Trump Disavows Alt-Right But Still Holds Their Policies

President-elect Donald Trump is again distancing himself from the alt-right movement as its white supremacist members claim his election as a boon for their agenda.

“I disavow and condemn them,” Trump said Tuesday during a wide-ranging interview with staff members of The New York Times.

It’s the latest attempt from Trump to separate himself from groups and individuals widely condemned for their advocacy of white supremacy in American culture.

The Republican president-elect added that he does not want to “energize” the groups, one of which garnered viral headlines this weekend with a gathering in Washington, where organizers and attendees evoked Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich with cries of “Heil Trump” and reprisals of the Nazi salute.

The Times has not yet released a full transcript or video of the meeting, but participants used Twitter to share his remarks throughout the exchange.

Richard Spencer, an alt-right leader who convened the weekend gathering sponsored by his National Policy Institute, told the Associated Press he was “disappointed” in Trump’s comments. But Spencer said he understands “where he’s coming from politically and practically,” adding that he will “wait and see” how the real estate mogul’s administration takes shape.

Still, Spencer argued Trump needs the alt-right movement and should be wary of shunning it because of a few news cycles of bad publicity “that do not define what we’re doing.” Spencer said Trump needs people like him “to actualize the populism that fueled his campaign.”

Trump’s denunciation also comes amid continued criticism over Trump tapping Steve Bannon, who managed the final months of the billionaire businessman’s presidential campaign, as chief White House strategist. Bannon was previously the leader of Breitbart News, an unapologetically conservative outlet that Bannon has described as a “platform for the alt-right.”

At the Times, Trump said Breitbart “is just a publication” that “covers subjects on the right” and is “certainly a much more conservative paper, to put it mildly, than The New York Times.”

Before Trump’s latest denunciations, Spencer told AP earlier Tuesday that he doesn’t see either Trump or Bannon as members of his movement, though “there is some common ground.”

(h/t Salon)

Reality

This is a step in the right direction and something that was a year-and-a-half overdue, but actions speak louder than words and Trump has yet prove he disavows the racist, sexist, and white-nationalist campaign promises that made him a darling of the alt-right .

Once Trump reverses course on the policies of mass deportations of immigrants, blocking all entry to immigrants from certain countries, and singling out minority communities for heavier policing, only then can he honestly disavow the anti-Semitic and white supremacist alt-right movement.

Trump to Supporters Harassing Minorities: ‘Stop It’

Donald Trump on Sunday told his supporters to stop harassing minorities, in his first televised sit-down interview since becoming President-elect.

“I am so saddened to hear that,” Trump told CBS’ Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes” when she said Latinos and Muslims are facing harassment. “And I say, ‘Stop it.’ If it — if it helps, I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: ‘Stop it.'”

Trump directed his comments to his own supporters whom Stahl said have written racist slogans or chanted degrading messages — particularly in schools. It was a powerful appeal to a nation ripped apart by the divisive 2016 campaign. Trump’s election has left Democrats angry and many minorities fearful about the future.

Yet Trump also criticized the protests that have broken out in cities across the United States since his defeat of Hillary Clinton on Tuesday.

Trump said he’s seen “a very small amount” — including “one or two instances” — of racial slurs being directed at minorities, particularly in largely white schools, since his election.
“I would say don’t do it, that’s terrible, because I’m going to bring this country together,” Trump said.

Richard Cohen, President of the Southern Poverty Law Canter told CNN’s “New Day” on Monday that there have been more that 300 incidents that their organization has recorded.

“He needs to take a little bit more responsibility for what’s happening,” Cohen said.

As for anti-Trump protests, Trump said, “I think it’s horrible if that’s happening. I think it’s built up by the press because, frankly, they’ll take every single little incident that they can find in this country, which could’ve been there before. If I weren’t even around doing this, and they’ll make into an event because that’s the way the press is.”

Media

Trump Ejects Mother and Child From Rally, ‘You Can Get the Baby Out of Here’

Most politicians kiss babies, Donald Trump ejects them about as fast as he would a protester

During a rally in Ashburn, Virginia, Trump tried to reassure a distressed mother with a crying baby that he loves hearing babies cry at his rallies and told her not to worry — only to change his mind just a moment later and had them removed.

