Trump Promises NRA He Will Remove Gun Free Zones

Donald Trump accepting the NRA endorsement.

Donald Trump on Friday called Hillary Clinton “the most anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment” presidential candidate to ever run for office and likened her posture on the issue to that of a dictator.

“Hillary’s pledged to issue new anti-gun executive orders, you know that. This is the behavior, you could say of a dictator. This is the behavior of somebody, frankly, I think that doesn’t know what she’s doing,” Trump said in a speech at the National Rifle Association Leadership Forum. She’s not equipped to be president in so many different ways. This is the thinking of a person that is not equipped to be the president of the United States. Believe me, she doesn’t understand it.”

He also echoed Bernie Sanders’ attacks on Clinton — the Vermont senator challenged whether the former secretary of state was qualified and had the temperament to be president.

“Bad judgment. We talk about it. She’s got bad judgment. You know where it came from,” Trump said. “It came from me and also came from her current opponent, who’s doing pretty well, I’ll tell you.”

Trump also vowed to get rid of gun-free zones, invoking the July 2015 shootings in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in which a gunman opened fire in gun-free zones on military installations there, eventually killing five people. (The FBI later said the attacks were “motivated by foreign terrorist organization propaganda.”)

“That wasn’t part of my speech, I must be honest with you,” Trump admitted. “I don’t know. I don’t know. Maybe I shouldn’t read you what I have here. But in fact, if I would have known teleprompters, I would have used them.”

Before Trump began addressing the crowd in Louisville, Kentucky, the NRA formally announced its endorsement of the billionaire, warning of the dangers of a Hillary Clinton presidency. But throughout his remarks, the real estate mogul echoed much of what NRA’s leadership said in their comments preceding his appearance.

“Hillary wants to disarm vulnerable citizens in high crime neighborhoods, whether it is a young single mom in Florida or a grandmother in Ohio, Hillary wants them to be defenseless, wants to take away any chance they have of survival,” Trump said. “By the way, you have men and you have women sitting in an apartment. And outside is tremendous crime. Tremendous crimes of all kinds. And they need to be protected. And you know, the only way they are going to be able to protect themselves. And if you take that gun away from them, it’s gonna be a very unfair situation.”

“That’s why we’re going to call her Heartless Hillary. We can do without that,” Trump said, though he added, “I like Crooked Hillary better.”

(h/t Politico)

Reality

Donald Trump claimed that gun-free zones are like “bait” to a “sicko” to much applause to the NRA members in attendance. Actually Trump is echoing the NRA’s own argument that if guns are not allowed near schools and government buildings then shootings cannot be stopped by a “good guy with a gun.” However the empirical evidence is not on Trump’s side.

In 2014 the FBI released a reported titled “A Study of Active Shooter Incidents in the United States Between 2000 and 2013” which looked over 13 years of data and a of total of 160 incidents, and concluded the concept of a good guy with a gun was unequivocally proven to be a myth. The number of times a shooting ended after armed citizens exchanged gunfire with the shooters only amounted to 5 times (3.1%). In contrast the number of times unarmed citizens safely and successfully disrupted the shootings was 21 times (13.1%).

Donald Trump also parroted the NRA claim that more guns make Americans safer. Let’s forget for a moment of the NRA’s round-up program, where the NRA’s lobby wing receives money every time a gun is purchased in the United States, this argument again has zero basis in the documented evidence. A review of the academic literature by Harvard University looked at a broad array of evidence and concluded where guns are more available, there are more homicides by firearm.

Instead the FBI and academia recognizes that seeking to prevent these tragedies is clearly the best result.

Media

Trump Campaign Admits It Did Not Raise $6 Million for Veterans

Trump at rally for vets in Des Moines

One night in January, Donald Trump skipped a GOP debate and instead held his own televised fundraiser for veterans. At the end of the night, Trump proclaimed it a huge success: “We just cracked $6 million, right? Six million.”

Now, Trump’s campaign says that number is incorrect.

Campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said the fundraiser actually netted about $4.5 million, or 75 percent of the total that Trump announced.

