Trump hits Fox News’s Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage

President Trump on Sunday hit Fox News anchor Chris Wallace for his coverage of the phone call between Trump and Ukraine’s president that is at the center of the House’s impeachment inquiry.

“Somebody please explain to Chris Wallace of Fox, who will never be his father (and my friend), Mike Wallace, that the Phone Conversation I had with the President of Ukraine was a congenial & good one,” Trump tweeted.

“It was only Schiff’s made up version of that conversation that was bad!” he added.

House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry after details of the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky became public.

According to a readout of the call released by the White House, Trump pressed Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, and his son Hunter Biden while discussing U.S. military aid to Ukraine.

Trump has defended the call as “perfect” and sought to frame the impeachment inquiry as a political move orchestrated by Democrats, including House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).

Wallace has said that the call and the intelligence community whistleblower complaint that brought attention to it show Trump pressing Zelensky.

Trump has in recent months ramped up attacks against several Fox News anchors, including Wallace, Ed Henry and Shepard Smith, who left the network this week.

Sunday was not the first time that Trump has criticized Wallace by invoking his father, veteran broadcaster Mike Wallace.

In May, Trump chastised Chris Wallace and Fox for giving airtime to Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, tweeting, “I like Mike Wallace better.”

A spokesperson for Fox News did not directly comment on Trump’s latest attack on Wallace, but pointed to a recent panel where the anchor responded to Trump saying he likes Mike Wallace better.

“To which my reaction is always: One of us has a daddy problem, and it’s not me,” Chris Wallace said.

[The Hill]

Trump Gloats About Shep Smith’s Fox News Exit

The question from a reporter to President Donald Trump on Friday night was, “Did you or your administration pressure Fox News to get rid of Shepard Smith?” 

Trump did not answer directly, but rather took the opportunity to gloat over his least-favorite Fox News anchor’s departure, saying, “No, I don’t know, is he leaving? Oh, that’s a shame.” 

“Did I hear Shepard Smith is leaving?” the president asked, soundly almost gleeful. “Is he leaving because of bad ratings? He had terrible ratings, is he leaving because of his ratings? If he’s leaving, I assume he’s leaving because he had bad ratings.” 

Smith, who has been the rare critical voice against the president on Fox, announced on Friday that he had requested to get out of his contract on leave the network, effective immediately. “Even in our currently polarized nation, it’s my hope that the facts will win the day,” Smith said in his final broadcast. “That the truth will always matter, that journalism and journalists will thrive.”

The move comes just two days after Attorney General Bill Barr met privately with Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch, prompting some speculation that the Trump administration had something to do with Smith’s exit. 

“Well, I wish him well,” Trump concluded. “I wish Shepard Smith well.” 

[The Daily Beast]

Media

Trump says Fox News ‘doesn’t deliver for US anymore’ after poll shows rising impeachment support

President Trump said on Thursday that Fox News “doesn’t deliver for US anymore” after the network’s latest poll showed growing support for his impeachment and removal from office.

“From the day I announced I was running for President, I have NEVER had a good @FoxNews Poll,” Trump tweeted. “Whoever their Pollster is, they suck. But @FoxNews is also much different than it used to be in the good old days.”

A Fox poll released Wednesday found 51 percent of respondents supported Trump’s impeachment and removal from office. Four percent of participants said the president should be impeached but not removed, and 40 percent were completely against impeachment. 

Trump on Thursday also lashed out at prominent Fox News employees who have been critical of him and his interactions with the president of Ukraine, which is at the heart of an impeachment inquiry by House Democrats. 

“@FoxNews doesn’t deliver for US anymore,” Trump tweeted. “It is so different than it used to be. Oh well, I’m President!”

He ripped retired Judge Andrew Napolitano, who argued that Trump had already confessed to a crime when he admitted to encouraging the Ukrainian president to look into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son.

Trump claimed that Napolitano, Fox News’s senior judicial analyst, wanted to be on the Supreme Court but that he turned the judge down. Politico reported in 2017 that Napolitano had told friends he was on Trump’s shortlist of potential nominees.

The president also ripped Fox News anchor Shepard Smith and contributor Donna Brazile. Trump has targeted both before, as Smith regularly fact checks or rebuts statements from the president during his hourly program and Brazile is the former interim leader of the Democratic National Committee.

