Trump Says Florida Students Should Have Done More To Prevent Deadly Shooting

President Donald Trump on Thursday responded to the massacre at a South Florida high school by suggesting students and the surrounding community could have done more to prevent the attack.

At least 17 people were killed and 15 injured after a troubled former student opened fire on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday, police said. Nikolas Cruz, 19, had been expelled from the school the previous year for “disciplinary reasons,” and many of his former classmates told media on Wednesday that he displayed problematic behavior.

“Honestly a lot of people were saying it was going to be him,” one student told CBS Miami. “We actually, a lot of kids threw jokes around like that, saying that he’s the one to shoot up the school, but it turns out everyone predicted it. It’s crazy.”

A former teacher, Jim Gard, told the Miami Herald that Cruz reportedly wasn’t allowed to carry a backpack on the school campus, and that “there were problems with him last year threatening students.”

Contrary to Trump’s tweet, it does appear that authorities were aware of Cruz’s behavior before the attack. A former neighbor told The New York Times that Cruz’s late mother called the police on her two sons on multiple occasions, though she stressed that she didn’t think the boys were violent. Broward County Mayor Beam Furr told CNN that Cruz had been treated at a mental health clinic in the past and  was somewhat on officials’ radar.

“It wasn’t like there wasn’t concern for him,” Furr said.

Trump’s tweet failed to acknowledge the role that Florida’s lax gun laws played in the shooting. Barring institutionalization, it’s extremely difficult to keep someone with a history of mental illness from buying a gun in Florida. The accused killer legally purchased the AR-15-style rifle used in the slaughter, his family’s attorney said.
The president also ignored the fact that he actually made it easier for people with mental health issues to buy guns by revoking an Obama-era gun regulation last year.

[Huffington Post]

Trump escalates ‘rigged system’ rhetoric amid Russia probe

President Donald Trump’s escalating assault on the “rigged” and “sick” institutions of the government that he leads may portend an ominous end game to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Trump’s blast at a campaign rally on Friday night followed a week of rising attacks on Mueller and the FBI from pro-Trump media outlets and personalities and prominent conservatives in Congress.

The President did not name Mueller at the boisterous event in Pensacola, Florida, avoiding specific attacks on the probe after a flurry of furious tweets last weekend may have deepened his political and legal exposure.

But he enriched his building narrative that unnamed forces within the US government were thwarting his administration, just days after unloading on the FBI on Twitter, when he said the bureau’s reputation was in “tatters.”

“This is a rigged system. This is a sick system from the inside. And, you know, there is no country like our country but we have a lot of sickness in some of our institutions,” Trump told the crowd in Florida.

Not the first time

It is not the first time that Trump has made such arguments — he complained against the “rigged” system during last year’s election in a gambit seen at the time as a face-saving hedge against a possible loss to Hillary Clinton.

But the context has changed. Trump is now the head of the government that he is accusing of conspiring against him politically. Therefore, his attacks against US government institutions, including the FBI, but which have also included the wider intelligence community and the judiciary are far more polarizing politically and risk causing long-term damage to already fragile trust in government.

They could even have constitutional implications since Trump is attacking the very system set up to constrain presidential power and to ensure integrity at the pinnacle of US government.

The timing of the assault is unlikely to be an accident.

The new intensity in attacks against Mueller and the FBI followed the plea deal reached by fired national security adviser Michael Flynn last week, that could see him testify against key figures in the President’s inner circle.

Trump responded to the rising threat by suggesting that there was something corrupt in a system that indicted Flynn but did not prosecute his former election rival over her email server.

“So General Flynn lies to the FBI and his life is destroyed, while Crooked Hillary Clinton, on that now famous FBI holiday ‘interrogation’ with no swearing in and no recording, lies many times…and nothing happens to her?” Trump tweeted. “Rigged system, or just a double standard?”

Trump’s return to the “rigged” system rhetoric reflects his consistent political strategy of seeking enemies against which to define himself. It also plays into the suspicions of his supporters by casting himself as a outsider innocent of wrongdoing who is being persecuted by an elite establishment which has gamed Washington power for itself.
But it also has serious implications for the Mueller probe.

It’s possible that the former FBI director concludes that there was no evidence of collusion by the Trump campaign during the election, and the President did not obstruct justice in the firing of his successor at the bureau James Comey.

But given the Flynn plea deal, it appears clear he has bigger targets than the former national security adviser in his sights.

In that light, attacks by Trump and the GOP on Mueller and the bureau could be an attempt to discredit any eventual conclusions that Mueller might deliver to Congress — be they favorable or unfavorable to the President.

