Trump threatens ‘to get involved’ in manic conspiracy meltdown over ongoing FBI investigation

Out of nowhere — and possibly as a distraction to some upcoming news — President Donald Trump attacked the FBI on Saturday morning by demanding they turn over files on [Rformer FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to outside conservative advocacy group Judicial Watch.

Once again alleging a conspiracy, Trump tweeted, “Why isn’t the FBI giving Andrew McCabe text massages [sic] to Judicial Watch or appropriate governmental authorities. FBI said they won’t give up even one (I may have to get involved, DO NOT DESTROY). What are they hiding? McCabe wife took big campaign dollars from Hillary people.”

He later added, “Will the FBI ever recover it’s once stellar reputation, so badly damaged by Comey, McCabe, Peter S and his lover, the lovely Lisa Page, and other top officials now dismissed or fired? So many of the great men and women of the FBI have been hurt by these clowns and losers!”

You can see screenshots of the original tweets below which were deleted to correct the usual Trump typos:

[Raw Story]

Trump Quotes Dubious Claim From Maria Bartiromo’s Show Slamming Russia Investigation

Sitting in for Neil Cavuto Thursday on Fox News, Maria Bartiromo took on a subject that has become a consistent field of coverage for the business anchor: the supposedly corrupted Russia investigation.

And the president was apparently watching.

Bartiromo, during a discussion on special counsel Robert Mueller probe, made the claim that there was “no evidence whatsoever” to support an investigation into collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia.

“[Rep.] Devin Nunes (R-CA), the chairman of the Intel committee on the House, has been with me several times telling me there was no evidence whatsoever to launch even an investigation into potential collusion between Donald Trump and the Russians. And so here we are a year and a half later, the special counsel still going on, and we continue to see texts from FBI agents showing this incredible amount of bias.”

Trump quoted from the segment on Twitter Friday morning.

The idea that there is no evidence to support a collusion investigation is simply false. As NBC News’ Ken Delanian lays out here, the FBI began investigating the Trump campaign after Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos told an Australian diplomat that Russians offered him dirt on Hillary Clinton. Further, there is extensive documented contact between various individuals connected with Donald Trump’s campaign, and Russia. To say collusion hasn’t yet been proven is entirely fair. The idea that there’s no evidence to start an investigation is not.

[Mediaite]

Trump Suggests FBI Kept Carter Page’s Russia Ties Secret to ‘Spy’ on His Campaign

President Donald Trump suggested that the FBI may have tried to use Carter Page as “an excuse to SPY” on the Trump campaign, as they did not inform the then-candidate about Page’s ties to Russia.

“’Why didn’t the FBI tell President Trump that they had concerns about Carter Page? Is there a double standard here?’” Trump tweeted on Thursday, quoting comments made by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on Fox News.

Trump then jumped in with his on commentary on the matter: “They told Senator Diane Feinstein that she had a spy – but not Trump. Is that entrapment or did they just want to use Page as an excuse to SPY?”

Just days before the election in 2016, the FBI filed a surveillance application on Page that said, “The FBI believes that Page has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government.”

Page responded to the allegations by denying his involvement with the Kremlin.

“I’ve never been an agent of a foreign power by any stretch of the imagination,” the former Trump campaign adviser said.

[Mediaite]

Reality

First, Carter Page left the Trump campaign in September 2016, the FBI sought another FISA warrant in October 2016 after Page left.

Second, the FBI informed Trump the Russians were trying to infiltrate his campaign in July 2016.

Trump is a liar.

President Trump bashes LeBron James over CNN interview: Don Lemon made him ‘look smart’

It seemed inevitable that President Donald Trump would weigh in on LeBron James’ recent interview with CNN’s Don Lemon.

After four days, Trump finally let loose in a Friday night tweet in which he bashed James and said Lemon’s interview made the new Los Angeles Lakers star “look smart.” The president also alluded to preferring Michael Jordan over James.

After four days, Trump finally let loose in a Friday night tweet in which he bashed James and said Lemon’s interview made the new Los Angeles Lakers star “look smart.” The president also alluded to preferring Michael Jordan over James.

