Trump Now Wants ‘Bad Ratings’ Fox Anchor Neil Cavuto Fired After Featuring Guest Who Was Mean

President Donald Trump attacked Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto on Friday, mocking his “very bad ratings” and “Fake guests.”

“So @TeamCavuto has very bad ratings on @foxnews with his Fake guests like A.B. Stoddard and others that still haven’t figured it all out,” wrote Trump in a Twitter post. “Will he get the same treatment as his friend Shepherd Smith, who also suffered from the ratings drought?”

President Trump previously called out Cavuto on Thursday for hosting a guest who was critical of his debate skills.

“Could somebody at @foxnews please explain to Trump hater A.B. Stoddard (zero talent!) and @TeamCavuto, that I won every one of my debates, from beginning to end,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Check the polls taken immediately after the debates. The debates got me elected. Must be Fox Board Member Paul Ryan!”

President Trump also attacked Fox News during his Thursday campaign rally in Colorado Springs.

“They had a crazy person on today, on one of the Fox shows,” Trump said. “Fox doesn’t treat us the way they used to.”

“Their loser shows are the ones that don’t like Trump,” he continued, adding, “How’s Shep Smith doing by the way?”

Shepard Smith, whose coverage drew the president’s ire on many occasions, left the network in October after 23 years on air.

Fox Business host Trisha Regan shot back at the president for calling out Cavuto, saying, “[Cavuto] is someone who started this network, Fox Business, and someone who is the utmost journalist and always fair… I can tell you that about Neil. He is a fair person, a fair guy, and a good man.”

“So I’m disappointed that the president said those things,” she declared. “Because Neil Cavuto is one guy who just doesn’t deserve it.”

[Mediaite]

Trump’s Colorado rally featured an extended meltdown over 30 seconds of critical Fox News coverage

President Donald Trump devoted an inordinate amount of time during his rally on Thursday in Colorado Springs to complaining about a Fox News segment that few of the attendees were likely to have seen, featuring commentary from a journalist most of them had probably never heard of.

The roughly 20-minute display was remarkably petty — and it wasn’t the only one of that sort Trump made in Colorado Springs. But it was also an illustration of the complete, blind loyalty that Trump expects from Fox News.

At issue was commentary made earlier in the day on Neil Cavuto’s show by A.B. Stoddard, who works as an associate editor at the political news and polling aggregation outlet RealClearPolitics. Stoddard panned Mike Bloomberg’s performance in Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate, but did so by taking a shot at Trump.

“I think that Donald Trump had disastrous debate performances. Many answers were so cringeworthy you just couldn’t even believe he was still standing on the stage — and he’s president,” she said — the implication being that despite Bloomberg’s rough night, his campaign isn’t over yet, just like Trump’s wasn’t after his bad showings.

Even though he’s traveling in Nevada, Arizona, and California this week, Trump apparently saw Stoddard’s comments and lashed out at everyone involved — including former House Speaker Paul Ryan, who now serves on Fox Corporation’s board.

“Could somebody at @foxnews please explain to Trump hater A.B. Stoddard (zero talent!) and @TeamCavuto, that I won every one of my debates, from beginning to end,” the president tweeted. “Check the polls taken immediately after the debates. The debates got me elected. Must be Fox Board Member Paul Ryan!”

Trump was still seething hours later. Minutes into his rally in Colorado Springs, he brought up Fox News and denigrated Cavuto, saying “nobody likes him.” He falsely claimed Cavuto has “taken” the place of former Fox News afternoon host Shepard Smith (though he seemed unable to remember Smith’s name), then alluded to the segment with Stoddard (though he couldn’t seem to remember her name either) and said, “wait a minute — I won every debate. It’s true.”

“I said, ‘Nobody’s allowed to do that. You can’t do that.’ We’re at enough of a disadvantage with the fake news. You know, they make up 90 percent of the stories,” continued Trump, as his fans took the cue to start booing the assembled media.

But that wasn’t all. Trump spent much of the next 15 minutes harping on the segment and trying to debunk Stoddard’s claim about him not doing well in the debates by reading off random polls from 2016.

“Look at this — ‘Trump 70 percent,’ next one is 18 percent, next one is 7, 4, 3, 3, 3, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1,” Trump read off a sheet of paper, before tossing it away. “‘Trump didn’t do well in the debates!’ See — they’re fake news.”

“Here’s another one, Trump kicked ass.”

By the end of his rant, Trump was conflating various conspiracy theories, blending a number of them into a single incoherent attack on his perceived enemies.

