Trump Boasts: I Gave John Brennan a ‘Bigger Voice’ by Removing His Security Clearance

In light of President Donald Trump revoking the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, reporters asked the president today whether or not the move was part of an effort to “silence” one of his critics. Trump, in response, argued that he has — in fact — amplified Brennan, not stifled him.

“There’s no silence, if anything I’m giving him a bigger voice,” Trump said while outside the White House. “Many people don’t even know who he is. And now he has a bigger voice. And that’s okay with me, because I like talking on bigger voices like that.”

He continued:

“I’ve never respected him or I’ve never had a lot of respect. And Senator Burr said it best, ‘If you knew anything, why didn’t you report it when you were before all these committees?’ Including their committee. He had a chance to report. He never did. This was just — it just came up lately and it’s a disgusting thing, frankly. Look, I say it, I say it again. That whole situation is a rigged witch hunt. It is a totally rigged deal.”

Earlier in the press scrum, Trump told reporters that he’s “gotten tremendous response from having done that because security clearances are very important to me, very, very important.”

After teasing the idea earlier this month, Trump announced on Wednesday that Brennan’s clearance had officially been dropped — which was his way of getting back at former high ranking officials who have publicly taken to criticizing the Trump administration.

[Mediaite]

Trump Charges ‘Free Press’ With ‘Collusion.’ As Predicted.

In Trump’s world, there’s nothing wrong with “collusion” unless it’s being committed by Hillary Clinton… or the media.

The president woke up on Thursday to news that nearly 350 different newspapers across the country had all published editorials denouncing his attacks against the media. The project, spearheaded by The Boston Globe, called on papers to tackle the issue in their own words.

“We propose to publish an editorial on August 16 on the dangers of the administration’s assault on the press and ask others to commit to publishing their own editorials on the same date,” Marjorie Pritchard, deputy managing editor of Globe, wrote in a memo to editorial boards last week.

“We’re being portrayed as a domestic enemy rather than a loyal fellow countryman whose profession is to hold the powerful accountable,” she added in an interview with The New York Times. “This whole project is not anti-Trump. It’s really pro-press.”

Unsurprisingly, Trump didn’t see it that way.

The first tweet on the issue came just before 9 a.m. “THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA IS THE OPPOSITION PARTY. It is very bad for our Great Country….BUT WE ARE WINNING!” Trump tweeted defiantly.

Then, about 15 minutes after Fox News first reported on the editorials, Trump lashed out at The Boston Globe directly. After highlighting the paper’s financial struggles, the president accused the Globe of being “in COLLUSION with other papers on free press.” He added, “PROVE IT!” though it was unclear who he was speaking to or what he wanted proven.

For good measure, Trump added a dismissive message about “true FREEDOM OF THE PRESS.”

Of course, Trump’s reaction to the project could not have been more predictable.

So much so that, writing for The San Francisco Chronicle, editorial-page editor John Diaz predicted it.

In a piece explaining why his paper would not be participating in the “coordinated editorial campaign,” Diaz expressed several concerns about the project, including this one:

“It plays into Trump’s narrative that the media are aligned against him. I can just anticipate his Thursday morning tweets accusing the ‘FAKE NEWS MEDIA’ of ‘COLLUSION!’ and ‘BIAS!’ He surely will attempt to cite this day of editorials to discredit critical and factual news stories in the future, even though no one involved in those pieces had anything to do with this campaign.”

[The Daily Beast]

Trump Claims Apprentice Producer Called Him to Deny There’s an N-Word Tape: ‘Deranged’ Omarosa ‘Made it Up’

President Donald Trump is continuing his online rampage against his former Apprentice protege-turned-administration critic, Omarosa Manigault Newman.

In his latest tweets, Trump claimed that he spoke to Apprentice producer Mark Burnett, who supposedly said no tapes exist of him using racist language between takes on his show. He’s also calling Manigault-Newman “wacky and deranged” while grumbling that the “fake news” is talking to her now that she has turned against him.

Even though political observers have noted how Manigault Newman’s credibility is questionable at best, she has captivated the media over the last few days with the salacious claims of her new book, and her secret White House recordings of Trump and his staff. One of the claims Manigault Newman elevated, the one Trump is referring to, is the old rumor that the president used the N-word, among other racist comments.

[Mediaite]

Trump Blames ‘Unpopular’ John Kasich for ‘Tamping Down’ Balderson ‘Enthusiasm’

Donald Trump and John Kasich are fighting again, this time over probable Ohio special election winner Troy Balderson, and the President tweeted about it on Monday. Calling Kasich “unpopular,” “failed,” and unpopular again, Trump used the tweet as another red meat pitch to Ohio Trump voters for November.

“Tamping down enthusiasm” isn’t your typical Trump complaint, but otherwise true-to-type as he bashed Kasich’s failure to win in 2016 and referred to a narrow squeaker as a “big win.”

Balderson has essentially won, and declared victor, but the results are not technically official yet. Regardless, the narrowness of the margin is the subject at hand in a criticism from Ohio Gov. Kasich on Meet the Presson Sunday (echoing remarks he made to CBS the day after the election). “It wasn’t a good night,” said Kasich regarding last Tuesday’s vote, “because this is a district that you should be winning by, you know, overwhelming numbers.”