Lewandowski blamed the shortfall on Trump’s own wealthy acquaintances. He said some of them had promised big donations that Trump was counting on when he said he had raised $6 million. But Lewandowski said those donors backed out and gave nothing.

“There were some individuals who he’d spoken to, who were going to write large checks, [who] for whatever reason . . . didn’t do it,” Lewandowski said in a telephone interview. “I can’t tell you who.”

Lewandowski also said he did not know whether a $1 million pledge from Trump himself was counted as part of the $4.5 million total. He said Trump has given that amount, but he declined to identify any recipients.

The comments appear to be the first acknowledgment — almost four months later — that Trump’s fundraiser had brought in less than the candidate said. Lewandowski said he did not know the exact total raised or how much of it remained unspent.

Even with the lower total, Trump’s fundraiser brought in millions of dollars for veterans’ charities. The Washington Post’s accounting, based on interviews with charities, has found at least $3.1 million in donations to veterans groups.

Trump’s fundraiser Jan. 28 was an indelible moment, a one-night showcase of the GOP front-runner’s boldness and charm.

In a single evening in Des Moines, Trump showed Fox News — the host of that night’s Trump-less debate — that he was powerful enough to spurn the Fox network.

At the same time, he showed a national audience that he could conjure a multimillion-dollar benefit out of nothing, using connections, showmanship and his own wealth.

“Donald Trump — another great builder in New York, now a politician — I can’t stand this, a politician,” Trump said, in his trademark run-on style, after he’d listed a series of gifts from other wealthy friends. “I don’t want to be called a politician. All talk, no action — I refuse to be called a politician. Donald Trump gave $1 million. Okay?”

In the days after the fundraiser, Trump repeated the $6 million figure in TV appearances and at Iowa rallies. “At that rally we raised, in one hour, $6 million. Is that good?” Trump said four days afterward at a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

At first, he was very public about giving the money away. In rallies across Iowa, Trump would call representatives of local veterans groups up to the stage and present them with oversize checks.

In some cases, the money came from friends of Trump’s who sent checks directly to veterans groups. In other cases, the money was routed through Trump’s personal foundation.

For the groups that received this money — often dealing with aging veterans from the Vietnam War, along with returning troops from Iraq and Afghanistan — the money was an enormous help.

“It’s all long gone,” said James Kallstrom, a retired FBI official who is the chairman of the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. In March, his group received $100,000, which Kallstrom said would go toward $30,000 educational grants for the children of Marines killed on active duty. “I believe there was a helicopter crash that had, oh God, I forget how many there were. . . . They’re all young, and they all have young children.”

But, as the race continued, the checks from the fundraiser began to come less frequently. The most recent check identified by The Post was dated March 25.

In recent weeks, Trump and his campaign repeatedly declined to give new details about how much they have given away.

“Why should I give you records?” Trump said in an interview with The Post this month. “I don’t have to give you records.”

Paul Rieckhoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said Trump’s refusal to divulge how much of the money he had distributed raised questions about whether the candidate intended the fundraiser primarily as a public-relations effort for himself.

“That’s just shady. Right? No matter how you cut it, that’s just shady,” Rieckhoff said. “If he was going to make it right, a couple of weeks before Memorial Day would be a good time to do it. It behooves him, not just politically but ethically, to come forward and account for this money.”

Trump provided no official way for charities to apply for the money. Groups around the country still tried, sending letters and hitting up local veterans-for-Trump leaders.

“We haven’t heard anything,” said Judy Schaffer of Heroes to Heroes, a New Jersey-based group that sends veterans on nondenominational trips to Israel to prevent suicide and promote “spiritual healing.” Her group had received a donation from Trump’s personal foundation years before.

“We have a waiting list of over 200 veterans. Many of them have already attempted suicide,” Schaffer said this week. “And it keeps me up at night, not being able to send more people.”

Lewandowski said Trump has decided on about two dozen groups that will get the remainder of the money in the next couple of weeks. He said the groups have been vetted and had been chosen by word of mouth within the Trump campaign or from causes Trump had previously supported.

Lewandowski said Trump should not be faulted for promising $6 million in donations.

