Protesters Escorted Out of Trump Rally in Tampa

President Donald Trump‘s rally in Tampa tonight was briefly disrupted by two protesters.

Rallygoers booed and cameras picked up the protesters being escorted out of the venue.

The President briefly riffed and said, “One person. And tomorrow the headlines will be MASSIVE PROTEST.”

[Mediaite]

Trump says ‘polls are fake’ before bragging about poll showing his popularity

President Trump declared during a rally in Florida on Tuesday night that “polls are fake” before bragging about a poll that he claims found he is the most popular Republican president since Abraham Lincoln.

Trump at the campaign-style rally first accused the news media of suppressing polls that indicate positive numbers about his presidency.

“Polls are fake, just like everything else,” Trump declared during the rally in Tampa, echoing his attacks on “fake news.”

He said if the “fake news” did a poll, they would report only 25 percent of Americans have 401(k) accounts, though the correct number is around 44 percent.

He paused, then launched into a tirade about the poll that he says indicates his popularity as a Republican president.

“They just came out with a poll – the most popular person in the history of the Republican Party is Trump! Can you believe that?” he said.

“So I said, does that include Honest Abe Lincoln? He was pretty good, huh?” he continued.

It is unclear which poll Trump is referring to for his claim, which he has repeated several times in recent weeks.

While Trump’s overall approval has remained well below his predecessors, a Gallup poll released in July found that 90 percent of Republicans approved of Trump, which would make him one of the most popular modern presidents with his own party during his first term.

Still, former President George W. Bush had a higher approval rating among Republicans after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, according to the poll, which stretches back to the Eisenhower administration.

[The Hill]

Media

Trump claims picture ID is required to buy groceries

President Trump on Tuesday made the claim that a photo ID is required to buy groceries as part of his argument for introducing stricter voter ID laws.

“You know if you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card,” he said. “You need ID.”

The president made the comment while speaking at a campaign rally in Florida in support of GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis’s gubernatorial bid. It came as he was pushing for stronger voter ID laws, pointing to other instances where an American would need to show identification.

[The Hill]

Media

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.

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