James sat down with Lemon for the interview Monday after he cut the ribbon on his foundation’s new I Promise School in his native Akron, Ohio. James spoke at length on the intersection of sports, culture and politics.

James lamented Trump “using sports to kinda divide us, and that’s something that I can’t relate to.”

“Sports has never been something that divides people. It’s always been something that brings someone together,” he said.

James’ recent criticism of the president is not new. He has been an outspoken critic, famously calling Trump a “bum” after he rescinded a White House invitation to the Golden State Warriors this past season.

However, it appears Trump did not always feel that way toward James. In what is now a seemingly regular occurrence, there’s a tweet for that, as they say. In a post from May of 2013, Trump tweeted, “LeBron is a great player and a great guy!”

[USA Today]

Trump Tweets Out Swipe at the Media from Fox News’ Gutfeld: They’re ‘Good News Fire Extinguishers’

President Donald Trump tweeted out a quote from Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld praising Trump and dinging the media earlier tonight.

Gutfeld was mocking media coverage of Trump’s accomplishments, saying, “Donald Trump is the good news conductor… and the media are good news fire extinguishers.”

He said every time there’s good economic news the media nitpicks it. So perhaps it’s no surprise that the President tweeted out the quote.

[Mediaite]

Trump tries to spin Justice Department documents outlining Carter Page’s Russia contacts

President Donald Trump took to Twitter Sunday morning to try and hit back against the Justice Department’s release of documents outlining Carter Page’s contacts with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign.

On Saturday, the Justice Department released a warrant application the FBI had made to get permission to conduct surveillance on Page, a former Trump campaign adviser. The application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, made in October 2016, alleged that Page “has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government.”

The non-redacted portions of the 400-page FISA document make serious claims about Page’s ties to the Russian government. The Justice Department alleges in the documents that the former adviser “has established relationships with Russian government officials, including Russian intelligence officers” and that the “FBI believes the Russian government’s efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election were being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with [Trump’s] campaign.”

“The FBI believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government,” the warrant says. After a redacted line, the document then continues, “undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law. Mr. Page is a former foreign policy adviser to a candidate for U.S. president.”

Trump responded to the documents Sunday morning, relying on his claim of “witch hunt” to describe the investigation into his campaign.

“As usual they are ridiculously heavily redacted but confirm with little doubt that the Department of ‘Justice’ and FBI misled the courts,” Trump tweeted about the FISA documents Sunday. “Witch Hunt Rigged, a Scam!”

In a subsequent tweet, Trump hit back against the Steele dossier, which alleges the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia and that the Russians have compromising information on the now-president. Trump quoted Fox News as saying, “Source #1 [for the FISA warrant] was the (Fake) Dossier. Yes, the Dirty Dossier, paid for by Democrats as a hit piece against Trump, and looking for information that could discredit Candidate #1 Trump. Carter Page was just the foot to surveil the Trump campaign …”

The president then tied the FISA warrant to the outcry sparked by his recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, claiming he “had a GREAT meeting with Putin and the Fake News used every bit of their energy to try and disparage it. So bad for our country!”

Page himself has denied the allegations, describing the FISA application as “spin” and a “complete joke” in an interview Sunday on CNN.

“I’ve never been an agent of a foreign power by any stretch of the imagination,” Page alleged Sunday.

The heavily redacted FISA documents, which enabled the government to surveil Page, were released Saturday after news organizations including the New York Times and USA Today filed lawsuits to obtain them through the Freedom of Information Act. Its release marks the first time a FISA application for surveillance has been released, the Washington Post noted, and such documents are considered to be highly classified.

The application previously made waves in February, as Republicans alleged in a memo that the FBI improperly relied on the dossier compiled by Christopher Steele to obtain the FISA warrant — which Democrats then rebutted in a separate report.

Republicans have previously pointed to the warrant’s reliance on the Steele dossier — which was initially commissioned by a firm that had been contracted by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign — as evidence that the warrant was improperly granted, due to the dossier’s alleged bias. An initial Republican memo about the FISA warrant also claimed that the dossier’s origins were not mentioned in the warrant.