“What he said was, ‘We hope to get $6 million.’ He said this at an event where we were trying to get money. It was a best guess,” Lewandowski said. “That was his goal. His goal was to get somewhere around $6 million.”

On the night of the fundraiser, Trump named nine big donors, including himself.

Since then, The Post has found evidence from Trump’s staff, from the donors or from veterans charities that received money that seven of those nine gave money as promised. Those gifts added up to $3.78 million.

On top of that, Trump said small-dollar donors gave $670,000 over the Internet. That adds up to $4.45 million.

So, were those other two big donors among the ones who backed out?

One of them was a shopping-mall magnate from Ohio who did not respond to multiple calls, emails and messages from The Post seeking to confirm his donations. But even if that man did back out, his pledge was so small — $50,000 — that it would make little difference in a tally of millions.

The other donor had made a much bigger promise: Trump, with his vow to give $1 million.

In the past few days, The Post has interviewed 22 veterans charities that received donations as a result of Trump’s fundraiser. None of them have reported receiving personal donations from Trump.

Did Trump make good on his promise to give from his personal funds?

“The money is fully spent. Mr. Trump’s money is fully spent,” Lewandowski said.

To whom did Trump give, and in what amounts?

“He’s not going to share that information,” Lewandowski said.

Reality

Controversy still surrounds Trump’s January fundraiser for vets called “Scared of Debate Questions From Megyn Kelly.” Sorry that was a typo. The fundraiser was called “Rally For Vets” and Trump claimed it raised $6 million dollars, including $1 million of his own money.

Four months later and the Washington Post uncovered the fundraiser only netted $4.5 million and only $3.1 million has been distributed to charities. Furthermore the Trump campaign refuses to provide evidence that Trump donated his promised $1 million dollars.

This is serious stuff. There are real veterans with real physical and psychological problems in need. If Trump continues to claim he’s for vets then this is a lousy way to prove it.

Trump: ‘Who the Hell Cares If There’s a Trade War?’

Trump asks who cares about a trade war.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump shot down critics of his strategy to prevent American companies from outsourcing, brushing off the idea of a trade war.

Trump touted his proposal for a 35 percent tariff on imports into the United States from the American companies that have outsourced to Mexico, China, and other countries.

“At least the United States is going to make a hell of a lot of money,” Trump said at a fundraiser for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. “And these dummies say, ‘Oh well that’s a trade war.'”

“Trade war? We’re losing $500 billion in trade with China. Who the hell cares if there’s a trade war?” Trump continued. “$500 billion, and they’re telling me about a trade war.”

Trump quickly added, “You’re not going to have a trade war,” predicting “China will behave” and “respect our country again” after slamming the country’s currency manipulation.

“We are not going to be the stupid country anymore. Folks, believe me, we are viewed as the stupid country,” Trump continued while pushing back on critics of his positions who argue that they’re anti-free trade.

“We’re like a big, big sloppy bully that gets punched in the face and goes down. You ever see a bully get knocked out? It’s a terrible thing, unless you’re doing the punching, then it’s OK.”

“We are going to make great deals for our country,” he added. “It might be free, it might not be free.”

(h/t The Hill)

Reality

As president, Trump could not be able to create these tariffs by himself. Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 of the United States Constitution, authorizes Congress to levy taxes. Most of Trump’s threatened tariffs would violate decades of binding trade deals negotiated by previous administrations and agreed to by previous Congresses. However rather than looking into the legality, we will instead explore Trumps question who should care if there is a trade war.

Trump proposed a 35% tariff on American companies who outsource manufacturing outside of the United States and then ship the products for sale back home. A tariff is a tax on an imported good that is passed on to consumers, both individual and businesses. That’s right, you the consumer will pay Trump’s 35% tax which means you will pay more for the products you buy every day.

For example Forbes estimates Trump’s tariff plan would cost American consumers an extra $6 billion dollars per year just on Apple iPhones alone.

Trump Once Proposed a Race-Based Season of “The Apprentice”

The Celebrity Apprentice

Donald Trump once floated the idea of a race-based season of his hit reality television show “The Apprentice,” where teams would be divided based on the color of their skin.