Trump has had a hot-and-cold relationship with Fox News in recent months. He has complained about several of the network’s polls that showed him trailing his Democratic challengers in potential 2020 matchups and regularly lashes out at employees who are critical of him.

He tweeted in August that the cable network “isn’t working for us anymore” and that his supporters “have to start looking for a new News Outlet.”

But the president still regularly tweets out quotes from Fox News programming, his aides appear on Fox for interviews and former White House staffers have taken jobs at the network.

Moments after his criticism of Fox on Thursday, the president retweeted posts from Fox Business Network anchor Maria Bartiromo multiple times.

[The Hill]

TRUMP THREATENS “CIVIL WAR” IF HE’S IMPEACHED

Over the past two and a half years, Donald Trump has carved out a niche for himself as a manic, deranged tweeter the likes of which the Oval Office—nay, the world—has never seen. In times of great stress—the Special Counsel’s investigation, the blue-wave midterms, a Fox News host not sufficiently fellating him—the president has amped up his output, tweeting dozens of times a day. But Sunday may have set a new record when the leader of the free world fired off a whopping 46 messages to the universe, including retweets from random supporters and one from an account called “Trump But About Sharks,” which replaces random words from his tweets “to make them about sharks.”

Most notable, though, was the president’s quoting of pastor/Fox News contributor Robert Jeffress, who made a rather bold impeachment prediction on air:

For those of you keeping up at home, threatening a Civil War is an escalation from Trump’s go-to prediction regarding what will happen to the country if he loses power, which is typically a stockmarketcollapse. Democrats, characteristically, condemned the retweet, but it inspired noteworthy pushback from one Republican corner as well: “I have visited nations ravaged by civil war,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a veteran, tweeted back. “I have never imagined such a quote to be repeated by a President. This is beyond repugnant.”

[Vanity Fair]

Trump Goes on Tweetstorm RTing People Trashing Fox News’ Ed Henry Over Mark Levin Clash

President Donald Trump went on Sunday morning Twitter binge by retweeting a bunch of random supporters who trashed Fox News host Ed Henry for asking tough questions to conservative radio host Mark Levin.

The confrontation happened when Levin gave an interview to Fox & Friends Sunday and Henry peppered him with questions about whether it was “okay” for Trump to ask the Ukrainian government to investigate Joe Biden. Levin was visibly irritated by Henry’s line of questioning, telling the Fox host he was “not honest” as he launched into his full-throttle defense of Trump.

That segment made a splash among Trump supporters, so the president started retweeting random accounts who said Levin laid waste to Henry during their confrontation:

In the midst of all this, Trump chose to retweet Mediate’s coverage on the Henry-Levin dustup.

Kellyanne Conway: It’s unconstitutional for Democrats to ’embarrass this president’ with impeachment

White House aide Kellyanne Conway on Sunday insisted that Democrats do not have a “constitutional basis” to embarrass President Donald Trump by conducting an impeachment inquiry.

Conway made the remarks while speaking to FOX News Sunday guest host Bill Hemmer.

“Complete nonsense,” she said when asked about the impeachment proceedings. “They need to get a messaging meeting and they need to read the constitution of the Democratic Party.”

“Americans, the Congress, they work for you,” Conway continued, talking over the FOX host. “And they’re wasting your money and your time trying to impeach a president where there are no high crimes and misdemeanors.”

She added: “Stop the nonsense of harassing and embarrassing this president and the people around him when you have no constitutional or legal basis to do so.”

Democrats have argued that they have a constitutional duty to conduct an impeachment inquiry.

[Raw Story]

Media

Trump called Fox News correspondent into Oval Office to argue he wasn’t wrong about Alabama

Fox News senior White House correspondent John Roberts had just finished his 3 p.m. live shot on Thursday when President Donald Trump beckoned him into the Oval Office. 

The President had one argument to make, according to an internal Fox email Roberts sent about the meeting provided to CNN.

“He stressed to me that forecasts for Dorian last week had Alabama in the warning cone,” Roberts wrote. “He insisted that it is unfair to say Alabama was never threatened by the storm.”

Roberts’ analysis of the meeting was that the President was “just looking for acknowledgment that he was not wrong for saying that at some point, Alabama was at risk — even if the situation had changed by the time he issued the tweet” on Sunday morning, in which he said the state “will most likely be hit.” The President also provided Roberts with graphics to make his points.

