is unlikely in many cases, but if they’re still there, I will know them better than I know you,” Trump told Hewitt.

During the interview, Hewitt said he didn’t mean to be asking Trump “gotcha questions” – but the front-running Republican candidate was having none of it.

“Well, that is a gotcha question, you know, when you’re asking me whose running this, this, this,” Trump said.

Reality

Clearly not knowing simple details about the middle east shows how unprepared and inexperienced Donald Trump is for the Presidency.

Media

Links

http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/03/politics/donald-trump-gotcha-question-terrorist-leaders-hugh-hewitt/

Best, Memory, Ever

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, boasted about his amazing memory when asked about the last thing he apologized for, he replied:

It was too many years ago to remember. I have one of the great memories of all time, but it was too long ago.

I’ll just let that logic sink in for a moment…

Reality

Ummm…

Links

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/donald-trump-murdoch-ailes-nbc-816131

Donald Trump Doesn’t Remember Insulting Women

At the first televised Republican debate, moderator Megyn Kelly asked Trump about his treatment of women, citing comments that he allegedly made about various women being “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.”

Following the debate Trump slammed moderator Megyn Kelly on Twitter with a series of horrible tweets. The next day Trump told Good Morning America that he does not remember having said some of the comments disparaging women.

She came up with words that I don’t recognize. Some of the statements she made about the women, I don’t recognize those words whatsoever.

(h/t ABC)

Reality

Either Donald Trump does not have the greatest memory ever (which would be a lie) or he is a liar for making his comment that he does not remember insulting women.

According to Vox, who researched and found every comment cited by Kelly was in fact made by Trump and outlined where each of the comments was made, many of the comments were made about Rosie O’Donnell.

Links

http://www.vox.com/2015/8/6/9114625/republican-debate-donald-trump-women

Trump Still a Birther

Trump birther tweet

Years after President Obama produced his birth certificate, Donald Trump reiterated his belief that Obama was not born a natural citizen to CNN.

Do you know that Hillary Clinton was a birther? She wanted those records and fought like hell. People forgot. Did you know John McCain was a birther? Wanted those records? They couldn’t get the records. Hillary failed. John McCain failed. Trump was able to get (Obama)] to give something — I don’t know what the hell it was — but it doesn’t matter.

Media

Links

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/donald-trump-birther-obama-119945