Ex-Trump Official to Fox & Friends: Dems Don’t Want Wall Because Illegal Immigration Helps Them Politically

Former Trump official Michael Anton baselessly claimed on Fox & Friends that Democrats are in favor of illegal immigration because changing demographics help them politically.

Fox & Friends‘ Brian Kilmeade interviewed Anton — who left the White House earlier this year — about the battle to avoid a government shutdown, and President Donald Trump‘s request for $5 billion to fund his border wall. Democrats have rejected that request, instead offering $1.6 billion for border security.

Kilmeade asked Anton if Trump has “any leverage over Chuck and Nancy” to get his wall funded, to which Anton replied: “He has the American people’s public opinion on his side, he won the election largely on this issue.” (Note: A recent poll found most Americans think Trump should compromise on his border wall.)

Anton went on to baselessly suggest that Democrats don’t want security on the border because illegal immigration helps them politically:

“They don’t want a wall, they don’t want greater security, and they really don’t care about the consequences,” he said. “Because for them, the consequence is the more immigrants come in, the more the demographic change there is in the United States of America, the more that benefits Democratic politicians. And that’s what they care about the most.”

No pushback from Kilmeade.

[Mediaite]

Donald Trump Tweets: No “Smocking” Gun Tying His Campaign To Russia

Monday morning and President Donald Trump is tweeting – this time cribbing from Fox News’ morning talk about Democrats’ inability to find a “smocking gun.”

“Democrats can’t find a Smocking Gun tying the Trump campaign to Russia after James Comey’s testimony,” Trump tweeted, in re GOP-ers in House Judiciary Committee having hauled Comey back in for a day’s worth of grilling, mostly about Hillary Clinton’s emails according to Comey, talking to reporters at end of Friday. Transcript to come.

“No Smocking Gun…No Collusion,” Trump boasted in his early morning tweeting.

“That’s because there was NO COLLUSION. So now the Dems go to a simple private transaction, wrongly calling it a campaign contribution…which it was not (but even if it was, it is only a CIVIL CASE, like Obama’s – but it was done correctly by a lawyer and there would not even be a fine. Lawyer’s liability if he made a mistake, not me).

[Deadline]

Reality

A brief moment on Monday’s Fox and Friends First was the catalyst for an early-morning tweet from President Trump.

This is an amazing admission of guilt, and an amazing misspelling of “smoking” twice, but let’s also walk through the lies in this tweet.

First, James Comey testified in a closed door session a few days prior on the demands of House Republicans, who pulled him in to ask questions about Hillary Clinton and her use of a private email server. An obvious ploy to change the national conversation away from Trump by Republicans… not Democrats.

And second, a lawyer for the Department of Justice accompanied Comey to the hearing and any time a Republican Congressman asked him questions prying into the Robert Mueller probe, the lawyer instructed Comey he couldn’t comment about an ongoing investigation.

So Republicans and Fox News framed this very basic understanding of our justice system to their their viewers as “James Comey refused to answer questions.”

 

Sarah Sanders Suggests Negative Coverage of Trump Partly to Blame for Bomb Scares

On Fox and Friends on Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders spoke about President Trump‘s rally last night and the many devices and suspicious packages mailed to prominent administration critics and foes this week. Sanders said that the media is partly to blame for the events.

Host Brian Kilmeade first noted that there were additional targets, including Robert de Niro and Joe Biden, noting both are critics of Trump, and co-host Steve Doocy brought up the President’s tweet from this morning in which he placed blame on “fake news.”

Sanders first replied to Kilmeade that the administration condemns “violence in all forms”, calling the situation a “despicable act”. She answered Doocy by agreeing with the President.

“Certainly the media has a role to play in this process,” she said. “When 90% of the coverage about this president is negative, despite the historic successes, when ideas are perpetuated and continued of negativity that is not helpful for the American discourse. And Certainly the president is calling on everyone to come together and if you have a problem with one another, let’s voice that but let’s do so peacefully and let’s do that at the ballot box.”

Co-host Ainsley Earhardt then brought up the shooting of Republicans at a softball game just over a year ago in a politically motivated attack by a man who hated Trump and the GOP, as well as the incidents of enraged citizens confronting administration officials with their families in restaurants.

“We saw what happened to Steve Scalise where he was shot. We saw what happened to you and your family in the restaurant. We have Maxine waters that is calling for people to get into the face of folks in the administration they don’t agree with. Hillary Clinton says we won’t be civil until Democrats are in power,” said Earhardt. “Not just saying it is Democrats but it is on both sides but is this a good reminder to us we all need to take a step back? We can disagree about politics, but is this pretty scary to you, we’re seeing more and more violence and threats?”