“I love babies. I hear that baby cry, I like it,” Trump said at a campaign event as a baby could be heard crying in the audience. “What a baby. What a beautiful baby. Don’t worry, don’t worry. The mom’s running around, like, don’t worry about it, you know. It’s young and beautiful and healthy and that’s what we want.”

But less than two minutes later, as the baby continued to wail, Trump took back his words.

“Actually I was only kidding, you can get the baby out of here,” he said to laughs. “I think she really believed me that I love having a baby crying while I’m speaking. That’s OK. People don’t understand. That’s OK.”

(h/t CNN)

Reality

CNN’s Jason Carroll described Trump supporters at the event loving Trump ejecting the mother and her baby.

“At one point there was a baby that was crying here in the audience, and he said, ‘Oh, we love babies, they’re beautiful, let him keep crying.’”

“He kept talking and then at another point, he said, ‘Okay, enough with the baby. I’m done with the baby.’”

“I’m paraphrasing but the crowd laughed,” Carroll continued. “They enjoyed it. Was it a bit off color? Yes. But this is what people like about this man.”

Update

Daniel Dale, a reporter from the Toronto Star, was sitting right behind her and wrote that the entire incident was mischaracterized.

The mother also corroberated Dale’s account, telling Fox News that after her baby started crying and Trump noticed it, she already had started making her way out the door.

So either this is a case of bad optics or poor humor. It is safe to give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt here, but we will still file it under “bad humor” category.

Media

Full event, Trump’s comments are at the 1:08:30 mark.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Calls Trump a ‘Faker,’ He Says She Should Resign

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s well-known candor was on display in her chambers late Monday, when she declined to retreat from her earlier criticism of Donald Trump and even elaborated on it.

He is a faker,” she said of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, going point by point, as if presenting a legal brief. “He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. … How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.”

She has been surprisingly outspoken about the presidential election in recent days, starting Friday, when she told The Associated Press “everything would be up for grabs” if Donald Trump were to win the White House.

In an interview published Sunday, she told The New York Times that she couldn’t picture America under a Trump presidency.

“I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president,” she said. “For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.”

“At first I thought it was funny,” she said of Trump’s early candidacy. “To think that there’s a possibility that he could be president … ” Her voice trailed off gloomily.

“I think he has gotten so much free publicity,” she added, drawing a contrast between what she believes is tougher media treatment of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and returning to an overriding complaint: “Every other presidential candidate has turned over tax returns.”

Trump responded Wednesday morning by calling on Ginsburg to resign.

Ginsburg was appointed to the high court by President Bill Clinton in 1993, and is now the senior member of the liberal wing and leading voice countering conservative Chief Justice Roberts. She has drawn a cult-like following among young people who have nicknamed her The Notorious R.B.G., a play on American rapper The Notorious B.I.G.

(h/t CNN, Politico)

Reality

In the case of Trump v. Ginsburg, The New York Times and Washington Post’s editorial boards are siding with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Put simply, the Times ruled that Trump is right. “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg needs to drop the political punditry and the name-calling,” its editorial board wrote Wednesday.

Following Trump’s criticism of a federal judge over his Mexican heritage, the Times found it “baffling that Justice Ginsburg would choose to descend toward his level and call her own commitment to impartiality into question,” the newspaper wrote. “Washington is more than partisan enough without the spectacle of a Supreme Court justice flinging herself into the mosh pit.”

The Washington Post concurred with the Times’ opinion and even Ginsburg’s statements to the media, which the newspaper said it didn’t find surprising.

“However valid her comments may have been, though, and however in keeping with her known political bent, they were still much, much better left unsaid by a member of the Supreme Court,” its editorial board wrote.

The Post cited the Code of Conduct for U.S. judges, which states that judges shouldn’t publicly endorse or oppose any candidate for public office, and argued that any politicization — real or not — undermines the public’s faith in an impartial court.

“As journalists, we generally favor more openness and disclosure from public figures rather than less,” the Post wrote. “Yet Justice Ginsburg’s off-the-cuff remarks about the campaign fall into that limited category of candor that we can’t admire, because it’s inconsistent with her function in our democratic system.”

Trump: Dallas Shootings Are ‘Attack on Our Country’

Hours after five Dallas police officers were killed and seven others wounded during a protest of this week’s shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota, presumptive Republican nomination Donald Trump reacted with a call for peace.