Roberts referred CNN to Fox News’ public relations department when asked for comment, which did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

The White House also did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment. Trump has defended his tweet multiple times throughout the day on Twitter, repeatedly slamming the media for covering his statements and his use of an apparently altered chart showing the storm’s path extending into Alabama.

“Just as I said, Alabama was originally projected to be hit. The Fake News denies it!” Trump tweeted on Thursday, along with graphics from the National Weather Service from last week — days before his tweet — showing Alabama had a small chance of experiencing some effects from Dorian. By the time Trump tweeted, those forecasts had changed.

A White House aide familiar with the Oval Office meeting with Roberts said that Trump also voiced his displeasure about Fox News anchor Shepard Smith’s skeptical reporting about the Alabama map.

The President summoned Roberts “to hit back at Shepard Smith,” the White House aide said.

Roberts claimed in his email that he pointed out to the President that by the time of his tweet warning Alabama and other states of the storm — 10:51 am ET on Sunday — Dorian’s projected trajectory had moved much farther east and was no longer including any part of Alabama.

The President “seemed to agree that the forecast track had moved — but he was adamant that at some point, Alabama was at risk,” Roberts wrote. “He also reminded that on occasions in the past, forecast tracks have changed dramatically.”

As the President’s homeland security and counterterror adviser Rear Adm. Peter Brown claimed in a statement issued late Thursday afternoon, Roberts said that in his visit to the Oval Office he learned that Trump on Sunday had been shown a graphic showing Hurricane Dorian proceeding north through Florida and touching the southeastern tip of Alabama with tropical storm force winds.

A White House source told CNN on Thursday that Trump personally directed Brown to issue the statement. Brown reports to national security adviser John Bolton but Bolton did not ask Brown to release the statement, the source said.

[CNN]

Trump Quotes Lou Dobbs Going Off on FBI Over Comey: The Nation Is ‘Disgusted With the FBI’

President Donald Trump tonight watched and tweeted quotes from Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs going off on the FBI and the president’s critics.

Dobbs was speaking with Alan Dershowitz and asking about when people like James Comey will be held accountable.

At one point Dobbs said, “The ideal here is that we have a nation right now that is disgusted with the FBI. The corrupt leadership…”

Dershowitz said he agrees.

“We have a crisis of confidence in the number one law enforcement agency in this country,” Dobbs continued. “And they’re behaving as if it’s a game.”

Trump watched Dobbs tonight and tweeted that quote from the segment, as well as another quote from Dobbs railing against Democrats opposing the president who he said “choose to hate America”:

[Mediaite]

A Trump campaign video features Fox hosts Diamond and Silk interviewing Fox contributor Alveda King

Fox Nation hosts Diamond and Silk have been guest-hosting a show for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign. Their work includes a video featuring an interview with Fox News contributor Alveda King and another video where they claim that Democrats “are going to drive us back to the days of slavery.” Despite Fox News claiming that it “does not condone any talent participating in campaign events,” the two have also been appearing in other Trump campaign videos and have been headlining Republican fundraisers. 

Diamond and Silk are North Carolina-based sisters whose official biography describes them as “Video Vloggers, Internet Sensations,” and “Influencers” who are known for “their out spoken and loyal support for President Donald J Trump.” Fox Nation began airing a weekly Diamond and Silk program late last year

The two have repeatedly appeared in campaign videos and events for the Trump reelection campaign while also hosting their Fox program. After Diamond and Silk appeared at an April 27 Trump rally in Green Bay, WI, Fox News celebratedtheir remarks by airing several minutes of “highlights” from their speech on Watters’ World(on-screen text read: “Diamond & Silk rock Trump rally!”).

They have also been fundraising for Republican groups — the two appeared at a March 30 fundraising dinner for the Bush Legacy Republican Women of Weatherford in Texas, and an August 10event for the Watauga and Ashe County Republican Parties in North Carolina. They’re scheduled to do a September 23 event for Republican Women Federation clubs in San Diego County, CA.

The Fox News personalities can now add Trump campaign hosting duties to their resume. On August 27, the Trump campaign posted two campaign videos starring Diamond and Silk and featuring interviews with right-wing commentators Alveda King (who is also a Fox News contributor) and Stephen Moore. In the videos, the duo stated that they were broadcasting from Trump Tower in New York City, NY, and sitting in for regular host Lara Trump while she’s on maternity leave.