“Absolutely,” said Sanders. “As the president said yesterday, political violence has no place in our country, and it is certainly something that we won’t tolerate, we won’t stand we’ll continue to condemn it.”

This month the President praised the body-slamming of a reporter, and has repeatedly demonized the press as not only “fake news” but as the “enemy of the people”. One of the bombs in the mail on Wednesday was delivered to CNN.

A Harvard study in 2017 found that most coverage of the Trump administration is negative, but did not also find that most of that coverage was inaccurate.

[Mediaite]

Trump: ‘I am bringing out the military’ to stop border crossings

President Trump said in an early morning tweet on Thursday that he is “bringing out the military” to secure the border with Mexico, calling it a “National Emergency.”

“Brandon Judd of the National Border Patrol Council is right when he says on @foxandfriends that the Democrat inspired laws make it tough for us to stop people at the Border,” Trump tweeted. “MUST BE CHANDED [sic], but I am bringing out the military for this National Emergency. They will be stopped!”

Trump tweeted last week that he would use the military to stop a caravan of migrants from Central America, which has reportedly swelled beyond 7,500, if Mexico did not stop it.

“I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught — and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!” Trump tweeted.

He said Wednesday night at a rally in Wisconsin that the “military are ready” to help secure the border against the caravan, according to NBC News.

The Mexican ambassador to the U.S., Gerónimo Gutiérrez, said Monday that Mexico will continue to work to halt illegal immigration into its country and work with the Trump administration to block the caravan from passing into the U.S.

Pentagon spokesman Capt. Bill Speaks told The Hill that the military is working through the logistics and is monitoring the situation at the border closely.

“At this time, I can only confirm that the Department of Defense continues to monitor events along the Southwest U.S. border, including the status of the migrant caravan heading north through Mexico,” Speaks wrote in an email.

“We anticipate receiving a request for assistance (RFA) from the Department of Homeland Security and are currently working with DHS to determine the specifics of our support to Customs and Border Protection (CBP).”

[The Hill]

Trump: Impeach me and the market crashes

In an interview with Fox & Friends, he said the market would crash and “everybody would be very poor”.

He was speaking after Michael Cohen, his ex-lawyer, pleaded guilty to violating election laws and said he had been directed to do so by Mr Trump.

Mr Trump has rarely spoken about the prospect of being impeached.

Correspondents say it is unlikely Mr Trump’s opponents would try to impeach him before November’s mid-term elections.

Why does Trump say the market would crash?

“I don’t know how you can impeach somebody who’s done a great job,” Mr Trump told Fox and Friends.

“I tell you what, if I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash, I think everybody would be very poor.”

Pointing to his head, he said: “Because without this thinking, you would see numbers that you wouldn’t believe in reverse.”

[BBC]

Media

 

Trump says he knew about hush payments ‘later on,’ contradicting audio

President Donald Trump said in an interview released Wednesday that he found out “later on” that his former personal attorney Michael Cohen paid two women to keep quiet about alleged affairs with Trump, contradicting Cohen’s statements in court a day earlier.

Cohen said in a statement while formally pleading guilty to fraud charges and campaign finance violations that he oversaw one payment to porn film actress Stormy Daniels and another to former Playboy model Karen McDougal “at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” widely understood to be Trump.

But when asked by “Fox & Friends” anchor Ainsley Earhardt in an interview, a clip of which was released Wednesday, whether he knew about the payments, Trump responded that “later on I knew … later on.”

Trump argued that, because the payments did not come from the campaign itself, there was no violation of campaign finance laws. He also told Earhardt he personally paid back Cohen, though prosecutors said Cohen was reimbursed by the Trump Organization.

“They didn’t come out of the campaign. In fact, my first question, when I heard about it, [was] ‘Did they come out of the campaign because that could be a little dicey,’” Trump said. “It is not even a campaign violation.”

Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis said in an interview on MSNBC that Trump was “misstating the law.”

“Donald Trump tweeted that it only is illegal if it’s campaign funds, not if it’s personal funds. That is completely false under the law,” Davis said.

“The interviewer didn’t say, wait a minute, Mr. President, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a campaign contribution, which you said is dicey, or whether you write a personal check,” he said. “The campaign limitations under the law apply the same.”

The documents describing the charges to which Cohen pleaded guilty say that he broke federal law by exceeding the limit of $2,700 for personal campaign contributions because the hush money was intended to influence the election.