Trump tweeted Friday morning:

Trump’s campaign later announced that his event scheduled on Friday in Miami had been canceled, and released a statement condemning the “horrific execution-style shootings” as “an attack on our country.”

“It is a coordinated, premeditated assault on the men and women who keep us safe. We must restore law and order. We must restore the confidence of our people to be safe and secure in their homes and on the street. The senseless, tragic deaths of two motorists in Louisiana and Minnesota reminds us how much more needs to be done,” Trump said in the statement, referring to the police shootings earlier this week, although the shooting in Louisiana happened outside of a convenience store, not in a vehicle as in Minnesota. (The statement was later corrected to read “two people.”) “This morning I offer my thoughts and prayers for all of the victims’ families, and we pray for our brave police officers and first responders who risk their lives to protect us every single day.”

“Our nation has become too divided. Too many Americans feel like they’ve lost hope. Crime is harming too many citizens. Racial tensions have gotten worse, not better. This isn’t the American Dream we all want for our children. This is a time, perhaps more than ever, for strong leadership, love and compassion. We will pull through these tragedies.”

(h/t Politico)

Reality

Donald Trump sounded reasonable, made measured statements, and appeared to try his hand at unity during a very difficult time in our country. This is the exact type of speech we should hear from our political leaders during a tragedy.

However, while Trump’s call for a nation to come together and promoting racial unity is right on the mark, it is missing the fact that since announcing his candidacy, Trump has used fear mongering, race-baiting, and strong man tactics to propel himself to the Republican nominee for the presidency. We’ve cataloged a long list of Trump’s racist comments on Hispanics, Middle Eastern-Americans, African-Americans, Hebrews, Asians-Americans, and foreigners, that marginalizes minority groups and gives a greater platform to white supremacists.

For example, compare Trump’s scripted statement and his “Make America Safe Again” video with his remarks only three weeks prior in response to the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.

Donald Trump used divisive statements in an attempt to pit the LGBT community against the Muslim community:

“[Hillary Clinton] can’t claim to be supportive of [LGBT] communities while trying to increase the number of people coming in who want to oppress them.”

And placed the blame for the attack at the feet of Muslim-Americans:

“Muslim communities must cooperate with law enforcement and turn in the people who they know are bad—and they do know where they are.”

Trump then renewed his call for a ban on Muslims from entering the United States, incorrectly identified the New York born shooter as an Afghan, and made other various misleading statements.

Media

Trump Says He’ll Back ‘No Fly List’ Gun Control Bill

Donald Trump said Wednesday in a tweet that he would meet with the National Rifle Association to discuss “not allowing people on the terrorist watch list, or no fly list, to buy guns.”

If the presumptive Republican nominee follows through, it would appear to put him on roughly the same side of the issue as President Obama and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

But it’s also possible that Trump’s position, so far described only in a tweet, will be closer to a long-held Republican position—which sounds identical on paper, but is very different in implementation.

Here’s the issue. Most Democrats support banning anyone on the FBI watch list from purchasing a weapon, full stop.

Most Republicans, and even the NRA, say the same thing. In 2015, the gun lobby said it “does not want terrorists or other dangerous people to have firearms.” But the Republican solution would not impose a full ban.

(h/t Time)

Reality

While Trump’s proposal to ban suspected terrorists is a from purchasing a firearm is a common-sense approach to gun safety (and something the Democrats have been pushing a long time for) unfortunately it would have done little to prevent the shooting in Orlando.

Omar Marteen was actually taken off the terrorist watch list, which is something the FBI should be held accountable for.

Keep in mind, people on the terrorist watch list are still able to legally purchase guns because on December 3rd, 2015, U.S. Senate Republicans blocked legislation that would have prevented known or suspected terrorists from buying guns.

Here is the vote count for that law you can read yourself: S.Amdt.2910 to S.Amdt.2874 to H.R.3762.

Trump: Transgender People Can Use Whatever Bathroom They Want

Donald Trump answers questions on transgender bathroom use.

Transgender people should be able to use whatever bathroom they want, Donald Trump said Thursday.

“Oh, I had a feeling that question was going to come up, I will tell you. North Carolina did something that was very strong. And they’re paying a big price. There’s a lot of problems,” the Republican presidential candidate said during a town hall event on NBC’s “Today.”