The now-released document, however, does disclose that the “U.S. person” who hired Steele “was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit [Trump’s] campaign,” and added that the FBI believes Steele’s reporting “to be credible.” Some details of the Steele dossier have been corroborated, although the document’s most salacious claims remain unverified.

David Kris, a former assistant attorney general for national security and associate deputy attorney general, wrote in a post for the Lawfare Institute that the page-long footnote dedicated to the potential bias behind the Steele dossier means “there is literally no way the FISA court could have missed it.”

“The FBI gave the court enough information to evaluate Steele’s credibility,” Kris wrote, also noting that the judges who signed off on the FISA applications were all appointed by Republican presidents.

Democrats are pointing to the now-released application as evidence that the FBI’s investigation into Page and the Trump campaign was legitimate. Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement quoted by the Washington Post that the FISA documents “underscore the legitimate concern [the] FBI had about Page’s activities as it was investigating Russia’s interference.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement: “Despite President Trump’s repeated claims, these documents provide clear evidence of ‘Russia’s coordination with Carter Page,’ a high-ranking Trump campaign official, ‘to undermine and improperly and illegally influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.’

“The GOP must cease their attacks on our law enforcement and intelligence communities, and finally decide where their loyalty lies,” Pelosi added.

[Mic]

Trump skipped post-Helsinki intelligence briefing to lie in bed and watch cable news

President Donald Trump skipped a Tuesday intelligence briefing to sit in the White House residence to watch cable news and share his thoughts on Twitter.

MSNBC anchor Katy Tur put on screen one of Trump’s tweets, remarking, “I feel like we are living on Earth One and Earth Two.”

“Katy, you asked if [Trump] had consumed the media coverage,” NBC News Pentagon correspondent Hans Nichols said. “He did not make his way to the West Wing until well after noon today, that gave him plenty of time to digest the media and perhaps watch a little cable TV.”

“And what’s interesting is that he had an intelligence briefing on his schedule yesterday, this morning, the intelligence briefing was no longer there and no reason given for why that changed,” Tur noted.

“Just scrubbed from his schedule,” Nichols noted. “Officially, that was on the schedule, and then it wasn’t — and that is where we stand the now as the president is going to about to try to talk to the press the American people about just what his intentions were with Vladimir Putin.”

In addition to canceling his Presidential Daily Briefing, the commander-in-chief also blew off a planned lunch with Vice President Mike Pence.

[Raw Story]

President Trump blames media for criticism over Putin news conference

The day after his ill-fated news conference with Vladimir Putin drew criticism even from supporters, a defiant President Donald Trump said Tuesday he had a great meeting with the Russian leader and blamed the news media for the poor reception.

“While I had a great meeting with NATO, raising vast amounts of money, I had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia,” Trump tweeted after returning from a weeklong trip to Europe. “Sadly, it is not being reported that way – the Fake News is going Crazy!”

Having watched the president’s performance, lawmakers across the ideological spectrum criticized Trump for taking Putin’s word over that of U.S. intelligence officials who report that Russians interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

Like Trump, the critics showed no signs of backing down.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, said he was glad to see criticism from both parties. A day after saying that Putin probably celebrated the Trump meeting with caviar, Corker called for legislation to counter some of the president’s foreign policy moves, including tariffs on imports.

“As the president taxes Americans with tariffs, he pushes away our allies and further strengthens Putin,” Corker tweeted. “It is time for Congress to step up and take back our authorities.”

During his morning tweet session, Trump also defended the Putin news conference by citing the thoughts of a rare supporter who stuck up for him: Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

“Thank you @RandPaul, you really get it!” Trump tweeted, citing a comment by the Kentucky senator that “the President has gone through a year and a half of totally partisan investigations – what’s he supposed think?”

Paul was one of the few Republicans to defend the president after he accepted Putin’s denials that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, despite the conclusions of U.S. intelligence officials that Russians hacked Democratic officials and pushed fake news to help Trump.