“They want to take you out. They want to change the results. They got caught spying — let’s say it like it is, right? — they got caught spying on our election, fake news. Hey, fake news: take your cameras for a change, and show them the room, and show them behind you,” Trump said.

The point Trump was trying to make was twofold: Polls indicate his debate performances were actually good (this is not true), and the highest-rated shows on Fox are ones that basically don’t allow hosts or guests to be critical of him.

But for someone who was unaware of the backstory, the president’s remarks must have sounded like nonsensical ramblings. Even for someone who was, the extended meltdown over a 30-second clip of commentary on a relatively obscure afternoon show was bizarre.

Trump lashes out at Fox News coverage: ‘I won every one of my debates’

President Trump on Thursday lashed out after a segment on Fox News’s “Your World with Cavuto,” in which RealClearPolitics associate editor A.B. Stoddard compared former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s debate performance to “cringe-worthy” moments Trump has had on the debate stage.

“There were many bombs,” Stoddard, a former associate editor at The Hill, said on Fox News, while analyzing Bloomberg’s debate performance.

“I think he’s uncoachable. I think that Donald Trump had disastrous debate performances, many answers were so cringe-worthy you just couldn’t believe he was still standing on the stage, and he’s president so I don’t think debates kill off normal candidates who do not have a billionaire juggernaut machine,” Stoddard added.

Trump promptly took to Twitter to attack the commentator, as well as host Neil Cavuto, while taking a swipe at former Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who is now on the board of Fox News.

“Could somebody at @foxnews please explain to Trump hater A.B. Stoddard (zero talent!) and @TeamCavuto, that I won every one of my debates, from beginning to end. Check the polls taken immediately after the debates. The debates got me elected. Must be Fox Board Member Paul Ryan!” Trump tweeted.

Cavuto later responded on air to Trump’s tweet.

“He heard A.B. Stoddard and tweeted out this, that she’s a Trump hater and that ‘I won every’ debate the last go around. You can read that as well as I. But, just to point out, he did not. When you look at polls that came out from Fox, NBC, CNN, Politico, YouGov and a host of others, the initial read was that he had failed to do well in those debates. He ultimately won, but he didn’t poll well in those debates.”

Trump has focused many of his recent attacks on Bloomberg, often referring to him as “mini Mike” in tweet storms.

During Wednesday night’s debate, after Bloomberg said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) had no “chance whatsoever” of defeating Trump, the president responded on Twitter: “Mini, there’s even less chance, especially after watching your debate performance last night, of you winning the Democrat nomination…But I hope you do!”

[The Hill]

Trump Attacks Roger Stone Jury Forewoman

President Donald Trump spoke out for the first time since Roger Stone was sentenced to three years and four months in prison on Thursday by Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the D.C. District Court.

During a speech before former prisoners at a criminal justice event in Las Vegas, Trump fired shots at the jury forewoman in the Stone trial, stating, “The forewoman of the jury, the woman who was in charge of the jury, is totally tainted when you take a look.” He additionally labelled her as an “anti-Trump activist” and a “dominant person,” claiming, “she can get people to do whatever she wants.”

“How can you have a jury poll tainted so badly?” Trump asked. He later added, “But it happened to a lot of people and destroyed a lot of people’s lives.”

Trump ended his rant on the jury forewoman by promising viewers, “We are cleaning it out. We are cleaning the swamp, we are draining the swamp.”

He then transitioned to Stone, stating, “I want the process to play out. I think that is the best thing to do. Because I would love to see Roger exonerated. I would love to see it happen because I personally think that he was treated very unfairly.”

He did not say whether he would pardon his longtime friend and adviser.

[Mediaite]

Trump says John Kelly must ‘keep his mouth shut’ after ex-chief of staff said Vindman did the right thing

President Donald Trump blasted his former chief of staff John Kelly on Thursday after the ex-top aide said Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman did the right thing in reporting his concerns about Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s president.

“When I terminated John Kelly, which I couldn’t do fast enough, he knew full well that he was way over his head,” Trump tweeted. “Being Chief of Staff just wasn’t for him. He came in with a bang, went out with a whimper, but like so many X’s, he misses the action & just can’t keep his mouth shut, which he actually has a military and legal obligation to do.”

“His incredible wife, Karen, who I have a lot of respect for, once pulled me aside & said strongly that ‘John respects you greatly. When we are no longer here, he will only speak well of you,” Trump continued. “Wrong!”

Trump was responding to comments Kelly made during a 75-minute speech and question-and-answer session at a Wednesday night event before students and guests at Drew University in New Jersey, which The Atlantic reported.

The retired Marine Corps general, who also served as Trump’s Homeland Security secretary prior to taking on his job as chief of staff, said Vindman was simply following his military training in reporting concerns about Trump’s call.