The simultaneous political and media campaign against Mueller, meanwhile, is raising concerns that the President has embarked on an attempt to solidify his political base and frame a political rationale for supporters in Congress to oppose any eventual move toward impeachment. The idea would be that if the system of legal accountability represented by Mueller and the FBI is “rigged” and “sick,” it cannot be trusted to deliver a fair verdict on the President, a conceit that has staggering political implications.

[CNN]

Media

Watch at CNN.com

Donald Trump Takes His 4th Vacation in 6 Weeks

President Donald Trump returns to South Florida again Friday and will stay at his Mar-A-Lago estate in Palm Beach.

Trump arrived in Orlando at 1:08 p.m. and was greeted by Gov. Rick Scott. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and Education Secretary Betty DeVos were on Air Force One, along with Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka, according to the press pool report.

Trump visited Orlando to tour Saint Andrew Catholic School, where he visited a fourth-grade class. Scott, who campaigned on expanding school choices for parents, and Rubio joined Trump at the school.

Students gave Trump hand-drawn cards celebrating Florida’s birthday.

Trump beckoned two students who had welcomed him to pose for a picture, and told them, “We’re going to make you famous, OK?”

(h/t The Miami Herald)

Trump Cited a Nonexistent Incident in Sweden

President Donald Trump cited a nonexistent incident in Sweden while talking about the relationship between terror attacks and refugees around the world during a rally in Melbourne, Florida, on Saturday.

“You look at what’s happening in Germany. You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden … Sweden … who would believe this? Sweden, they took in large numbers, they are having problems like they never thought possible. You look at what’s happening Brussels, you look at what’s happening all over the world,” Trump said.

No incident occurred in Sweden on Friday night.

However, Fox News host Tucker Carlson ran an interview on Friday night’s broadcast of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” with documentarian and media personality Ami Horowitz, who presented a clip from a new film documenting alleged violence committed by refugees in Sweden. The segment went on extensively about a supposed crime surge in Sweden and its links to immigrant populations.

Crime rates in Sweden have stayed relatively stable, with some fluctuations, over the last decade, according to the 2016 Swedish Crime Survey.

This isn’t the first time that there has been a correlation between Trump’s statements and programming on cable news, of which he is a noted fan.

In late January, Trump tweeted about gun violence in Chicago shortly after after an “O’Reilly Factor” segment on the same topic, which cited the same statistics and even used the word “carnage,” a recent favorite noun of Trump’s.

In February, Trump declared in a tweet that he was calling “my own shots” in his administration shortly after MSNBC “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough asked on air whether Trump’s chief White House strategist, Steve Bannon, was “calling the shots” in the White House.

(h/t Business Insider)

Media

Trump Taunts NBC Reporter From Podium at Florida Rally

Donald Trump went on a lengthy tirade against the media during a Wednesday rally, capping it off with him calling out an NBC reporter by name at the Miami event.

The Republican nominee helped spark loud “CNN sucks” chants at the rally before targeting NBC’s Katy Tur. She has been a favorite punching bag of his when criticizing the mainstream media, as he has called her called her out in press conferences and events.

“We have massive crowds,” Trump said. “There’s something happening. They’re not reporting it.”

“You’re not reporting it, Katy,” he continued, pointing at Tur. “There’s something happening, Katy. There’s something happening, Katy.”

Members of the media at the event said on Twitter that many in the audience turned and targeted Tur with an onslaught of boos:

Reality

The last time Mr. Trump assailed her by name, Katy Tur had to be escorted out of the rally and to her car by the Secret Service because the fervor he created became too dangerous for her.

In the same press conference where Trump asked Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails, he blasted Katy Tur after she asked a series of questions, telling her to “be quiet.”

And finally, after four months of Trump bragging at rallies of his $1 million dollar donation to veteran charities, journalists uncovered the fact that Trump never donated any money and was lying the entire time. Donald Trump held a press conference to personally attack members of the media including Tur, calling her a “third-rate journalist.”

Media

Bloomberg Video

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:

Trump Violated Political Donation Rules With Bribe to Florida Attorney General

Donald Trump paid a $2,500 fine to the IRS this year after it was discovered that the mogul’s namesake charity had illegally made a $25,000 political contribution, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.

The Donald J. Trump Foundation gave the money to a group called “Justice for All,” which was supporting Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s campaign. At the time, Bondi was weighing whether to pursue an investigation into allegations of fraud that had been leveled against Trump University. She eventually declined to bring charges.