Back in 2005, ahead of filming his fifth season as a host of the “The Apprentice,” Trump said he was considering “an idea that is fairly controversial — creating a team of successful African Americans versus a team of successful whites.”

Trump, currently the Republican party’s presumptive presidential nominee, made the comments on his now-defunct radio show. His proposal was reported by Entertainment Weekly in 2005 and resurfaced by a Buzzfeed News report.

Trump, who said he “wasn’t particularly happy” with the fourth season of “The Apprentice,” later added of the racialized premise: “Whether people like that idea or not, it is somewhat reflective of our very vicious world.”

Trump acknowledged at the time, however, that “not everybody thinks it’s a good idea.”

Trump’s idea came shortly after Omarosa Manigualt, an African American woman, became a popular contestant on the first season of “The Apprentice” in 2004. Manigault, now an avid Trump supporter, later appeared on subsequent iterations of the show, including “The Celebrity Apprentice.”

The idea — which he had also raised on Howard Stern’s show a couple months earlier, according to a 2005 Entertainment Weekly article — drew an avalanche of coverage, commentary, and question-mark headlines at the time.

“Will next Apprentice play race card?” asked UPI.

“Will The Apprentice become a battle of the races?” mused MSNBC.com.

“The Apprentice” never took up Trump’s proposal to cast the show by race.

(h/t CBS News, Buzzfeed)

Reality

Donald Trump has run a campaign based on racism and racist language.

Tara Dowdell, a black communications consultant who appeared on season 3 of The Apprentice had an excellent quote that sums up this entire story:

Best-case scenario, it was huge blind spot. Worst-case scenario, it showed [Trump’s] willingness to exploit race and be divisive — to do anything to promote himself. The presidency can’t be one crazy, ill-advised publicity stunt after another.

 

A Trump University Book Includes Tax Avoidance Strategies

Trump University logo

Donald Trump’s opponents have posited no shortage of theories for why the New York billionaire would be wary of releasing his tax returns. High on the list? The likely use of extensive tax avoidance strategies.

None other than Trump University — the now-defunct education company named after the tycoon — heartily touts a book explicitly designed to help people do just that: avoid taxes.

The book, “Asset Protection 101: Tax and Legal Strategies of the Rich,” lays out in extensive detail strategies to keep the U.S. government away from the readers’ assets. It minces no words on its intent, at one point telling readers “the topic of asset protection is amazing, cunning, baffling, powerful and tricky.”

Trump wrote the foreward to the book, which was authored by attorney J.J. Childers and published in 2007 under the Trump University banner — part of a series of books promoted as “practical, straightforward primers on the basics of doing business the Trump way — successfully.”

“If you’re not satisfied with the status quo in your career, read this book, pick one key idea and implement it. I guarantee it will make you money,” the presumptive Republican nominee wrote in his foreword.

Trump touts the book — and the others in the Trump University series — as a recipe to riches, calling the contents “the most important and powerful ideas in business — the same concepts taught in the most respected MBA curricula and used by the most successful companies in the world, including The Trump Organization.”

“I created Trump University to give motivated business-people the skills required to achieve lasting success,” Trump wrote.

Asked about the book and Trump’s personal strategies on tax avoidance, Trump’s spokeswoman Hope Hicks pointed to Trump’s tax plan, which is posted on the campaign’s website. As to Trump’s returns themselves, Hicks reiterated that Trump “is undergoing a routine audit and plans to release the returns when the audit is complete.”

The IRS has corrected this false claim: “Federal privacy rules prohibit the IRS from discussing individual tax matters. Nothing prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information.”

The book itself is an in-the-weeds breakdown of strategies to shield income and property from the Internal Revenue Service. With sections including “Tax Secrets of the Wealthy,” “Lawsuit Protection Secrets of the Wealthy” and “Estate and Retirement Planning Secrets of the Wealth,” it’s composed of the ins-and-outs of how, in its words, readers can set themselves up to “pay as little tax as legally possible.”

In short, it’s a certified public accountant’s dream manual.