That phone call, in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden and Democrats, led to Trump’s impeachment. Last week, the Senate acquitted the president on two charges, although it was the first time in history a member of a president’s own party— Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah— voted to convict.

Vindman “did exactly what we teach them to do from cradle to grave,” Kelly said. “He went and told his boss what he just heard.”

Vindman, who was the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council and testified in the House impeachment inquiry, was escorted out of the White House last week. Trump later attributed Vindman’s removal to the impeachment.

Kelly said Vindman was right to flag the call because it marked a huge change in U.S. policy toward Ukraine and suggested the content of that call was akin to hearing “an illegal order.”

“Through the Obama administration up until that phone call, the policy of the U.S. was militarily to support Ukraine in their defensive fight against … the Russians,” Kelly said, according to The Atlantic. “And so, when the president said that continued support would be based on X, that essentially changed. And that’s what that guy [Vindman] was most interested in.”

“We teach them, ‘Don’t follow an illegal order. And if you’re ever given one, you’ll raise it to whoever gives it to you that this is an illegal order, and then tell your boss,'” Kelly added.

Kelly, who departed the administration in late 2018, was also critical of other areas of the Trump presidency. He said Trump “tried” to get North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to give up his nuclear weapons “but it didn’t work.”

“I’m an optimist most of the time, but I’m also a realist, and I never did think Kim would do anything other than play us for a while, and he did that fairly effectively,” Kelly said.

In announcing Kelly’s impending departure in 2018, Trump told reporters: “John Kelly will be leaving — I don’t know if I can say ‘retiring.”’

“But, he’s a great guy,” Trump continued.

[NBC News]

Trump congratulates Barr for ‘taking charge’ of Stone case

President Donald Trump praised Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday for “taking charge” of the federal case against Roger Stone — a maneuver that has provoked outrage from congressional Democrats and appeared to prompt the withdrawal of four government prosecutors.

“Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Evidence now clearly shows that the Mueller Scam was improperly brought & tainted. Even Bob Mueller lied to Congress!”

A spokesperson for the Justice Department did not immediately return a request for comment on the president’s social media post.

Trump’s tweet comes amid escalating tensions at the Justice Department, which ramped up Tuesday after the department backed off a previous sentencing recommendation for Stone, a longtime informal political adviser to Trump.

Federal prosecutors had urged Monday that Stone be sent to prison for seven to nine years for impeding congressional and FBI investigations into connections between the Russian government and Trump’s 2016 campaign.

But after the president blasted that proposal Tuesday as a “horrible and very unfair situation,” the Justice Department submitted a revised filing that offered no specific term for Stone’s sentence and stated that the prosecutors’ recommendation “could be considered excessive and unwarranted.”

Trump also took shots Tuesday targeting former special counsel Robert Mueller’s squad of federal prosecutors — two of whom served on Stone’s prosecution team — as well as U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who was scheduled to sentence Stone and has overseen several other Mueller-related cases.

By the end of the day, the quartet of attorneys who had shepherded Stone’s prosecution had either resigned or notified the court that they were stepping off the case. Trump reprised his attack on their initial sentencing filing Wednesday, suggesting it was perhaps the product of “Rogue prosecutors.”

“Two months in jail for a Swamp Creature, yet 9 years recommended for Roger Stone (who was not even working for the Trump Campaign),” the president tweeted, making apparent reference to a former Senate Intelligence Committee aide who pleaded guilty in 2018 for lying to the FBI. “Gee, that sounds very fair! Rogue prosecutors maybe? The Swamp!”

Trump claimed Tuesday that he had not asked the Justice Department to change the sentencing recommendation, and Hogan Gidley, the White House’s principal deputy press secretary, repeated that denial Wednesday — asserting that neither the president nor anyone at the White House pressured the attorney general or other department officials to reduce Stone’s sentence.

“Unequivocally no,” he told Fox News, adding that the president “did not interfere here with anything.”

“Look, he’s the chief law enforcement officer. He has the right to do it. He just didn’t,” Gidley said of Trump. “He didn’t make any comment — didn’t have a conversation, I should say, rather, with the attorney general, and that’s just ludicrous. It’s just another scandal that the Democrats are trying to push forward.”

A senior Justice Department official said Tuesday that the decision to alter the prosecutors’ filing was unrelated to the president’s venting on social media and came before Trump issued his critical tweet. Instead, the official said, department leaders were “shocked” by the proposal, which “was not the recommendation that had been briefed to the department.”

Still, Democratic lawmakers quickly denounced the department’s intervention in the Stone case, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) calling Tuesday for an investigation by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz into the reversal.

