Donald Trump Jr: My Dad’s Boasts About Forcing Himself on Women are ‘Normal’ and ‘Human’

The Trump brothers have come to their father’s defense this week over the disturbing sexual assault allegations that have surfaced.

Eric Trump, defending his dad’s conversation with Billy Bush on Monday, chalked it up to his “alpha” personality. On Thursday, Donald Jr. dismissed Trump’s conversation as something that, “makes him a human,” adding “I think it makes him a normal person not a political robot,” CNN reports.

On Wednesday night, the New York Times published a report about two women who alleged that Donald Trump had groped them.

Donald Jr. responded to the Times report on Thursday’s segment of Charlotte Morning News on WBT radio and said, “Come on guys, it’s so ridiculous, I’ve never heard anything dumber in my life. All of sudden, two, three weeks before election, someone comes out — it’s not like he hasn’t been in the public eye for 30 years.”

Trump surrogates doing damage control this week have all brought up similar questions about timing — specifically that election day is nearing and these women must have come forward now because of that.

However, it is more likely than not that women are coming forward about being assaulted by Trump at this moment because of his denial of the claims.

During the second presidential debate on October 9, CNN correspondent Anderson Cooper asked, “You described kissing women without consent, grabbing the genitals. That is sexual assault. You brag that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?”

Trump responded that it was just words, that it was untrue, and that he never engaged in such sexual misconduct. These women are likely coming forward now to hold him accountable for his continued denial of abusing women, not because the election is nearing.

Donald Jr. said in his interview, “[The New York Times] keep libeling and doing these kind of things I imagine that would be the intention. It’s one thing to report the news, it’s another to try to smear someone’s name time and time again for political motives and political gain.”

He added, “I’ve had conversations like that with plenty of people where people use language off color. They’re talking, two guys, amongst themselves.”

(h/t Raw Story)

Trump Threatens to Sue New York Times Over Groping Story, Times Dares Him To

Donald Trump is threatening to sue The New York Times for defamation in response to a Times article published Wednesday night that quoted two women who accused Trump of kissing and groping them without their consent.

Times reporter Megan Twohey wrote in the article that when she asked Trump on Tuesday night to comment on the allegations, he called her “a disgusting human being,” accused the Times of making up the story and said that he would sue the paper if it ran the story.

Then on Wednesday, one of Trump’s lawyers sent a formal letter to the Times threatening a lawsuit if it published the story, according to CNN’s Brian Stelter.

Shortly after midnight on Thursday, the Trump campaign emailed reporters a letter that a lawyer representing Trump had sent to Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet.

The Times is standing by its story.

“I think it is pretty evident this story falls clearly in the realm of public service journalism, and discussing issues that arose from the tape and his comments since it surfaced,” Times editor Dean Baquet told Stelter.

Trump has threatened legal action against the Times and other news organizations before. Two weeks ago, his lawyer Marc Kasowitz threatened to sue the paper for invasion of privacy after it published excerpts from his tax returns. Trump subsequently talked up the potential for a suit in rallies and appearances, finally saying he wouldn’t do it yet but was keeping an eye on the newspaper’s coverage of him.

On Wednesday night, The Palm Beach Post and Yahoo News reported on additional allegations of sexual harassment against Trump. The Palm Beach Post interviewed Mindy McGillivray, who said that Trump groped her at his Mar-a-Lago estate 10 years ago. Yahoo quoted a Facebook comment from Cassandra Searles, Miss Washington 2013 in Trump’s Miss Universe pageant, who wrote that Trump had grabbed her and invited her to his hotel room.

Trump has denied both allegations. Post publisher Tim Burke told POLITICO that he’s not aware of the paper receiving any legal threats from Trump or his campaign.

(h/t Politico)

Reality

The Times responded Thursday with a letter daring Trump to go through with a lawsuit.

Trump Claims People Magazine Reporter Not Attractive Enough to Sexually Assault

GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump lashed out Thursday at new reports that he has sexually assaulted multiple women over the years, even attacking the physical appearance of one of his accusers.

