Trump tries to defend foreign dirt comments by noting he meets with world leaders all the time

President Trump is out with a defense of his foreign dirt comments, and it’s a real doozy.

Trump took to Twitter on Thursday after coming under fire for saying in an interview with ABC that he would accept dirt on an election opponent offered by a foreign government and wouldn’t necessarily alert the FBI.

Amid this firestorm, the president on Twitter suggested that taking dirt from a foreign government and holding meetings with heads of state are basically the same thing, sarcastically asking if he should call the FBI after meeting with Queen Elizabeth II or the Prince of Wales. Trump deleted and reposted the tweet after originally writing “Prince of Whales.”

Trump also complained about his “full answer” not being played on the news while not explaining what context or nuance is supposedly missing. In the interview, George Stephanopoulos specifically asked Trump whether 2020 candidates should accept information on their opponents from foreign governments, and he said that “I think I’d take it” and would only “maybe” go to the FBI if he “thought there was something wrong” while defending this as not being “interference.” ABC’s Meridith McGraw noted on Twitter that the network “did not edit” his answer.

[The Week]

Trump Defends ‘Fake Polls’ Claim: ‘We Are Winning In Every State We Polled’

President Donald Trump explained his dismissal of reports of poor polling numbers on Twitter Wednesday morning during an Oval Office press gaggle. The NY Times reported that Trump told aides to deny internal polling that showed him Trailing to Biden in key states.

When asked by an unidentified reporter about potential concerns about internal polling Trump offered, “we have great internal polling, there were fake polls released by somebody that is — it is ridiculous.”

He then offered insight that runs counter to most every other report, saying “we are winning in every single state that we polled. We’re winning in Texas very big, in Ohio very big, in Florida very big.” He then added, “they were fake polls that were either put out by the corrupt media, much of the media in this country is corrupt.”

Internal White House polling has reportedly confirmed what many other polls have revealed: that in a head-to-head race with many Democratic candidates, Trump comes up with the short end of the stick. As polling numbers have become more commonly reported, it appears that Trump is pushing back in an effort to diminish their impact.

Trump reopened a new front in his attacks on American institutions when he derided the very political polling that he reportedly told staffers to lie about. Trump tweeted:

If this anti-polling rhetoric seems familiar from Trump, he hit a similar note in the days just before the midterm elections of 2018

[Mediaite]

Trump Fumes After Watching MSNBC, Takes Aim at Parent Company: ‘Such Lies’

President Donald Trump continues to not be a fan of MSNBC programming, arguing tonight that “almost everything they were saying was the opposite of the truth” after watching today.

“Fake News!” the president tweeted, saying he was watching MSNBC in the morning “just to see what the opposition was saying about events of the past week.”

“The hatred Comcast has is amazing!” Trump said, criticizing MSNBC and NBC’s parent company.

Before becoming president, Trump hosted The Apprentice which aired on NBC. The company cut ties with Trump shortly after he declared his candidacy for the presidency.

[Mediaite]

Trump Lashes Out at ‘Washed Up Psycho’ Bette Midler for Sharing Fake Quote

President Donald Trump sounded off on Twitter Tuesday, calling Bette Midler a “washed up psycho” and “sick scammer” after she apologized for sharing a fake quote attributed to him online.

“Washed up psycho @BetteMidler was forced to apologize for a statement she attributed to me that turned out to be totally fabricated by her in order to make ‘your great president’ look really bad. She got caught, just like the Fake News Media gets caught. A sick scammer!” he tweeted. Currently on a state visit to the U.K., he sent the tweet at 1:30 a.m. London time.

On Sunday, the actress had shared a fabricated quotation that appeared to be from Trump in a made-up interview with People Magazine in 1998. “If I were to run, I’d run as a Republican. They’re the dumbest group of voters in the country. They love anything on Fox News. I could lie and they’d still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific,” the quote read. She captioned the tweet, “He certainly knew his crowd.”

Midler deleted the post on Monday and apologized, saying “It sounds so much like him that I believed it was true!”

This isn’t the first time Trump has tweeted about Midler. In a tweet from 2012, he said, “While @BetteMidler is an extremely unattractive woman, I refuse to say that because I always insist on being politically correct.” In another tweet from the same year, he claimed to never have liked her persona or singing and hadn’t heard her name in years. He doubled down on that point in 2014, saying she “sucked” during her performance at the Academy Awards.

[Variety]

Trump Calls U.K. Protests ‘Fake News’, Claims There Were ‘Thousands of People in the Streets’ Cheering Him

President Donald Trump claimed there were throngs of “thousands” cheering him during his UK visit, and called reports of protests “fake news.”

At a joint press conference with outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May in London Tuesday, Trump was asked about the massive protests taking place during his current trip. Despite evidence to the contrary, Trump insisted those protests were “fake news.”