Referring to comments from an unnamed commentator who on Wednesday said North Carolina should “leave it the way it is right now,” Trump said he agreed.

“Leave it the way it is. North Carolina, what they’re going through with all the business that’s leaving, all of the strife — and this is on both sides. Leave it the way it is,” he said, referring to companies that have canceled plans to move or expand businesses in the state as a result of the law, which bans transgender individuals from using a bathroom that does not match their gender at birth.

“There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go. They use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate,” Trump said. “There has been so little trouble. And the problem with what happened in North Carolina is the strife and the economic — I mean, the economic punishment that they’re taking.”

Matt Lauer then asked whether Trump has any transgender people working for his company.

“I really don’t know. I probably do. I really don’t know,” Trump said, answering that he would allow, say, transgender celebrity Caitlyn Jenner to use whatever bathroom she wanted at Trump Tower.

He added, “You know, there’s a big move to create new bathrooms. Problem with that is for transgender, that would be—first of all, I think that would be discriminatory in a certain way. That would be unbelievably expensive for businesses in the country. Leave it the way it is.”

(h/t Politico, Today)

Reality

Trump has been a little more progressive with LGBT rights in the past, for example allowing Jenna Talackova to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant, but he also is not progressive, in the same interview telling a joke comparing her name to “genitals”. He also supported amending the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

However it is important to remember that Trump still supports traditional marriage.

Ted Cruz directly responded to Trump’s comments in a very Ted Cruz way.

Media

 

Megyn Kelly Meets With Trump in New York

Fox New's Megyn Kelly talks about meeting with Trump to clear the air.

Fox News host Megyn Kelly and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump met in New York City on Wednesday morning.

Kelly requested the meeting with Trump, which was held at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.

Kelly said Wednesday night on “The Kelly File” the two met for about an hour, and had “a chance to clear the air.”

“Mr. Trump and I discussed the possibility of an interview and I hope we will have news to announce on that soon,” she said.

Kelly added that the doormen “appeared a bit stunned” when she walked in the building, but they, too, were “incredibly nice.”

Trump confirmed the meeting with Kelly at a town hall hosted by Fox News’ Sean Hannity in Pittsburgh, Pa., but did not say what was discussed. The crowd booed the initial mention of Kelly’s name.

“She was very, very nice,” Trump said. “I give her a lot of credit for doing what she did. Let’s see what happens.”

(h/t Fox News)

Reality

The fact that Trump was willing to meet with her should be somewhat commendable, however it is interesting to note that it was Megyn Kelly, not Donald Trump, who was the bigger person and initiated the conversation.

Trump’s feud with Megyn Kelly has been well-documented by this site. Trump has called Kelly “crazy” and a “bimbo” on multiple occasions.

Media

Donald Trump and the “Nazi” Voter Pledge

Donald Trump led a mass rally in taking a pledge affirming their commitment to voting for him, and vowed to broaden existing laws regarding the interrogation of captured terrorist suspects.

The scene unfolded during a raucous rally at a University of Central Florida arena in Orlando, Florida, that featured frequent interruptions by protesters over Trump’s hour-long address.

“Let’s do a pledge. Who likes me in this room?” Trump asked the crowd. “I’ve never done this before. Can I have a pledge? A swearing? Raise your right hand.”

The Republican front-runner then had the audience repeat after him.

“I do solemnly swear that I, no matter how I feel, no matter what the conditions, if there are hurricanes or whatever, will vote on or before the 12th for Donald J. Trump for President.”

The crowd ended the pledge with cheers.

“Now I know. Don’t forget you all raised your hands. You swore. Bad things happen if you don’t live up to what you just did,” Trump said before continuing with his speech.

Reality

Some media sites sold this event as a Nazi salute, but quite frankly I don’t buy that. I think if anything it was bad optics on Trump’s part. If I were voting against Trump I would focus my energy at his comments about broadening illegal torture instead.

See look. Nazis…

Not Nazis…

Links

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/03/05/trump_supporters_raise_right_hands_to_pledge_support_to_donald_trump.html

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2016/03/08/3757605/donald-trump-nazi-salute-ignorant/

http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/05/politics/donald-trump-florida-pledge-torture/