That’s an analysis made by many political observers, but the reason for that razor edge is what really has Trump worked up. Many, including Kasich, blame Trump.

Kasich said it is a “message from the voters” to “stop the chaos” and “stop alienating people.” He also offered broad critiques shared by other Trump-critical Republicans, such as arguing against “protectionism” and Trump’s treatment of NATO allies.

And that is why on Monday the President returned fire in a tweet.

A win for Balderson is only a temporary salve should Kasich be proved correct about the sentiment of the voters; he faces the same Democrat challenger again in the regular election in November. In an effort to hold the House majority, the party and particularly the president certainly must and will make the case that Balderson is what Ohio voters are looking for, repudiation-free.

Kasich, who ran unsuccessfully for president in 2016, has not ruled out a 2020 run and, to anyone who observes Kasich, is in fact practically a lock to put his hat in the ring.

[Mediaite]

‘She’s a low life’: President Trump attacks Omarosa ahead of scathing tell-all book release

President Donald Trump called his former White House aide, Omarosa Manigault Newman, a “low life” on Saturday. His comment came in response to a question about Newman’s tell-all book, in which she calls Trump a “racist” suffering from “mental decline.”

Trump made the remark during a bikers rally with motorcycle-riding supporters in Bedminster, New Jersey, where the president is vacationing at his golf resort.

After shaking hands with the bikers for five minutes, Trump stood back atop the dais and asked the crowd for their thoughts on the press, according to the White House pool report. The president responded to one question from a reporter in the press pool about Newman and her new book.

“Lowlife,” Trump responded. “She’s a lowlife.”

Here are some of the takeaways from Newman’s memoir, titled “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House”.

  • She now believes the president to whom she was loyal for 14 years is “a racist, a bigot and a misogynist.” His biggest personality flaw is a complete lack of empathy for others, she writes.
  • She believes the president is in “mental decline” and physically unwell.
  • She believes a deeply unhappy first lady Melania Trump “is counting every minute until (her husband) is out of office and she can divorce him.”

[USA Today]

Media

White House rips Omarosa in blistering statement

The White House on Friday unloaded on a new book written by former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman that depicts President Trump as a racist, saying it is “riddled with lies and false accusations.”

In a blistering statement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called Manigault Newman a “disgruntled former White House employee” who is “trying to profit off of these false attacks.”

“Instead of telling the truth about all the good President Trump and his administration are doing to make America safe and prosperous, this book is riddled with lies and false accusations,” Sanders said.

The spokeswoman also accused the media of giving her a “platform” after “not taking her seriously when she had only positive things to say about the president during her time in the administration.”

Manigault Newman writes in the explosive memoir that Trump frequently used the n-word while he was the host of the “Celebrity Apprentice,” and that there are tapes to prove it.
While she said she never heard Trump used the word herself, Manigault Newman said that by the time she was fired last December, she had came to view Trump as a “racist.”

[The Hill]

Trump Trolls Democrats: ‘Please Do Not Distance Yourselves From Nancy Pelosi’

On Friday, President Donald Trump trolled the Democratic Party with a snarky tweet praising House Minority leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a frequent lightning rod for his criticism of the party.

“Democrats, please do not distance yourselves from Nancy Pelosi,” Trump wrote. “She is a wonderful person whose ideas & policies may be bad, but who should definitely be given a 4th chance. She is trying very hard & has every right to take down the Democrat Party if she has veered too far left!”

Trump has repeatedly bashed Pelosi, calling her — along with fellow frequent target Rep. Maxine Waters — “the unhinged FACE of the Democrat Party” and repeatedly using her name to throw shade at Democratic challengers in key races.

It is unclear what exactly prompted today’s tweet, however, it followed a long segment on Meet the Press talking about both Pelosi and the Democratic Party.

[Mediate]

Trump renews attacks on NFL players, calling for suspensions

President Trump on Friday renewed his attacks on NFL players who protest during the national anthem, claiming they “wanted to show their ‘outrage’ at something that most of them are unable to define.”

“The NFL players are at it again — taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem,” Trump tweeted.

“Be happy, be cool! A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest,” he continued. “Most of that money goes to the players anyway.”

“Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!” Trump added.

Trump’s new attack came a day after the first big slate of NFL preseason games on Thursday night, during which players from several teams protestedduring “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

[The Hill]

Trump: People investigating Russia ‘witch hunt’ are ‘totally corrupt’

President Trump said Thursday that everyone involved in the Russia investigation is either corrupt or conflicted, and said it was started through illegal means.

Trump tweeted that the dossier compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele is “phony” and said many of those involved who were fired are “lying and dishonest,” possibly alluding to former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

“Stay tuned!” Trump concluded the tweet.

[Washington Examiner]

Trump says Trump Tower meeting meant to obtain information on Clinton

President Trump tweeted Sunday morning about the now-infamous June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Russians and Trump campaign officials, including his son, Donald Trump Jr.

“Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!”

Why it matters: Trump and his son have repeatedly changed their stance on the purpose of the 2016 meeting. In a statement to The New York Times last July, which investigators now know was dictated by President Trump, Don Jr. said the meeting was primarily about Russian adoptions. Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen has also claimedthat the president approved the meeting ahead of time, contradicting continued denials by Trump and his legal team.

[Axios]

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