Trump mocks appearance of rally protester: ‘That guy’s got a serious weight problem’

President Trump on Thursday mocked the weight of a protester who briefly interrupted his rally in Manchester, N.H.

“That guy’s got a serious weight problem. Go home, start exercising,” Trump said as the individual who interrupted Trump’s speech was escorted out of the arena.

“Get him out of here please. Got a bigger problem than I do,” Trump quipped. “Got a bigger problem than all of us. Now he goes home and his mom says, ‘What the hell have you just done?'”

Cameras showed multiple protesters being escorted out of the arena after the crowd began booing and chanting “U.S.A.” The interruption came as Trump slammed Democrats, accusing them of demeaning law enforcement and describing their opponents as “fascists and Nazis.” 

Moments later, Trump continued with his usual remarks, telling supporters that his movement is “built on love.”

The Associated Press reported that the president may have actually mistaken one of his supporters for a protester when he made the remark. The protesters were later identified as members of a group that supports rights for Israelis and Palestinians.

The president often mocks and belittles protesters who are removed from his rallies, but only sometimes comments on their appearance.

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, a former tech entrepreneur, recently took to the Iowa state fair, where he mocked Trump’s weight.

“Like, what could Donald Trump possibly be better than me at? An eating contest?” Yang asked this past weekend.

“Like, if there was a hot-air balloon that was rising and you needed to try and keep it on the ground, he would be better than me at that,” he added. “Because he is so fat.”

In May, British actress Jameela Jamil, a wellness and body positivity advocate, called on Trump’s critics to stop “fat-shaming” him and focus on his policies instead.

[The Hill]

In C-SPAN Interview, Trump Hits Fox News and John Roberts for Covering Protester at Speech

President Donald Trump once again complained tonight about Fox News covering a protester at his Jamestown speech this morning.

A Virginia state legislator interrupted the president’s speech in protest of Trump’s “racism and bigotry.”

Trump complained directly to Roberts during a Q&A with reporters this afternoon. Roberts subsequently responded to the president on air saying, “In my 1:00 report, we did not show anything from the president’s speech because we were focused in that report on the ongoing feud between the president and Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland and the fallout from that, but it should be pointed out that in our 11:00 hour the Fox News Channel carried that speech in its entirety.”

Whether or not Trump saw that from Roberts, he’s clearly still steamed.

Trump was asked by C-SPAN’s Steve Scully about his tweets on Baltimore and whether he is a uniter as president.

Trump went from talking about the “tremendous divide” between the parties to decrying the “Russian hoax” and defending Mitch McConnell to touting his administration’s accomplishments.

“But they read the tweets,” Scully said. “Do they think you’re a uniter as president?”

Trump said he “wouldn’t need to” tweet if the press covered him fairly.

And then he complained about Fox:

“There was one protester who stood up… he held up a sign and he said whatever he said. Something… I don’t need publicity, Steve, at all, but I just thought it was so terrible, and it was on Fox with John Roberts. He talked about the protester for almost an entire segment of that. And I said isn’t that a shame. One guy stands up, not an impressive person, he stood up and he got all of this –– he took the whole thing away. One person.”

[Mediaite]

Media

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

Protesters Interrupt Trump Rally; Trump Shouts Back ‘Go Home to Mommy!’

President Donald Trump‘s rally in Fort Wayne, IN was interrupted by protesters earlier tonight.

After the first protester showed up, Trump went on an extended riff about the cameras in the room and how they “turned like a pretzel,” launching into his usual schtick about how the networks never cut away to show the size of his crowds.

But then, a few minutes later, another protester interrupted.

This time, Trump called out, “Out! Out! Go home to mommy! Go home to mommy.”

And he riffed on the cameras once again. Trump also referred to the protester as “a weak person with a weak voice.”

There was even a third protester who interrupted after Trump brought Mike Braun up to speak.

[Mediaite]

Media

Trump administration proposes tough rules on protests

The Trump administration is proposing to overhaul rules for protests in front of the White House and at other iconic locations in Washington, D.C., in an effort that opponents say is aimed at shutting down free speech.

The National Park Service’s (NPS) proposal, for which public comments are due by Monday, would close much of the sidewalk north of the White House to protests, limit the ability for groups to have spontaneous protests without permits in that area and on the National Mall and open the door to potentially charging some demonstrating groups fees and costs for their events.

The plan was released in August with little fanfare. But civil rights groups have been sounding alarm bells in recent days as the comment period comes to a close.

In making the proposal, the NPS cites its mandate to protect land, saying that it wants to “provide greater clarity to the public about how and where demonstrations and special events may be conducted in a manner that protects and preserves the cultural and historic integrity of these areas.”

But opponents see a connection to President Trump’s disdain for protesters, and congressional Republicans’ denunciations of recent demonstrations against new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as “mob rule.”