While taking Putin’s side, Trump also condemned the ongoing investigation of Russia as a “disaster” driving a wedge between the United States and Russia.

[USA Today]

Trump thanks Rand Paul for praising his position on Russia

Facing widespread condemnation for his fawning meeting with Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump gave a shout-out to Sen. Paul Rand, who praised him for trying “to prevent us from having World War 3.”

“Thank you @RandPaul, you really get it!” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning, referring to Paul’s interview on “CBS This Morning.”

“‘The President has gone through a year and a half of totally partisan investigations — what’s he supposed think?’” he added, quoting the Kentucky Republican.

“Yes, the vast majority of the foreign policy community, the bipartisan consensus said you shouldn’t meet with Putin,” Paul said.

“They also said he shouldn’t meet with (North Korean leader) Kim (Jong Un) and this is an extraordinary thing about President Trump that should be lauded and not belittled is that he is willing to meet with adversaries to try to prevent us from having World War 3.”

Paul stood by the president’s decision to sit down with the Russian leader, saying that Trump “did a good thing” by meeting with Putin and warned his colleagues that it was a “mistake” to “try to turn this into a partisan escapade.”

The pol also compared Trump’s meeting with Putin to President Ronald Reagan’s summit with Mikhail Gorbachev when he was general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

“CBS This Morning” co-anchor John Dickerson pointed out that, unlike Trump, Reagan had pushed America’s moral objection to the Soviet Union during their summit.

Trump, meanwhile, held both the US and Russia responsible for the sour relationship between the two countries.

Paul countered that the assessment was “not being fair to the president,” citing Reagan’s “evil empire” comments toward the Soviet leader.

“While the rhetoric was strong, you might actually compare that with Trump’s rhetoric in North Korea, it’s been very strong. So I think there’s actually some apt comparisons between Reagan and Trump on the diplomatic front,” he said.

“We have to deal with the world as it is, not as we wish it to be, and if we’re only going to talk to people who have perfect constitutional republics, we’re going to have a very small audience and we’re going to have a lot of potential conflicts with no outlet for diplomacy,” he added.

Meanwhile, Trump also mentioned his “great meeting with NATO.”

“They have paid $33 Billion more and will pay hundreds of Billions of Dollars more in the future, only because of me,” the president tweeted.

“NATO was weak, but now it is strong again (bad for Russia). The media only says I was rude to leaders, never mentions the money!” he added.

After a contentious visit at NATO headquarters in Brussels, the president declared that all the member nations agreed to increase their defense spending.

French President Emmanuel Macron rejected that assertion, citing a 2014 agreement by the countries to increase their share to 2 percent of their gross domestic product in 10 years.

“There was a communiqué released yesterday it was very detailed and I invite you to read it … It shows the measures approved by all the member states. This communiqué is clear, it reaffirms a commitment to 2 percent in 2024. That is all,” Macron said last week.

[New York Post]

Trump defends Russia and NATO meetings with lies after mass outrage

Here’s President Trump’s defense for his NATO and Russia meetings that resulted in pushback for his demands to European allies as well as concerns over his behavior in a press conference with Putin:

“I had a great meeting with NATO. They have paid $33 Billion more and will pay hundreds of Billions of Dollars more in the future, only because of me. NATO was weak, but now it is strong again (bad for Russia). The media only says I was rude to leaders, never mentions the money! … While I had a great meeting with NATO, raising vast amounts of money, I had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia. Sadly, it is not being reported that way – the Fake News is going Crazy

— Trump on Twitter

  • Trump’s argument, which he first explained in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity last night, is that making NATO stronger monetarily hurts Russia, which Trump says proves that he’s tough on Putin. Trump also tries to place the blame on the media, accusing the “Fake News” of distorting reality.
  • But despite Trump’s self-defense, this time, his attacks on allies and friendliness toward Russia has sparked outrage from both parties — including Trump’s friends and allies.

[Axios]

Reality

Emmanuel Macron diplomatically called Trump a liar after he made this claim, citing the fact that no NATO member nation changed their defense spending goals, and pointing to a 2014 agreement signed during the Obama administration for the current spending targets.

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