Or, as the book puts it:

These strategies are one of the primary reasons why people make statements such as, “the rich just keep getting richer.” It’s true. The difference between the rich and others is that the rich take the time to learn the system. Others simply sit around and complain about the system. If you feel like the rules of the game discriminate against one group or another, you’re right. Businesses get far more in deductions than do individuals. If you don’t like the treatment that you’re getting as an individual, it’s time for you to get down to business. You can do that by starting a business so that you can take advantage of the tax secrets of the wealthy.

Examples

Get your head around reality

The rich have an army of lawyers and accountants solely focused on taxes. Those lawyers and accountants are paid very well to make sure the rich find as many loopholes as possible to shield their cash and property. And with good reason, according to the book:

Asset protection is the foundation of all wealth building; you must understand it if you are ever to join the ranks of the financial elite.

Prepare for combat

Those lawyers and accountants are there for a reason — to fight. And that, according to the book, is the attitude needed to truly take advantage of a tax code riddled with loopholes. Just remember: do it legally.

If you plan on becoming (or staying) wealthy you must learn to legally combat your tax bill.

Lawsuits

Maybe worse than the IRS: While the government is certainly Enemy No. 1 in the book, lawsuits — the kind that can threaten accumulated wealth — come in a close second.

Putting your assets in a position that will leave them untouched by litigation is crucial.

Entire family futures have been put in jeopardy. The worst part is that these lawsuits often could have been avoided with a few simple preventative measures.

Shield your retirement

Or the government will take it: The book goes into great detail on how to structure your savings in a way that will shelter them from future taxes, fees or expenses.

Wealthy families in this country take estate planning seriously because they know how bad government intervention can be. You must adopt this mentality.

Don’t be afraid of the IRS

While the U.S. government certainly isn’t revered in the book, it also goes to great lengths to make clear that readers shouldn’t be afraid. Instead, the convoluted tax code provides a series of advantages — the kinds that should be taken advantage of.

The fact is, you don’t have to be scared of the IRS. Americans have every right — some would say a duty — to pay as little tax as possible.

A business can be one hell of a tax shelter

The chapter titled “The Greatest Tax Shelter in the World: Owning Your Own Business” includes a section on breaks known as like-kind exchanges, or the use of “1031,” as it’s often called, for the section of the tax code where it resides. Use of such strategies is so valuable, it’s a shock they’re legal, according to one passage in the book:

Would you be interested in avoiding paying the tax on the sale of your property completely while maintaining or even increasing your overall net worth? Of course, any wise investor would. Amazingly, this can indeed happen and even better, it is totally legal.

The break allows real estate owners to sell a piece of property and avoid taxes on any capital gains by buying a new one shortly thereafter. Continued use of the break, which basically comes down to swapping properties, would result in deferred capital gains that, if deployed strategically — and repeatedly — by an active real estate investor, could completely avoid taxation.

The tax code is undoubtedly skewed toward easing burdens on small businesses. (Because seriously, what lawmaker is going to vote against a loophole that benefits small business?)

The best advice I can give to anyone looking to keep a larger percentage of their hard-earned money is to do what it takes to own your own business.

Real estate is king

In a passage that lines up rather nicely with Donald Trump’s primary line of business, the book makes clear that real estate — either through rental-income or through appreciation — is a great way to use the tax code to actually build wealth.

There are very few business opportunities that allow you to build wealth without paying taxes and then subsequently pay reduced rates when the time comes to settle up with Uncle Sam. Real estate, however, is a prime exception.

The book, citing Trump himself, makes clear that the tax code favors those in the real estate business. Between strategies like like-kind exchanges and cost segregation, real estate provides ample opportunity to take advantage of the tax code.

Embrace depreciation

Depreciation — the “mother of all tax deductions” could “potentially allow a business owner to deduct up to $108,000 of asset purchases while actually spending little to no money now.”

It’s all on you

Well, technically it’s not (see: lawyers, accountants.) But the key theme of the book is that the tax code is so riddled with loopholes that anyone who doesn’t take advantage is simply leaving money on the table.

As it concludes:

When all is said and done, you have a decision to make. You are the one responsible for what you do with what you’ve been presented. You can go on doing things the same old way, which would produce the same old results. Or you can do things the way millionaires do things.