[Politico]

Reality

Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt embarrassed herself and her network in the mother of all softball interviews with Donald Trump, who claimed he only knew of illegal hush payments “later on,” even though Trump is on tape directing Cohen to make the payments.

Trump celebrates as youth unemployment hits half-century low

President Trump on Friday celebrated summer youth unemployment reaching the lowest rate since 1966.

“Just announced, youth unemployment is at a 50 year low!” Trump tweeted Friday morning.

The Bureau of Labor statistics reported Thursday that the youth unemployment rate was 9.2 percent in July 2018. The number signified the lowest summer youth unemployment rate since 1966.

The youth labor force consists of 16 to 24-year-old who are seeking work. The youth workforce swells each summer as high school and college students seek summer jobs, and new college graduates pursue permanent employment.

[Washington Examiner]

Reality

But the labor-force participation rate stands at 60.6 percent, far below its peak of 77.5 percent in July 1989, the BLS added. This rate illustrates the share of 16 to 24 year olds who are working or looking and available for work.

For 16-to-19 year-olds in particular, participation is at a record low. Just 35 percent of that age group is looking for work or working—the lowest figure since record-keeping started in 1948.

Dubious Fox News article appears to have sparked Trump attack on Obama

President Donald Trump appeared to rely on a dubious Fox News report Tuesday morning to unleash an attack on his predecessor, accusing President Barack Obama, without any real evidence, of granting citizenship to 2,500 Iranians as part of nuclear deal negotiations.

“Just out that Obama Administration granted citizenship, during the terrible Iran Deal negotiation, to 2,500 Iranians – including to government officials,” Trump tweeted. “How big (and bad) is that?”

Jeff Prescott, the former senior director on Obama’s National Security Council, called Trump’s allegation “absurd and entirely false.”

Prescott shared with CNN immigration data from the Department of Homeland Security which showed that the number of Iranians naturalized in the United States over the course of the Obama and Bush administrations was relatively consistent.

“There was no connection between the Iran nuclear deal and immigration policy,” Prescott added.

The unsubstantiated claim first gained attention with a Monday story on Fox News’ website that relied on the word of an Iranian cleric who is also a member of the country’s parliament.

The article, written by Chris Irvine, a Fox News senior editor, cited an Iranian news agency that cited an Iranian newspaper that quoted the single Iranian cleric, who said the Obama administration provided citizenship to 2,500 unidentified Iranians during nuclear deal negotiations.

The article itself quoted, toward the end of the story, the network’s own commentator, former Obama State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, saying, “This sounds like totally made up BS.” The story said the Department of Homeland Security and State Department declined to comment, and that a representative for former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson could not be reached.

Prior to the Fox News article, the claim had not received any noticeable attention from the US media.

But after Fox News published its story, other outlets, primarily in the conservative media space, published similar stories. Those outlets included The Daily Mail, The Gateway Pundit, and TownHall.

The claims were also shared on Twitter by Fox News host Sean Hannity and frequent Fox guests David Clarke and Charlie Kirk.

On Tuesday morning, just hours before Trump’s tweet, the story made its way to Fox News’ airwaves on “Fox & Friends First,” the network’s early morning show. It also later aired on “America’s Newsroom,” a late-morning news program on Fox News.

“It shouldn’t be lost on anyone that this is a case of Donald Trump parroting Fox News, which is peddling the claims of an Iranian hardliner,” Prescott told CNN.

Jake Sullivan, a former Obama official who was involved at the start of the Iran nuclear negotiations, also skewered Trump for relying on Fox News’ thin report to make what he called a “completely false” claim.

“What is interesting about this is that what happened is a hardline crank in Iran just randomly made this comment, Fox News writes a story on it, and then Trump tweets it,” Sullivan said on “The Situation Room.”

[CNN]

White House Spox: Claim That Families Are Being Separated at Border Is ‘Completely False’

In a truly stunning show of outright lying Monday morning, White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley told Fox & Friends that the claim the Trump administration is separating children from their families at the border is “completely false.”

“Do you think that the message from the media is correct, that your administration is separating parents, moms and kids?” Fox & Friendshost Brian Kilmeade asked.

“It is completely false,” Gidley replied.

“This is all the Democrats’ doing,” he continued. “Democrats are saying ‘you can’t deport them, you can’t detain them, you can’t prosecute them,’” Gidley said. “The only thing you can do, per a Democrat, is release them into the Interior without any ramification for what they’ve done by breaking our laws.”