In 2005, People magazine writer Natasha Stoynoff went to Mar-a-Lago to interview Trump and his wife, Melania, for a story on their first anniversary. Before Melania arrived, however, Trump took Stoynoff into a room alone.

“I turned around, and within seconds he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat,” Stoynoff wrote on Wednesday.

She said Trump also told her, “You know we’re going to have an affair, don’t you?”

At his rally on Thursday, Trump questioned Stoynoff’s claims, arguing that she wasn’t credible because she didn’t come forward sooner. He also implied that he wouldn’t have been interested in sexually assaulting her anyway because of the way she looks:

Why wasn’t it part of the story that appeared 20, or 12, years ago? … I was one of the biggest stars on television with “The Apprentice,” and it would have been one of the biggest stories of the year. Think of it. She’s doing this story on Melania, who’s pregnant at the time, and Donald Trump. Our one-year anniversary. And she said I made inappropriate advances.

And by the way, the area was a public area. People all over the place. Take a look. You take a look. Look at her. Look at her words. You tell me what you think. I don’t think so. I don’t think so.

(h/t Huffington Post)

Response

PEOPLE stands by Stoynoff’s story of being assaulted by Trump in 2005 while on assignment for the magazine.

The following is a statement by PEOPLE Editor in Chief Jess Cagle:

We are grateful to Natasha Stoynoff for telling her story. Ms. Stoynoff is a remarkable, ethical, honest and patriotic woman, and she has shared her story of being physically attacked by Donald Trump in 2005 because she felt it was her duty to make the public aware.

To assign any other motive is a disgusting, pathetic attempt to victimize her again. We stand steadfastly by her, and are proud to publish her clear, credible account of what happened.

It is heartbreaking that her fear of retaliation by Trump kept her from reporting the incident when it happened. She has carried this secret for more than a decade, and we hope that by coming forward now she is relieved of that burden.

Reality

All of this stems from a leaked 2005 video where Donald Trump bragged about sexual assaulting women.

While ultimately these are all allegations, the hypocrisy of Trump is to dismiss his allegations while say Bill Clinton’s alleged sexual assault victims deserve to be heard.

Media

Trump’s comments are at the 17:30 minute mark:

Giuliani Lies Clinton Didn’t Visit Ground Zero After 9/11

Former New York City mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani accused Hillary Clinton of failing to honor the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that took down the World Trade Center, incorrectly suggesting at one point that she lied about visiting Ground Zero in the aftermath.

“Don’t tell me, if you said that, that you remember September 11, 2001. I remember September 11, 2001,” Giuliani said during a Donald Trump campaign rally here in Florida. “Yes, you helped to get benefits for the people who were injured one day. But I heard her say she was there that day. I was there that day, I don’t remember seeing Hillary Clinton there.”

While Clinton was not in New York on Sept. 11, she flew there on Sept. 12, in one of the few airplanes allowed to travel after the attacks. Pictures of Giuliani and Clinton inspecting the destruction together are widely available.

Clinton, who was a U.S. senator from New York at the time of 9/11, was in the District that day. The Pentagon was also attacked, and security officials feared the Capitol could also be targeted. Clinton flew to New York with fellow Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) soon after the attacks.

She describes that scene in detail in her book, “Hard Choices,” and refers to the “long sleepless night in Washington” before flying to New York on Sept. 12. She does not appear to have said publicly at any point that she was in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.

She most recently described her experience in the aftermath of 9/11 during an interview with CNN last month in which she detailed finding out about the attack that day as she was en route to the Capitol.

“There weren’t that many survivors; the ones that did survive were grievously injured. The loss of life was overwhelming,” Clinton told CNN during the interview. “But it was also my job and the job of other officials to get our city and state and country what we needed.”

Earlier this year, Trump praised Clinton’s efforts after the attacks, saying in July she was “enormously supportive and enormously helpful.”

Giuliani has become a regular presence on the campaign trail and is an active TV surrogate for Trump. He said Wednesday that Americans “need a strong man, need an independent man, need a man who tells it straight.

“Sometimes really straight,” he added, laughing. “But boy, a heckofa lot better than being a liar.”