They argue that the iconic places in Washington, D.C., that hosted Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech in 1963 and the Occupy encampments in 2012 need to remain as welcoming as possible for the First-Amendment-guaranteed right to protest, not just for D.C. locals, but for people from around the country who travel to the nation’s capital.

Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, said that while most recent administrations have tried to crack down on protests covered by the NPS unit known as the National Mall and Memorial Parks, the Trump effort is more significant.

“This administration’s come in with the most bold and consequential overhaul. The consequences are enormous,” Verheyden-Hilliard told The Hill.

“There’s never been such a large effort at rewriting these regulations,” she said. “I don’t think there can be any question that these revisions will have the intent and certainly the effect of stifling the ability of the public to protest.”

While the proposal itself wouldn’t lead directly to fees being charged for protests, it asks the public to weigh in on the possibility.

Verheyden-Hilliard was particularly critical of a proposal to reduce distinctions between demonstrations and “special events,” which include concerts and festivals. Demonstrations have previously been subject to less scrutiny in permitting and can get their permits almost automatically.

Under the proposal, those protections could change, especially if anyone sings or dances at a protest.

“Speech plus music doesn’t lose its speech character,” she said. “If the event is focused on expressing views and grievances, it is a demonstration.”

The American Civil Liberties Union’s local chapter said in a blog post that major protests like King’s speech could become too expensive for their organizers.

“Managing public lands for the benefit of the American people is what Congress funds the National Park Service to do. That includes demonstrators just as much as tourists or hikers,” wrote Arthur Spitzer, co-legal director of the ACLU of D.C.

Top Democratic lawmakers are also getting involved.

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, joined with Rep. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), his counterpart for the House Judiciary Committee, and other Democrats this week in denouncing the fee idea in a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

“National parks must be accessible and open to the American public for peaceful assembly,” they wrote.

“While the recuperation of costs may be an appropriate standard for special events that are celebratory or entertainment-oriented, the proposed shift could have the disastrous result of undermining the freedoms of expression and assembly — which are fundamental constitutional rights — in one of our nation’s premier public parks.”

NPS spokesman Brent Everitt said any fee changes would require a separate regulatory proposal. But he nonetheless defended potential fees, citing as an example the 2012 Occupy protests in downtown D.C.’s McPherson Square and elsewhere, which cost the agency nearly $500,000.

“At this time, we want to have a genuine conversation with the public about updating a comprehensive plan to best facilitate use and enjoyment of the National Mall while preserving and protecting its monuments and memorials. Permit fees and cost recovery considerations are just one part of that overall conversation,” Everitt said in a statement.

He said the agency wants input on whether the costs to the agency are an “appropriate expenditure of National Park Service funds, or whether we should also attempt to recover costs for supporting these kinds of events if the group seeking the permit for the event has the ability to cover those costs.”

The myriad rules and standards for events on NPS land in the nation’s capital have been shaped largely by decades of litigation. And if the agency pursues a regulation like the one proposed, the lawsuits will only continue.

“If these regulations go through in current form or a substantially similar iteration, we are prepared to have them enjoined,” Verheyden-Hilliard said. “We believe that they are unconstitutional and fundamentally unsound. And moreover, they are unjustified.”

The NPS is taking comments through Monday on its regulations.gov portal.

[The Hill]

 

Trump promotes anti-Semitic conspiracy theory on Twitter

The anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that George Soros, a wealthy Hungarian-American businessman who has donated millions of dollars to progressive causes, is paying people to protest President Donald Trump is a staple of the conservative ecosystem.

Last week, Fox News’ Laura Ingraham tweeted “SOROS STRIKES AGAIN” after Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) was confronted in a Senate elevator by survivors of sexual assault.

Now the President of the United States is getting in on the anti-Semitic action, claiming that protests against his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, were “Paid for by Soros and others” in a Friday tweet.

This was the first time Trump has mentioned Soros on Twitter, per the Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale. However, The Atlantic’s David Frum noted Soros was one of the “three identifiable “faces of international finance”” featured in a 2016 Trump campaign ad that was widely criticized for its anti-Semitic overtones.

The Washington Examiner’s Dave Brown noticed that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) floated the conspiracy theory about Soros paying Kavanaugh protesters during an appearance on Fox Business less than 90 minutes before Trump’s tweet.

Ana Maria Archila, one of the sexual assault survivors who was filmed confronting Flake last week, responded to Trump’s tweet in a statement, saying, “No one can pay for someone’s lived experiences.”

According to the Anti-Defamation League, “The Hungarian Jewish billionaire, Holocaust survivor and philanthropist figures prominently in anti-Semitic tweets, with claims that he directly uses his largess to fund false flag events. One noteworthy allegation claims that Soros was responsible for the deadly ‘Unite the Right’ rally in August 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. Other tweets refer to his Jewish heritage in pejorative terms and claims that he’s trying to undermine Western civilization.”