Democrats’ condemnation continued Wednesday, as Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) demanded Barr’s resignation.

“I think that Attorney General Barr has no choice but to follow these dedicated prosecutors out the door,” he told MSNBC. “Because he’s acting simply as a henchman — a political operative — of the president, who’s always wanted the attorney general of the United States to be his Roy Cohn, his personal attorney.”

Blumenthal, who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, also said he had not heard back from that panel’s leader, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), regarding his request to probe the Justice Department’s actions.

Like Schumer, Blumenthal asked for Horowitz “to conduct an immediate, intensive investigation — because this kind of political interference is exactly the abuse of power, the dictatorial interference that we all ought to resist.”

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), another member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also had harsh words for the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.

“Bill Barr is demonstrating that he is not the attorney general for the people of the United States,” he told CNN. “He swore allegiance to the Constitution, not to one president, and I suspect it’s a tough day for a lot of career prosecutors in the U.S. Department of Justice. This is a critical moment for rule of law in our country.”

[Politico]

DOJ set to lower Stone sentencing recommendation that was criticized by Trump

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday is reportedly expected to change its sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone a day after telling a federal judge the Trump associate should serve between seven and nine years in prison, guidance that was sharply criticized by President Trump.

Department officials found prosecutors’ initial recommendation “excessive,” according to multiple news outlets, including The Washington Post, Fox News and The Associated Press, citing an anonymous department source.

Reports of the expected change came after Trump denounced the recommended prison term as “horrible and very unfair” in an early Tuesday morning Tweet.  

“The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!” Trump said, sharing a message from a Daily Caller reporter about Stone’s prison sentence.

Stone, a 67 year-old right-wing provocateur, was convicted in November of seven counts of obstructing and lying to Congress and witness tampering related to his efforts to provide the Trump campaign inside information about WikiLeaks in 2016.

Stone is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 20 by D.C. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee.

Prosecutors recommended in a Monday filing that Stone serve between 87 and 108 months in prison in accordance with federal guidelines.

“Roger Stone obstructed Congress’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, lied under oath, and tampered with a witness,” the DOJ court filing reads. “And when his crimes were revealed by the indictment in this case, he displayed contempt for this Court and the rule of law.”

Department prosecutors wrote that a sentence of up to nine years would “accurately reflect the seriousness of his crimes and promote respect for the law.”

Stone’s attorneys in a Monday night filing asked that the judge impose probation as an alternative to prison.

A Stone lawyer on Tuesday said the legal team had “read with interest” the new reporting on the DOJ’s shifting position.

“Our sentencing memo stated our position on the recommendation made yesterday by the government,” attorney Grant Smith told The Hill. “We look forward to reviewing the government’s supplemental filing.”

The department will reportedly clarify its recommendation on Stone’s sentencing later Tuesday.

[The Hill]

Trump Insists Real Photo Revealing His Fake Tan Is Fake

Last night, an especially grotesque photo of President Trump began to circulate online. The image, taken by photographer and apparent Trump enthusiast William Moon, showed the sunset-lit president with the wind sweeping his hair back, revealing an especially striking contrast between whatever fake tan or coloration he uses and the ghostly pallor of the skin bordering his hair:

Moon also posted an even more disturbing black-and-white version:

The photo became an instant meme, and so irked Trump that he insisted it was “fake news,” and complained that his opponents would do “anything to demean” him:

Some suspect the images were altered, but Moon posted other photos from the scene, and after comparing his with press-pool shots of the moment, it seems apparent that the wind did indeed expose the fault line in Trump’s orange coloring:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B8SEry-pySm/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

It is of course hilarious that Trump would complain that he is being demeaned on the basis of his appearance. He has spent his entire career as a celebrity put-down artist, sexual harasser, and politician who relentlessly demeans his targets based on their bodies. He is especially cruel to women, having called his former lover Stormy Daniels “Horseface,” mocked Carly Fiorina as ugly (“Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?” Mr. Trump said during an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. “I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”), and belittled such targets as Heidi Cruz, Rosie O’Donnell, and many others.

Trump likewise has mocked Jerry Nadler as fat; sundry opponents, like Marco Rubio, Adam Schiff, and Michael Bloomberg, as short; and had a period of fixating on the allegedly narrow size of Schiff’s neck.

Trump himself places more importance on appearance than any president in history, and perhaps any powerful person who does not work in modeling, television, or film. He staffs his administration in large part based on their appearance. He blocked a second term for Janet Yellen in part because she was too short, initially hesitated to hire John Bolton due to his mustache, and constantly praises the officials surrounding him because they look like they come from “central casting” — the job criteria he most values.