(h/t The Washington Post)

Media

Trump Tweet Storm Further Divides Republican Party Before Election

Twitter

Donald Trump attacked House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republicans who he claimed had been “disloyal” to him in a series of defiant Tuesday morning Twitter messages.

The tweets come after a number of GOP luminaries announced they could no longer support their nominee in the wake of the publication of a 2005 video showing Trump bragging about groping women. Trump apologized for his “locker room” talk and has flatly refused to drop out.

On Monday, Ryan said he would no longer defend Trump through the last month of the general election campaign — but he neglected to rescind his endorsement of the New York businessman.

In the messages, Trump said “the shackles” had been removed, and he said the “disloyal” Republicans are more of an impediment to a victory than Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton — analysis that could well be correct if some portion of his base refuses to support him at the polls.

Pundits have warned for some time that the Republican Party could be on the verge of a civil war.

A spokesman for the House speaker said, “Paul Ryan is focusing the next month on defeating Democrats, and all Republicans running for office should probably do the same.”

As Trump attacked his fidelity, Ryan’s own Twitter account posted a series of policy discussions on Tuesday morning.

During the primary season, Trump rose to prominence by attacking the “establishment” elements of his party, whom he painted as self-serving and unconcerned with the general populace’s well-being. That populist tactic had seen less use, however, during the general election as Trump sought to win over moderate voters.

(h/t CNBC)

Faked Conspiracy Travels From Russian Propaganda to Donald Trump’s Mouth

At an October 10 campaign rally, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump claimed Clinton family friend and adviser Sidney Blumenthal told Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, that “one important point has been universally acknowledged by nine previous reports about Benghazi: The attack was almost certainly preventable.” Trump alleged Blumenthal said that “if the GOP wants to raise that as a talking point against her, it is legitimate”:

However, Newsweek reporter Kurt Eichenwald found the alleged Blumenthal comments “really, really familiar.” Eichenwald found the comments “so familiar” because, in fact, “they were something I wrote.”

In an October 10 article, Eichenwald revealed that Sputnik, a news organization “established by the [Russian] government controlled news agency, Rossiya Segodnya,” discovered in a WikiLeaks dump of Podesta’s hacked emails “a purportedly incriminating email from Blumenthal” calling the Benghazi attacks a “legitimate” talking point against Clinton.

In reality, Sputnik’s declared “‘October surprise’” quoted “two sentences from a 10,000 word piece” Eichenwald wrote for Newsweek “which apparently Blumenthal had emailed to Podesta.” Contrary to the lies from Sputnik and Trump, Eichenwald’s article is not about how the Benghazi attacks are Hillary Clinton’s fault, but rather “the obscene politicization of the assault that killed four Americans” and “the Republican Benghazi committee which was engaged in a political show trial disguised as a Congressional investigation.”

Even though “once they realized their error, Sputnik took the article down,” Trump continued to use Russian state media’s lie as a weapon against his political opponent. This fits Trump and his campaign’s pattern of questionable relations with Russia, including calls for the Kremlin to commit a cyberattack against Hillary Clinton.

Reality

So how did Donald Trump end up advancing the same falsehood put out by Putin’s mouthpiece?

On the internet a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on, and this incorrect story was clearly shared enough in the areas of the internet where conspiracy theories and pro-Russian views thrive. Trump must have seen this story on Sputnik or shared on a site that uses Russian propaganda as a source.

If the dark areas of the internet where conspiracy theories are incubated is where Trump and his campaign go looking for information then this should be a major concern.

Media

Eric Trump Says Bragging About Sexual Assault is What Happens When You’re an ‘Alpha Personality’

During a stop at the Trump campaign’s Denver, Colorado office on Monday, Eric Trump defended his father’s “lewd” conversation with Billy Bush about sexually assaulting women.

The 32-year-old Trump not only excused his father’s conversation with the tired “locker room banter” narrative, he also suggested it’s what happens when two alpha personalities come together, while simultaneously pointing the finger at the Clintons.

Trump alleged that the Clinton campaign leaked the 2005 tape and said, “I think that’s Hillary going low. I think you’ve seen that for a long time,” the Gazette reports. He added, “She’ll dig out dirt on someone from 15 years ago when someone is in entertainment.”