The videos, part of the campaign’s Real News Insights show, are meant to organize support for Trump’s reelection campaign and push back against the purported “fake news” in the media. 

The Diamond and Silk-hosted videos unsurprisingly include over-the-top praise for Trump. In the King interview, Diamond said Trump has “managed to do more than all of these [Democratic presidential candidates] have done within the past three-hundred and some years — and I say that because I combined all of their records together.” 

In her interview with Moore, Silk said that Trump is “looking out for the best interests of America but we have Democrats that’s looking out for the failure of America. That right there should tell you who you need to vote for.” Diamond later said: “When we listen to these Democrat candidates and the things that they are pushing for, it is going to drive us back to the days of slavery with nothing. These people want to control our very existence. I don’t want the government controlling me.” 

In March, after Diamond and Silk appeared in a Trump campaign video, Fox News attempted to distance itself from the two. The network told The Hollywood Reporter’s Jeremy Barr that “the duo are not employees of the network: ‘Diamond & Silk license short weekly videos to Fox Nation – they are not Fox News contributors or employees. When they appear on FNC and FBN, they do so as guests.’” That statement might have been news to Fox News’ own employees, who have described them as “Fox News Channel contributors,” “Fox Nation contributors,” and “Fox Nation hosts.”

[Media Matters]

On Labor Day, Trump slams top union leader and NAFTA

On Labor Day, President Trump called out one of the country’s top labor leaders, Richard Trumka, with an accusation that he and “his Dems” didn’t do enough to oppose the “terrible” North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). 

His comments on the AFL-CIO president followed an appearance by Trumka on “Fox News Sunday”

“Just watched AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on @FoxNews and thought to myself how different he is on TV than he is when he is with me at the White House. Likes what we are doing until the cameras go on. We got robbed on Trade and everything else while his Dems just sat back and watched,” Mr. Trump tweeted. 

He added, “NAFTA is the worst Trade Deal ever made – terrible for labor – and Richard let it stand. No wonder unions are losing so much. The workers will vote for me in 2020 (lowest unemployment, most jobs ever), and should stop paying exorbitant $Dues, not worth it! ” Mr. Trump continued to quote segments airing on Fox News for much of Labor Day morning. 

NAFTA, the trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, has been in place since 1994 and will remain so until the new deal signed by the president, the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), is ratified.

In the past, Trumka praised the president’s move to end the longstanding trade agreement, but he has since disparaged USMCA as “falling short of what we need.” USMCA has not yet been ratified by lawmakers, but the White House hopes to send legislation to Congress this month. 

In his appearance on Fox, Trumka argued that USMCA isn’t enforceable, telling the outlet, “An unenforceable trade agreement is a windfall for corporations and a disaster for workers.” 

In response to the president’s tweets, the AFL-CIO said in a statement to CBS News: “We’ve been clear on what working people want, in private and in public. It’s our job to tell the president what he needs to hear—not what he wants to hear.”  

The president’s tweets came as the Southeast braces for potential impact of Hurricane Dorian which has already ripped through the Bahamas, bringing catastrophic winds and rain. 

Mr. Trump had originally planned to be in Poland to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the beginning of World War II, but late last week he canceled the trip, sending Vice President Pence in his place, so that he could be in the U.S. to keep an eye on the gathering storm.

Meanwhile, as the president was spotted taking in a round of golf at his Sterling, Virginia course, the Trump re-election campaign unveiled its labor day commemoration plans by taking their thanks to America’s workforce to the skies.

The Trump campaign will employ aerial advertising in five locations around the nation to reach beachgoers at peak times of the day on Monday. The locations include Detroit, MI; Cleveland, OH; Milwaukee, WI; Erie, PA; and Virginia Beach, VA — all notably battleground states for the 2020 election. 

“Labor Day is the perfect time to thank American workers for everything they do for our country,” said Tim Murtaugh, Trump campaign communications director in a statement.

“Under President Trump’s policies, the economy is strong and growing, and more Americans are working than ever before.  The American economy is the envy of the world and our American workers are the best on the planet.”

[CBS News]

Reality

Funny thing is, Trump’s USMCA is NAFTA with a few tweeks on the margins, and the shift from NAFTA to USCMA should not impact the three countries dramatically. Only certain industries will be affected, and only by a small amount. 

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