Yet Trump himself is not a central-casting pick for his job. (He was cast for the role of president in Sharknado 3, but he was tabbed to play himself, and tragically turned down the offer at the last minute because he decided to run for real president.) Despite being a tall, white male — the traditional American cultural norm for his position — his appearance is nonetheless anything but “presidential.”

He has to avoid wind, or guard against it by wearing a hat, lest it turn his combover into comic, flapping yellow wings:

As for his orange color, Trump is clearly aware that it creates a strange look, but he oddly blames it on newfangled light bulbs, and seems to believe that rolling back bulb efficiency standards will make his skin look normal again.

Trump’s superficiality is the main problem. That a president would bully others based on their appearance, and select his aides on their looks, is one of his many utterly disqualifying character traits. But as bad as it may be that the president does this, what tips it from the infuriating to the absurd is the fact that the body-shamer-in-chief is also quite possibly the most ridiculous-looking president in American history.

[The New Yorker]

Trump assails Rep. Dingell, citing her late husband, amid wave of attacks on Dems

President Donald Trump on Saturday launched a vitriolic attack on his perceived enemies, including the widow of a prominent Democratic congressman, days after he was acquitted in his impeachment trial.

Trump took to Twitter on Saturday afternoon to heap scorn on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), the widow of the late Rep. John Dingell, among others.

“@RepDebDingell, who called me, tears flowing, to thank me for rolling out the maximum ‘Red Carpet’ for the funeral of her husband, then voted against me on the partisan Impeachmen Hoax, said ‘everybody (Dems) wants to get out of town. This has been, in my whole career, one of… …the worst weeks ever.’ She could have had a much better week if Crazy Nancy, who is the most overrated person in politics (going to lose the House a second time), didn’t bring the phony & corrupt Impeachment Hoax,” Trump tweeted.

The tweets came at the end of a week that saw Trump acquitted Wednesday, a rambling post-impeachment White House address Thursday that mocked Democratic lawmakers and opponents, and the ousting of two impeachment witnesses Friday.

Trump has attacked Dingell before over her role in the impeachment inquiry, saying to supporters at a Michigan rally in December that her late husband, the longest-ever serving congressman when he died in February 2019, was “looking up” from hell.

Those comments drew condemnation from lawmakers, including from Republicans like Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) who called on Trump to apologize.

The president on Saturday continued lacing into Pelosi, who told Democrats she felt “liberated” after ripping up a paper copy of Trump’s Tuesday State of the Union speech on national television, which became one of the most talked about moments of the event.

“Crazy Nancy Pelosi’s Impeachment Hoax has lifted Republican Congressional Polls (she lost the House once before!), and my Polls, WAY UP, which was expected,” he tweeted, without citing examples.

He also attacked Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the NSC official who testified about the president’s actions on Ukraine, drawing a furious response from Vindman’s lawyers, who called Trump’s attacks a “campaign of intimidation.”

Later Saturday, Trump also assailed Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) for their votes to convict him, in an echo of attacks he’d leveled against the senators on Friday.

Manchin responded in kind, tweeting: “I’ve read the transcripts thoroughly & listened to the witnesses under oath. Where I come from a person accused defends themselves with witnesses and evidence.”

Trump’s tweeting — totaling more than 40 tweets or retweets sent Saturday — didn’t end there.

The president also retweeted a photograph of himself that showed a darkened layer of makeup on his face as he walked across the White House lawn, which had gone viral online. While the original photograph was in color, Trump tweeted a black and white version of it.

“More Fake News. This was photoshopped, obviously, but the wind was strong and the hair looks good?” Trump said. “Anything to demean!”

[Politico]

Trump justifies firing Alexander Vindman for being “insubordinate”

President Trump tweeted on Saturday morning to explain why he fired national security official Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who had testified before the House Intelligence Committee that the president’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was “improper.”

“I don’t know [Vindman], never spoke to him or met him (I don’t believe!) but, he was very insubordinate, reported contents of my ‘perfect’ calls incorrectly…….and was given a horrendous report by his superior, the man he reported to, who publicly stated that Vindman had problems with judgement, adhering to the chain of command and leaking information. In other words, ‘OUT.'”

Context: Vindman was fired on Friday just before U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland was dismissed. The firings took place two days after Trump was acquitted by the Senate.

  • Trump “expressed deep anger … over the attempt to remove him from office because of his actions toward Ukraine,” the Washington Post writes.

[Axios]

Reality

If any other person in America retaliated against witnesses like Donald Trump is doing, they would be in jail. But today we have a monarch.

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