The Post had discovered that in their 2013 tax filings, the charity did not list the contribution to the Florida group, but instead showed a $25,000 contribution to a charity in Kansas with a similar name — which it never made.

The Trump foundation also answered no when the form asked if it had made any political contributions that year.

“It was just an honest mistake,” Jeffrey McConney, a senior vice president at the Trump Organization, told the Post. “It wasn’t done intentionally to hide a political donation, it was just an error.”

Trump later reimbursed his foundation for the contribution out of his personal account, which his employees say is more typically used to make such political donations.

(h/t The Hill)

Reality

On Sept. 14, 2013, the Sentinel quoted a spokeswoman for Bondi who said that Florida’s attorney general was studying the New York lawsuit to see whether she wanted to take action in Florida as well.

Three days later, on Sept. 17, 2013, Trump’s foundation cut a $25,000 check to a committee associated with Bondi’s campaign. It was one of the largest checks that her “And Justice for All” PAC had received.

Bondi soon dropped her investigation, citing insufficient grounds to proceed.

This was clearly a bribe.

Trump Whines That “Lowest Form of Life” Journalists Report on What He Says

Donald Trump has increasingly organized his general-election effort around antagonizing the press. He dedicates long sections of his speeches and innumerable tweets to savaging individual outlets, and claiming that media bias could effectively “rig” the election for Hillary Clinton.

At times, his enthusiasm for venting anger about the news media has seemed to rival his interest in criticizing Mrs. Clinton. In Erie, Pa., on Friday, Mr. Trump swerved back and forth between attacks on Mrs. Clinton and an extended airing of grievances about the press.

The news media, he said, was determined to cover up Mrs. Clinton’s missteps and highlight his own. (Mr. Trump allowed that Fox News, home to several anchors who openly favor his candidacy, was an exception.)

“These people are the lowest form of life, I’m telling you,” he said, pointing at the journalists covering his rally. “They are the lowest form of humanity.”

In Altoona, Pa., on Friday evening, Mr. Trump continued his diatribe: “It is so ridiculous, the pile on,” he complained of the coverage of his campaign. “Every single day, story after story after story.”

Mr. Trump’s crowd-pleasing allegations of news media malevolence also serve a tactical purpose: Providing him license to revise or play down his remarks. After stating several times this week that he considered Mr. Obama to be the founder of the Islamic State, Mr. Trump reversed course on Friday with a declaration that he had only been speaking sarcastically and that the press simply did not understand.

In Pennsylvania, he reiterated that he had been sarcastic, but added: “Not that sarcastic, to be honest with you.”

Republicans often complain about the national news media, arguing that most reporters and publications are tilted against them. In the 1992 presidential race, Republicans even produced a bumper sticker urging voters to “annoy the media” by re-electing President George Bush. And in his 2016 primary campaign, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida accused the press of being the equivalent of a “super PAC” for Democrats.

On the Democratic side, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont fulminated this year about the “corporate media,” which he described as hostile to liberal ideals. And aides and supporters of Mrs. Clinton routinely complain that reporters treat her unfairly.

But the Trump campaign has made accusations of news media bias a pervasive theme, and has attacked publications and reporters with virulence. Since last year, Mr. Trump has made a practice of riling up his crowds with mockery of the media, often pointing to the press risers and describing reporters as dishonest.

In Erie on Friday, his audience jeered each time Mr. Trump mentioned a news outlet, and at one point many in the crowd turned their backs on him to face the press and express their contempt with a variety of shouts and gestures. “Dinosaur media is failing!” one man yelled.

Mr. Trump’s slashing attacks have generated embarrassing scenes for his campaign, as agitated Trump fans have acted on his goading. On Thursday night, video circulated widely online of an angry Trump supporter berating reporters and making an obscene gesture in their direction in Kissimmee, Fla. In one instance during the primaries, Katy Tur, a reporter for NBC News, reported she was escorted to her car by the Secret Service after a rally in which Mr. Trump assailed her by name.

If bashing the media proved an effective way of rallying the Republican base to his side during the primaries, Mr. Trump must now prove himself to a broader community of voters in the general election, who are far less preoccupied with the notion of press bias. Republican strategists see Mr. Trump’s offensive mainly as an exercise in thin-skinned defensiveness, rather than a shrewd political strategy.

Kevin Madden, a former spokesman for Mitt Romney’s and George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns, said Mr. Trump was veering away from issues actually weighing on swing voters, which he said were “economy and security-focused.”