(h/t CNN, CNN)

Reality

The book explains why the wealthy, who can afford the high-priced lawyers and accountants, are awesome and everyone else is just a sucker who has to pay their fair share in taxes.

Keep in mind all of these loopholes are 100% legal. What a sanctioned Trump book that brazenly mocks and highlights the separation between the haves and the have-nots shows is how he rarely looks out for the little guy. A common belief among Trump supporters.

Links

Sample of ‘Asset Protection 101’ on Google Books

Trump Would Talk With North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Over Nukes

Kim Jong Un

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Tuesday he is willing to talk to North Korea’s leader to try to stop Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

The presumptive Republican nominee declined to share details of his plans to deal with Pyongyang, but in what would be a major shift in U.S. policy said he was open to talking to Kim Jong Un.

“I would speak to him, I would have no problem speaking to him,” he told Reuters in a wide-ranging interview.

Asked whether he would try to talk some sense into the North Korean leader, Trump replied: “Absolutely.”

North Korea’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump, 69, also said he would press China, Pyongyang’s only major diplomatic and economic supporter, to help find a solution.

“I would put a lot of pressure on China because economically we have tremendous power over China,” he said in the interview in his office on the 26th floor of Trump Tower in Manhattan. “China can solve that problem with one meeting or one phone call.”

Trump’s preparedness to talk directly with Kim contrasts with President Barack Obama’s policy of relying on senior U.S. officials to talk to senior North Korean officials.

A South Korean foreign ministry official said it and the United States were committed to denuclearization as the top priority of any dialog with North Korea. “North Korea must cease threats and provocations and show with action its sincere commitment to denuclearization,” the official said by telephone.

Obama has not engaged personally with Kim, but he has pushed for new diplomatic overtures to Iran and Cuba that produced a nuclear deal with Tehran and improved ties with Havana.

Trump tempered past praise of President Vladimir Putin, saying the nice comments the Russian leader has made about him in the past would only go so far.

“The fact that he said good things about me doesn’t mean that it’s going to help him in a negotiation. It won’t help him at all,” he said.

(h/t CNN)

Reality

Opening a dialog with North Korea by itself is not a bad idea. Barack Obama said before he was first elected, that he too would be prepared to meet the North Korean leader of the time [Kim Jong-un’s father, Kim Jong-il] face-to-face.

It’s true that Mr Obama’s promise was nine years ago and North Korea was not so far down the path to getting a nuclear arsenal. And Mr Trump has not been so cool in his language.

What is odd here is that Trump just insulted the leader of our closest ally, then turned around and says he’d love to talk to Kim Jong Un.

Trump Attorney Threatens to Sue, Then Demands Retraction From New York Times

A Trump Organization attorney suggested Monday night that Donald Trump might sue the New York Times over a Sunday front page story about his behavior around women. Then on Tuesday morning, another Trump attorney said “I don’t think that this is going to end up in litigation,” but called on The Times to retract the story and apologize.

The newspaper will not be doing either. It is standing firmly behind the story, which was the product of weeks of intensive reporting.

Michael Barbaro and Megan Twohey’s reporting, including 50-plus interviews, revealed examples of “unwelcome advances, a shrewd reliance on ambition, and unsettling workplace conduct over decades.”

Trump began criticizing the story on Sunday morning, declaring that it was “a lame hit piece” and “a joke.”

Later in the day Trump tweeted:

He kept up the critique on Monday morning. He seized on a Fox interview with the first woman mentioned in the story, former girlfriend Rowanne Brewer Lane, who said the Times “spun” her words to make them seem negative.

Brewer Lane did not dispute any of the specific quotes or ask for a correction. But her complaint — repeated on CNN later on Monday morning — was enough for Trump to claim that the story was a “fraud.”

He called up CNN’s “New Day” control room to point out the Fox interview. And he tweeted, inaccurately, that the whole story has been “proven false.” He also told his Twitter followers that nothing in the newspaper could be trusted: “Who can believe what they write after the false, malicious & libelous story they did on me.”

Trump’s use of the word libelous stood out to some observers since Trump has talked repeatedly about wanting to “open up the libel laws” to make it easier to sue media companies.