Trump also said, “And, listen, my father apologized for it. He was right to apologize for it, and I’m glad he apologized for it. At the same time, if you look at her track record with women, it’s horrible. It’s absolutely horrible.”

A few things: bragging about kissing and groping women without consent is not locker room talk, it is sexual assault; it doesn’t matter when the tape was recorded, it was released on October 7, 2016 and thus should be examined in relation to the GOP nominee’s campaign; Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s husband is not relevant to Trump sexually assaulting women.

The young Trump shared with the office staff, “I think sometimes when guys are together they get carried away, and sometimes that’s what happens when alpha personalities are in the same presence,” on why his father and Billy Bush shared in such a “lewd” exchange about grabbing women by the “p*ssy” and getting away with it because of status.

Add “alpha personalities” to the list of excuses Trump supporters and surrogates are making for the Donald’s gross disregard for women.

According to Trump, it’s only normal for two big wigs to brag about sexual assault while on the bus together — it’s a status thing. They’re also apparently entitled to groping women because of that same alpha status.

A number of top Colorado Republicans have reportedly pulled their support for Trump over the leaked recordings.

(h/t Raw Story)

Trump’s Town Hall Question on Islamophobia Was Shockingly Islamophobic

During the much anticipated presidential debate Sunday evening, Republican nominee Donald Trump was finally asked by a Muslim American how he, as president, would respond to the rise of Islamophobia. It was a unique and powerful opportunity for the businessman to address the shockingly anti-Islam tenor of his campaign, which many hate-group experts say has precipitated an unprecedented spike in Islamophobic violence across the United States.

Instead, Trump responded with an answer that was not only blatantly Islamophobic, but also outright fallacious. In fact, his reply was so filled with anti-Islam sentiment that it’s worth breaking down into individual parts.

The exchange was initiated when Gorbah Hamed, an uncommitted Missouri voter and a Muslim American, asked how Trump would “help people like me deal with the consequences of being labeled as a threat to the country after the election is over.”

“Well, you’re right about Islamophobia—it’s a shame,” he began, seemingly unaware that his own candidacy is often specifically credited by hate-group experts as a driving force behind the recent uptick in anti-Islam sentiment. In fact, at least one such incident involved a report of a woman verbally and physically assaulting a Muslim woman in Washington, D.C. before justifying the attack by citing her support for Donald Trump.

But Trump wasn’t done.

“But…whether we like it or not there is a problem,” he continued. “We have to be sure that Muslims come in and report when they see something going on. When they see hatred going on, they have to report it.”

Trump has made this claim before. In the aftermath of the tragic Orlando massacre earlier this year, Trump said, “For some reason, the Muslim community does not report people like this.”

This accusation, both then and now, is patently false. Muslims in the Untied States do report when they see evidence of extremism, so much so that law enforcement often relies on them for tips. FBI director James Comey even said as much back in June while discussing the Orlando shootings.

[Muslim Americans] do not want people committing violence, either in their community or in the name of their faith, and so some of our most productive relationships are with people who see things and tell us things who happen to be Muslim,” he said. “It’s at the heart of the FBI’s effectiveness to have good relationships with these folks.”

Trump’s inaccurate assertion struck a chord with the Muslim American community, many of whom immediately took to Twitter to mock his statement using the hashtag #MuslimsReportStuff.

Yet Trump had more to say. To drive home his point about Muslims reporting violence, he claimed that “many people” saw weapons in the home of the San Bernardino shooters, implying that Muslims who knew the ISIS-linked terrorists simply did not tell police about their dark plans.

But as Richard Winton, a Pulitzer-prize winning Los Angeles Times journalist who covered the shootings, pointed out, that claim is also completely unsubstantiated.

And just in case you missed his point, Trump closed with an anti-Muslim argument that members of his own party have been using for years now: that president Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton “have to” use the term “radical Islamic terrorism” to ever fully combat terrorism perpetrated by those who claim to be followers of Islam.