ThinkProgress’ Casey Michel recently explained the anti-Semitism behind conservatives’ Soros conspiracy theories:

Of course, as with most conspiracies, there’s a far darker reality lurking behind the notion that Soros is responsible for all the ills facing down nationalist movements. While most of those pushing Soros-based conspiracies don’t come out and say that Soros is evil because he’s Jewish, it doesn’t take much sleuthing to discern the anti-Semitism behind the conspiracies. Between the imagery of Soros pulling strings to the fact that Soros has effectively replaced “the Rothschilds” as the go-to for any conspiracy about an international cabal thwarting the people’s will, it’s not hard to catch the bigotry lacing the rising conspiracies about Soros.

Conservatives have a history of attempting to smear survivors of traumatic events as paid “crisis actors.” Sexual assault survivors’ attempts to confront Kavanaugh’s supporters have not been received well by Republicans.

The Washington Post reported in January 2017 that people were paid to attend Trump’s campaign launch announcement.

[ThinkProgress]

Several People Behind Trump Were Removed, Replaced During Rally In Montana

President Donald Trump’s rally in Billings, Montana, on Thursday had many strange moments, including a tangent where he speculated about his potential impeachment and an instance where he seemed unable to pronounce the word “anonymous.” Perhaps oddest of all, though, was that several people standing behind Trump were replaced on camera as the evening went on.

A man in a plaid shirt was replaced seemingly after he made a series of animated facial expressions as the president spoke.

A woman, who some people on Twitter said looked like to be longtime Republican operative Zina Bash, eventually came and took the man’s place on camera. You can watch the moment below:

That man was not the only one removed from his spot behind Trump during the speech. As seen in the clip below, a man and woman in the same row were replaced by two blond women. The resulting image is Trump flanked by young women.

It’s not uncommon that Trump’s rallies feature a mix of supporters and protesters, leaving Trump staffers to handle situations quickly and quietly.

But these swaps are particularly egregious considering they were all mid-speech and directly behind the president, and the people who were swapped out didn’t appear to be doing anything wrong.

The White House did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

Trump suggests that protesting should be illegal

President Trump has long derided the mainstream media as the “enemy of the people” and lashed out at NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem. On Tuesday, he took his attacks on free speech one step further, suggesting in an interview with a conservative news site that the act of protesting should be illegal.

Trump made the remarks in an Oval Office interview with the Daily Caller hours after his Supreme Court nominee, Brett M. Kavanaugh, was greeted by protests on the first day of his confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill.

“I don’t know why they don’t take care of a situation like that,” Trump said. “I think it’s embarrassing for the country to allow protesters. You don’t even know what side the protesters are on.”

He added: “In the old days, we used to throw them out. Today, I guess they just keep screaming.”

More than 70 people were arrested after they repeatedly heckled Kavanaugh and senators at Tuesday’s hearing.

Trump has bristled at dissent in the past, including several instances in which he has suggested demonstrators should lose their jobs or be met with violence for speaking out.

In July, ahead of his visit to Britain, Trump told the Sun newspaper that reports of large-scale demonstrations against him in London — including a 20-foot-tall blimp depicting an angry baby Trump — had offended him.

“I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London,” Trump said. Months earlier, Trump had implicitly rejected reports that his initial plans to visit in the spring were scuttled because of fears of protests.

Last September, Trump called on NFL owners to fire players who kneel during the national anthem to protest systemic racial injustice.

And in several appearances during the 2016 campaign, when demonstrators interrupted his rallies, Trump at times appeared to encourage violence against them.

Trump has also prompted cries of “dictator envy” for remarks in which he seemed to emulate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. “He speaks, and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same,” Trump told Fox News Channel in an interview after his Singapore summit with the North Korean leader.

[The Washington Post]

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: Statue of Liberty protester was a ‘clown’

President Trump on Thursday went after the female demonstrator who scaled the base of the Statue of Liberty to protest his administration’s immigration policies, calling her a “clown.”

“You saw that clown yesterday on the Statue of Liberty, you saw those clowns that went up there,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Montana on Thursday. “I wouldn’t have done it.”

“I would have said let’s get some nets ,we’ll wait ’til she….just get some nets,” he said.

A woman was taken into custody on Wednesday, the Fourth of July, after she scaled the base of the Statue of Liberty during a protest at the statue over Trump’s immigration policies.

Police went after the woman and brought her down in a harness.

Protesters had unveiled a banner reading “Abolish I.C.E.” at the demonstration earlier Wednesday.

Democratic lawmakers have adopted calls to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after backlash over Trump’s since-ended policy to separate immigrant families at the border.

“We want tough, strong, powerful borders and we want no crime. And want to protect ICE,” Trump said at the rally Thursday. “They protect us and we protect them.”

[The Hill]

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