The candidate didn’t tweet a lawsuit threat, but Trump Organization assistant general counsel Jill Martin left one on the table when asked about it on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” Monday night.

“I think that is a distinct possibility,” Martin said. “I haven’t talked to him about it personally, but, you know, when he’s attacked like that and things are said falsely, he definitely fires back.”

(h/t CNN)

Reality

We reviewed the New York Times article and found that, while 1 subject did not agree with the “tone” of her part of the piece, there have been no other complains from the 49 other women who were interviewed. There is no reason for the New York Times to retract the story from harassment and threats from Donald Trump and his campaign.

Donald Trump has a history of threatening to sue journalists and media companies who disagree with him and promised to use litigation to go after the press that write unflattering articles as President.

Freedom of the press in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. This clause is generally understood as prohibiting the government from interfering with the printing and distribution of information or opinions.

While as a candidate this does not apply to him, as he is not a government agent, it is an alarming trend that is normally only found in authoritarian regimes.

Media

Trump: London Mayor Made ‘Very Rude Statements’ About Me

Trump and London mayor Sadiq Khan

Donald Trump said Monday London’s new mayor made “very rude statements” about him — and the presumptive Republican presidential nominee warned he won’t have a good relationship with British Prime Minister David Cameron if he’s elected.

Trump made the comments in an interview with ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” host Piers Morgan, when asked to respond to criticisms made about him by British politicians.

Trump’s comments on Islam have provoked an outcry in the UK, and prompted parliamentarians to debate a proposal to ban him from the country for hate speech after a petition to do so attracted more than 500,000 signatures.

In December, Cameron labeled the presidential hopeful’s suggestion of a temporary ban on Muslims traveling to the U.S. as “divisive, stupid and wrong.”

Asked about Cameron’s remarks, Trump said he didn’t care, but then added, “It looks like we’re not going to have a very good relationship. Who knows, I hope to have a good relationship with him but it sounds like he’s not willing to address the problem either.”

He continued: “Number one, I’m not stupid, okay? I can tell you that right now. Just the opposite. Number two, in terms of divisive, I don’t think I’m a divisive person, I’m a unifier, unlike our president now, I’m a unifier.”

A spokeswoman for Cameron said he had made his views on Trump’s “Muslim ban” proposal clear and had “nothing further to add.”

The prime minister would “work with whoever is the president of the United States and he is committed to maintaining the special relationship,” the spokeswoman said.

Trump also had words for Sadiq Khan, who became the first Muslim to hold the office of mayor of London when he was elected earlier this month.

Shortly after taking office, Khan criticized Trump’s views of Islam as ignorant — remarks that Trump said had offended him. The new mayor had been responding to a suggestion from Trump that he would make an “exception” to his proposed “temporary Muslim ban” for Khan.

“Let’s take an I.Q. test,” Trump said Monday, adding that Khan had never met him and “doesn’t know what I’m all about.”

“I think they’re very rude statements and frankly, tell him, I will remember those statements. They’re very nasty statements.”

A spokesperson for Khan called Trump’s views “ignorant, divisive and dangerous.”
“Sadiq has spent his whole life fighting extremism, but Trump’s remarks make that fight much harder for us all — it plays straight into the extremists’ hands and makes both our countries less safe,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Khan responded Monday by repeating his criticism of Trump’s politics, calling it “the politics of fear at its worst,” and saying Trump’s remarks on Islam play “straight into the extremists’ hands and makes both our countries less safe.”

He rebuffed Trump’s suggestion of taking an I.Q. test, saying “ignorance is not the same thing as lack of intelligence.”

Khan told CNN last week he hoped that Trump would not win the U.S. election, describing him as “somebody who is trying to divide, not just your communities in America but who is trying to divide America from the rest of the world.”

Trump, who in December issued a press release “calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” appeared to modify his position last week.
He said such a ban “hasn’t been called for yet” and was “only a suggestion.”

(h/t CNN)

Media

Trump Says We’re Not Going to Have a Very Good Relationship With Britain

Donald Trump has hit back at criticism from Britain’s leaders by describing himself in an interview with Piers Morgan as “not stupid” and a “unifier.”