“To solve a problem, you have to be able to be able to state what the problem is or at least say the name,” he said. “[Hillary Clinton] won’t say the name, and president Obama won’t say the name. But the name is there: it’s radical Islamic terror, and before you solve it, you have to say the name.”

This argument has been dismissed by security experts for some time, many of whom say that such terms only make fighting terrorism harder. Or, as Michael German, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice and a former undercover FBI agent, said when asked about the term during a congressional hearing in June, that kind of language “puts us on a path to perpetual war.”

“[Such language] only serves to stoke public fear, xenophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry,” he said.

Ultimately, Trump didn’t have to spout explicitly anti-Muslim bigotry to be Islamophobic. Rather, his responses were in and of themselves Islamophobic because they were based on falsehoods that perpetuate a very specific, and unabashed inaccurate, narrative: that Muslims are generally dangerous, and those that aren’t are failing to help their fellow Americans.

Hamed herself was deeply unimpressed with Trump’s response.

“[Trump’s response] wasn’t an answer, actually, it was kind of like an accusation,” she told The Huffington Post.

Trump’s remarks were, in effect, a very honest “answer” to her question: if elected president, Trump, assuming he continues to voice the kinds of arguments he repeated last night, will “deal” with the rise of Islamophobia the same way he has throughout his campaign—by making it worse.

(h/t ThinkProgress)

Media

In Debate, Trump Admits to Not Paying Federal Taxes

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said “of course” he used a $916 million loss in 1995 to avoid paying federal income taxes.

“Did you use that $916 million loss to avoid paying personal federal income taxes?” moderator Anderson Cooper asked during Sunday’s presidential debate, referring to a New York Times report on Trump’s tax returns.

“Of course I do, of course I do,” Trump said.

The Republican nominee’s 1995 tax return showed him declaring a loss of more than $900 million—which he could have used to avoid paying federal income taxes for almost two decades.

Trump has yet to release his tax returns, bucking a decades-old presidential tradition and prompting suggestions that he could be “hiding something.” He has repeatedly said he will release them after the IRS completes a “routine audit,” but the audit does not prevent him from releasing the returns. Clinton and her running mate, Tim Kaine, both released their tax returns in early August and have hit Trump over his failure to do the same. Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, released a decade of his tax filings in September.

“I understand the tax code better than anybody that’s ever run for president,” Trump said during Sunday’s debate, criticizing Clinton for failing to reform tax code loopholes as a Senator. “It’s extremely complex.”

When asked, Trump declined to say for how many years he has avoided paying federal income taxes.

“I pay tax, and I pay federal tax too, but I have a write off. A lot of it’s depreciation, which is a wonderful charge,” Trump said. “I love depreciation.”

(h/t Fortune)

Media

MSNBC

Trump Threatens Hillary Clinton With Jail If Elected

Donald Trump’s pledge Sunday night that he would order his attorney general to investigate Hillary Clinton, and his quip that she should “be in jail,” is a direct breach of the tradition of nonpartisan rule of law.

“If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation. Because there has never been so many lies, so much deception, there has never been anything like it,” Trump said during the second presidential debate.

A president is not typically authorized to order specific criminal investigations of individuals, let alone a public pledge to investigate a political opponent. Former Attorney General Eric Holder tweeted that President Richard Nixon’s attorney general “courageously resigned” after being asked to fire a special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal.

When Attorney General Elliot Richardson refused, Nixon went on to fire several members of his cabinet in what became known as the “Saturday Night Massacre.”

The FBI and Department of Justice have formally closed the inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state. So the notion of a new president seeking to force the re-opening of the case, because a new party is in office, is essentially unprecedented.

Also note that while Trump has previously talked about investigating Clinton on the campaign trail, including discussing the statute of limitations for charges related to the email issue, his language then was less definitive than what he said Sunday night.

In July, he said he expected “the attorney general will take a very good look at it, from a fair standpoint,” referring to the email inquiry.

(h/t NBC News)

Reality

What makes this country different from other countries, dictators, authoritarians, is the peaceful transfer of power. Donald Trump, on a national stage, just threatened to jail his opponent if elected. There are no words to describe how dangerous this comment is to our union.

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