“Whining about media coverage is just that: It’s whining,” Mr. Madden said. Of complaints, Mr. Madden said: “Any campaign that tells you it makes a difference with swing voters is just lying to themselves and lazy, because it’s easier than developing an actual strategy or message.”

(h/t New York Times)

Media

Kissimmee , FL – 8/11/2016

Erie, PA – 8/12/2016

Altoona, PA – 8/12/2016

 

Trump: I’m Not a Big Believer in Man-Made Climate Change

In the wide-ranging interview with the Miami Herald which focused on key South Florida issues, Trump continued to question climate change caused by humans.

Trump spoke to the Herald at the Fontainebleau Hotel, steps from the shoreline and not far from streets the city of Miami Beach has spent millions of dollars elevating to fend off rising seas.

“I’m not a big believer in man-made climate change,” Trump said, despite vast scientific evidence to the contrary. “There could be some impact, but I don’t believe it’s a devastating impact.”

In the past, Trump has called climate change a “hoax.”

“I would say that it goes up, it goes down,” he said. “Certainly climate has changed. … The problem we have is our businesses are suffering. Our businesses are unable to compete in this country because other countries aren’t being forced to do what our businesses are being forced to do, and it makes us uncompetitive.”

If cities like Miami Beach want to set local rules to fight the effects of rising seas, though, Trump said he wouldn’t get in their way.

“If the local government feels that way, they should do it,” he said. “If they’re doing the roads, and if they want to make them higher, I think that’s probably not the worst thing I’ve ever heard, if you’re going to do them anyway.”

Reality

There is nothing in the scientific literature that can back up Donald Trump’s claim. On the contrary there is overwhelming scientific evidence that carbon dioxide [CO2] is a pollutant.

For anyone who disagrees with the empirical evidence that CO2 is a pollutant ask yourself; Would you ever think it is safe to breath in the exhaust from your car for an extended period of time? (Prius and Tesla owners pretend you have a Chevy.) You absolutely wouldn’t because tragically hundreds of people die each year from carbon monoxide [CO] poisoning. Along with carbon monoxide, cars release carbon dioxide [CO2], hydrocarbons [HC], nitrogen oxides [NOx], and other particulates which are all pollutants, have proven contributions to climate change, and are harmful to your health.

Science has been aware for over 150 years that carbon in the atmosphere will retain heat. The year was 1859 to be exact, and it was scientist John Tyndall who made the discovery that carbon in the atmosphere trapped heat. Then in 1896 Svante Arrhenius calculated that, based on this simple principle of physics, higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere would raise global temperatures. These discoveries are the cornerstones of climate science, in 150 years have yet to be disputed, and instead continues to be confirmed by observation.

To explain further, the science, in short, says the following. CO2 lets through short wave light, the kind that passes through our atmosphere, but traps long wave radiation, the kind that is reflected and travels back into space. This experiment can be done in a laboratory, and should you have the time you could see it for yourself.

The site at this link has compiled a list of just a handful of the published scientific papers of laboratory measurements of CO2 absorption properties, ranging from 1861 all the way up to 2008. Knowing this evidence, scientist reached a consensus a long time ago that CO2 is indeed a contributor to global warming.

Just to reiterate here, Donald Trump’s acceptance of science predates the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, the American Civil War, and the First Transcontinental Railroad. This is the equivalent trying to attack a state-of-the-art military drone with a Civil War era musket.

Trump Claims Obama and Clinton Founded ISIS, Which Formed in 1999

Donald Trump said Wednesday that President Obama “founded” the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“ISIS is honoring President Obama,” he said during a rally in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “He’s the founder of ISIS. He founded ISIS.”

“I would say the co-founder would be ‘Crooked’ Hillary Clinton,” Trump added of Obama’s former secretary of State and his Democratic rival.

(h/t The Hill)

Reality

Donald Trump has a habit of repeating or starting untruthful conspiracy theories.

A quick history lesson, ISIS was formed in 1999 and greatly expanded in 2003 by former members of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party who were out of a job after the George W. Bush-lead invasion of Iraq, which was based on faulty evidence.

In 1999, Hillary Clinton was too busy celebrating with her husband, President Bill Clinton, with a victory over impeachment hearings, while Barack Obama was busy teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School while serving in the Illinois State Senate.

In 2003 at the start of the invasion, Barack Obama was still an Illinois State Senator and Hillary Clinton was still a junior Senator of New York.

Neither founded or was in a position to create an Islamic State back in 1999.

Media

1 2 3