The presumptive Republican nominee made the comments to Good Morning Britain, the breakfast show of NBC News’ U.K. partner ITV.

He was asked about comments by British Prime Minister David Cameron, leader of the U.K.’s Conservative Party, who said that Trump’s suggestion Muslims should be barred from the United States was “divisive, stupid and wrong.”

Trump told Good Morning Britain that “it looks like we’re not going to have a very good relationship,” if he were to win the presidential election in November.

“Number one, I’m not stupid, OK? I can tell you that right now — just the opposite,” he told Morgan, the former CNN talk-show host. “Number two, in terms of divisive, I don’t think I’m a divisive person. I’m a unifier, unlike our president now I’m a unifier.”

In December, a week after the San Bernardino shooting in which 14 people were killed, Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Asked to clarify this position in Monday’s interview, he said “millions of people were calling in saying, ‘Donald Trump is right.'”

Trump has also been condemned by left-of-center British politicians, including new London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Khan — a Muslim member of the U.K.’s opposition Labour Party — said Trump’s comments on Islam were “ignorant,” adding that he hopes the Republican loses the election.

“When he won I wished him well — now, I don’t care about him,” Trump told Good Morning Britain. “Let’s see how he does, I mean let’s see if he’s a good mayor.”

Trump said Khan was “very rude,” and added: “Tell him I will remember those statements, they’re very nasty statements.”

Khan “doesn’t know me, never met me, doesn’t know what I’m all about,” the real-estate mogul said.

(h/t NBC)

Reality

Donald Trump is doing an amazing job making our closest alley upset with us. That’s a very interesting foreign policy.

Media

Trump Dodges GI Bill Question

CNN’s Chris Cuomo asked Donald Trump how he felt about a sneaky no-roll call vote in Congress to strip money from the G.I. bill and re-appropriate it elsewhere and whether we should keep the bill as it is.

Rather than answer the question outright, Trump appeared to dodge by babbling about how he loves the vets and knows so many vets, and they’re tremendous, etc, etc, etc. Cuomo then asked him straight up whether or not he supported the GI bill – and Trump said no.

CHRIS CUOMO: On the military, you raise an important issue. We tried to get your campaign and the other campaigns to hold forth on whether or not they supported the current G.I. bill. As you know, in the Congress, they did this sneaky vote in the House where there was no roll call, and they were going to cut money from the G.I. bill to allow for other expenditures for vets. The vets were very upset. They said ‘no, don’t take money from us and reallocate it. Find the savings elsewhere.’
Do you support maintaining the G.I. bill the way it is right now and even growing it instead of cutting it?

 

DONALD TRUMP: I don’t want to be hurting our vets. Our vets have been hurt enough. We treat illegal immigrants better than we treat our vets. So I’m going to do nothing to hurt our vets. I’m going to only help the vets —

 

CHRIS CUOMO: So is that a yes? —

 

DONALD TRUMP: — unlike Hillary Clinton, that thinks the vets are getting too much. And they’re not getting too much. I’ve traveled, I’ve seen so many vets, I know so many vets now, and I have a lot of friends — I have developed great friendships among the vets. Our vets are being treated so badly —

 

CHRIS CUOMO: So is that a yes, I do support the current G.I. bill?

 

DONALD TRUMP: No. I want to bring jobs back to our country.

Reality

When asked about the specific legislation to cut and reappropriate G.I. Bill funds, Trump ignored the question and instead started playing his greatest hits. Trade deals, jobs, Hillary Clinton, babble, babble, babble. We conclude that Trump clearly had no idea what the subject was otherwise a direct and coherent answer would have been given.

As a candidate to be Commander-In-Chief it is very important to understand the legislation being put forth that would effect the well-being of the men and women under your command. This is further proof that Trump is highly unprepared for the Presidency.

Trump’s opponents and a lot of left leaning media outlets have jumped on him for saying “no” to supporting the popular G.I. Bill in its current form. We’ve listened to his statement multiple times and we feel his “no” response was very meek and unsure, and earlier Trump did claim he was going to do nothing to hurt the vets. Therefor we cannot make the claim that Trump hates the vets that sites like The Huffington Post made.

Media

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