“As far as the protests, I have to tell you, because I commented on it yesterday,” Trump said, referring to his tweets on the subject.

“We left the prime minister, the Queen, the Royal family, there were thousands of people in the streets cheering,” Trump said. “And even coming over today, there were thousands of people cheering, and then I heard that they were protesting.”

“I said ‘Where are the protests? I don’t see any protests,’” Trump insisted. “I did see a small protest today when I came, very small, so a lot of it is fake news, I hate to say.”

“But you saw the people waving the American flag, waving your flag, it was tremendous spirit and love,” Trump continued. “There was great love, it was an alliance. And I didn’t see their protests until just a little while ago, and it was a very very small group of people put in for political reasons. So it was fake news. Thank you.”

[Mediaite]

Reality

Trump Marks UK Arrival By Calling for Boycott of AT&T to ‘Force Changes’ With CNN’s ‘Fake News’

President Donald Trump has just arrived in the United Kingdom for a multi-day diplomatic visit to America’s longest and strongest ally, and what is his first message upon arrival? What else — the blaming of CNN’s coverage and questioning of their new corporate owner, AT&T.

Trump tweeted:

Shortly after he followed with a strong suggestion of boycotting AT&T because of CNN’s coverage:

What was happening on CNN just before Trump tweeted? A deep dive segment into Trump’s denial of calling Meghan Markle “nasty” despite audio existing in which he clearly says of Prince Harry’s wife “I didn’t know that she was nasty.”

NY Times reporter Maggie Haberman was featured in this segment from London, and mere minutes before Trump fired the anti-CNN salvo, she offered this analysis of the “nasty” dust-up:

This is a classic of the Donald Trump genre. He’ll say something that could be interpreted in two ways. He could say she’s personally nasty or her comments were nasty. He wasn’t clear. Instead of owning it he torches anyone who notes it and says he didn’t do it in the first place. Then people talk past each other as to what he meant. He clearly said it. He was responding to something she had said two and a half years ago that he appeared surprised by. He did use the word nasty. He has a habit of saying that things didn’t happen when there isn’t audio or video. Sometimes he does it when there is.

[Mediaite]

Trump says Russia helped elect him – then quickly backtracks

Donald Trump has denied that Russia helped elect him president, less than an hour after he admitted Russia did help to elect him president.

In a flurry of tweets lashing out at people and concepts including the special counsel Robert Mueller, “fake news media” and “this phony crime”, Trump, for the first time, said Russia aided his 2016 presidential win.

“Russia, Russia, Russia!” the president tweeted on Thursday morning.

“That’s all you heard at the beginning of this Witch Hunt Hoax. And now Russia has disappeared because I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected.”

For a president who has previously denied Russia interfered in the 2016 election at all – despite the conclusions of US intelligence agencies – the admission of Russian help was startling.

But soon after Trump’s statement, he made a prompt about-turn.

“Russia did not help me get elected. You know who got me elected? You know who got me elected? I got me elected. Russia did not help me at all,” Trump said during a White House press conference.

On Wednesday Mueller said his two-year investigation had “established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome”.

Mueller’s report states that “the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion”.

The report also detailed 11 instances of potential obstruction of justice by Trump and his campaign. Mueller has said charging Trump with a crime was “not an option we could consider”, because of justice department policy.

Mueller added: “If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that.”

Trump was en route to Colorado on Thursday morning, to address a graduation ceremony for the US air force academy.

[The Guardian]

Trump fumes after NYT reports on his banking history

President Trump on Monday lashed out at the New York Times after the paper reported that anti-money-laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank flagged multiple transactions involving him and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in 2016 and 2017, and recommended they be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog.

Deutsche Bank executives rejected their employees’ advice, the Times said, and the suspicious transactions were never reported.

Trump, though, did not respond to that part of the report. The president, instead, fixated on the newspaper’s assertion that unlike Deutsch Bank, “most Wall Street banks had stopped doing business with him.”

“The Failing New York Times (it will pass away when I leave office in 6 years), and others of the Fake News Media, keep writing phony stories about how I didn’t use many banks because they didn’t want to do business with me,” Trump tweeted. “WRONG! It is because I didn’t need money. Very old fashioned, but true. When you don’t need or want money, you don’t need or want banks. Banks have always been available to me, they want to make money.”

The president accused the Times, without evidence, of using made-up sources in an effort to “disparage” him. He then repeated a familiar attack line (“FAKE NEWS is actually the biggest story of all and is the true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”) before returning to his Twitter tirade about the report.

“Now the new big story is that Trump made a lot of money and buys everything for cash, he doesn’t need banks,” the president continued. “But where did he get all of that cash? Could it be Russia? No, I built a great business and don’t need banks, but if I did they would be there.”