“There are only one of two things that can happen when [immigrants] come here [illegally],” Gidley claimed. “You either have to release them into the Interior of the United States as a family unit, or you have to separate the families. That’s what the law says.”

“The Democrats’ policies put drug cartels in business… and also the child smuggling industry,” he later added. “International child smuggling is up because Democrats create incentives by not closing these loopholes.”

Um, holy crap, that’s a glaring lie. There is clear evidence from the DHS that nearly 2000 children have been separated from their families at the border in six weeks’ time as a direct result of the “zero tolerance” policy instated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Despite Trump’s attempts to blame the other party for the policy in an effort to draw out immigration concessions, separating families at the border has nothing to do with Democrats.

[Mediaite]

Trump told 4 lies about the inspector general report in one short Fox News hit

President Donald Trump went on Fox & Friends to talk about the inspector general report on the FBI’s handling of the 2016 election on Friday. His comments contained at least four significant and demonstrable lies.

Let’s go through them.

Lie 1: the FBI was working against him during the campaign

“They were plotting against my election,” Trump said, in perhaps the biggest of the four lies.

This is not true. Inspector General Michael Horowitz was quite clear on this point in the report, which reviewed the FBI’s handling of both the Clinton email investigation and the early stages of the Trump-Russia probe. “We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative decisions we reviewed,” Horowitz concluded.

Trump did eventually confront this uncomfortable fact during the interview. He claimed the no bias conclusion was irresponsible, a throwaway line at the end of the report.

Lie 2: The IG “blew it” by concluding the FBI wasn’t biased

“It was a pretty good report, and then I say the IG blew it at the end,” Trump told Fox’s Steve Doocy. The IG report was a horror show. I thought that one sentence of conclusion was ridiculous.”

The conclusion said that the FBI wasn’t biased was not a throwaway conclusion at the end of the report, but a conclusion that’s examined in-depth and repeated with some frequency throughout the report. Chapters five and 12 of the more than 500-page report, for example, look at anti-Trump text messages sent by Peter Strzok, the FBI’s deputy director for counterintelligence, to see if Strzok had allowed his anti-Trump sentiments to affect the investigation.

Investigators took a deep look at Strzok’s conduct after they came across the texts that seemingly threatened the Trump campaign and examined internal FBI records of the meetings concerning Trump that Strzok was involved in. According to Horowitz, they found that “Strzok was not the sole decisionmaker for any of the specific investigative decisions examined,” nor was there any evidence that he exercised inappropriate influence over any investigative decisions.

The conclusion that there was no bias, in short, wasn’t “one line” — it was a conclusion they arrived at after examining a tremendous amount of evidence, and a major focus of the report.

Lie 3: Trump says the IG report says he did nothing wrong

The third Trump lie is that the IG report somehow exonerated him on the question of collusion with Russia during the campaign. “I did nothing wrong, there was no collusion, there was no obstruction. The IG report yesterday went a long way to show that,” Trump said. “I think that the Mueller investigation has been totally discredited.”

This is actually a number of different lies packed into three short sentences; a Russian nesting doll of lies, if you’ll pardon the metaphor.

The IG report did not come to any conclusions about the true nature of Trump-Russia ties. It only covered the appropriateness of the FBI’s conduct in 2016. It couldn’t come to any conclusions about obstruction of justice because Trump didn’t become president until 2017. Likewise, it couldn’t discredit the Mueller investigation because Mueller didn’t take over the investigation until President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey last May.

Lie 4: James Comey is a criminal

And that brings us to our final lie. Fox’s Doocy asked Trump a leading question — “Should James Comey be locked up?” — and the president responded as expected:

Certainly, they just seem like very criminal acts to me. What he did was criminal. What he did was so bad in terms of our Constitution, in terms of the well-being of our country.

Once again, Horowitz’s report closely examined questions raised by Comey’s conduct. He was harshly critical of the former FBI director — “In key moments, then Director Comey chose to deviate from the FBI’s and the Department’s established procedures and norms and instead engaged in his own subjective, ad hoc decisionmaking” — but there’s no evidence in the report that Comey violated any kind of criminal statute, let alone acted unconstitutionally.

In fact, the report concludes, Comey’s decisions during the Clinton email investigation, while questionable, came from his professional judgment and were not the result of any malign intent.

“Comey’s decision was the result of his consideration of the evidence that the FBI had collected during the course of the investigation and his understanding of the proof required to pursue a prosecution under the relevant statutes,” as Horowitz puts it when discussing his closing of the Clinton email case.

Trump’s characterization of the IG report is thus basically wrong in every way.

[Vox]

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