“DeutscheBank was very good and highly professional to deal with – and if for any reason I didn’t like them, I would have gone elsewhere,” Trump added. “There was always plenty of money around and banks to choose from. They would be very happy to take my money. Fake News!”

The president was tweeting so furiously, it seems, he missed a pair of missives.

“Two Tweets missing from last batch, probably a Twitter error,” Trump tweeted. “No time for a redo! Only the Dems get redos!”

That tweet was quickly deleted. It was unclear what the issue was.

Trump’s reaction to scrutiny of his relationship with Deutsche Bank comes amid efforts by Congress to get ahold of his tax and bank records.

Last month, the House Intelligence and Financial Services committees subpoenaed the German bank for documents related to any suspicious activities detected in Trump’s personal and business bank accounts since 2010.

Trump and his family then sued Deutsche Bank in an attempt to block it from sharing the documents. Although Trump once promised to publicly release his tax returns, he has refused to do so, claiming he is under audit.

Earlier this month, the Times obtained Trump’s tax returns from 1985 to 1994 showing his businesses lost more than $1 billion during that timespan.

[Yahoo News]

Trump: “I didn’t call Bob Costa!!! I called Bob Costa!!!”

President Donald Trump responded to a couple of throwaway lines by MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson with a furious denial that accidentally confirmed the comment he was initially pushing back against.

The president again spent the morning Wednesday tweeting in apparent response to reports he was watching on TV, as he’s done all week, and seemed to have been angered by remarks Jackson made in passing during a discussion of a Washington Post report.

“The president called up the friend of our show Bob Costa overnight on an unrelated topic,” Jackson said, “and Bob smartly asked him about all of these subpoenas that House Democrats are issuing against the Trump administration, and the president made the argument to the Post, ‘Hey, I cooperated plenty with Robert Mueller, what do I have to cooperate with Congress for?”

Jackson had introduced the segment by pointing out that the president had called Costa, the Post reporter, and Trump responded about five minutes later with an angry denial that also confirmed the broadcaster’s account about who had initiated the call.

[Raw Story]

Trump bashes ‘Morning Joe,’ cable networks for ratings dip after Mueller conclusion

President Donald Trump chided the MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Thursday for ratings that he claimed have dropped in the wake of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to the attorney general, crowing that “fake news never wins.”

Mueller, charged with investigating allegations of collusion between the president’s 2016 campaign and the Russian government, delivered to the Justice Department last week a report that said his team was unable to establish that such collusion occurred. Mueller wrote in his report that he was unable to conclude whether Trump obstructed justice, although Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote in their summary it was their conclusion that the president was innocent of those allegations as well.

“Wow, ratings for ‘Morning Joe,’ which were really bad in the first place, just ‘tanked’ with the release of the Mueller Report,” Trump tweeted about the show — hosted by two of his former friends, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski — where he was once a regular guest. “Likewise, other shows on MSNBC and CNN have gone down by as much as 50%. Just shows, Fake News never wins!”

The former reality TV star frequently harps on ratings, often praising friendly networks like Fox News while pouncing on CNN and MSNBC for their less flattering coverage of him when their ratings dip.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that MSNBC programs saw their ratings plunge after Barr’s announcement. Ratings for host Rachel Maddow’s show, on which the Russia investigation earned breathless coverage nearly every night, dipped 19 percent from their average for the year the night after Barr made his announcement. The next night, her ratings fell slightly once again.

On Fox, meanwhile, Maddow’s time slot competitor Sean Hannity saw his ratings go up by 32 percent over his average. Hannity, a close friend of Trump and one of his greatest media allies, interviewed the president at length on Wednesday’s show.

Maddow had only recently overtaken Hannity in the ratings fight for the first time, likely buoyed at least in part by her relentless focus on the Mueller investigation. Cable news ratings are prone to news-related dips, as viewers are more likely to tune in when there are developments that align with their political views and less likely to tune in for less favorable developments.

Trump and his aides have pummeled the media for its coverage of the Russia investigation in the wake of Barr’s letter to lawmakers about Mueller’s findings. Earlier Thursday, the president tweeted that media outlets “have ZERO credibility or respect” as a result of their Russia probe coverage and have “never been more corrupt” than in this point in time.

On Monday, his reelection campaign sent out a memo to TV producers urging them to think twice before having certain guests on who had asserted there was a strong likelihood that Trump or his campaign conspired with Russian operatives in the 2016 presidential election.

Barr’s summary of the Mueller report, released Sunday, has prompted a wave of hand-wringing across the media universe, though many in the media have been quick to point out that much of the reporting done on Trump’s ties to Russia over the past two years has been borne out by developments in Mueller’s investigation.

[Politico]

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