Trump promotes violence in support of white supremacist rally in Virginia

President Donald Trump slammed Virginia Democrats over several gun violence prevention measures they’re looking to pass in the state, as a white supremacist group gears up to protest at an annual gun rights rally outside the state capitol. 

“Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia,” the president tweeted on Friday evening. “That’s what happens when you vote for Democrats, they will take your guns away. Republicans will win Virginia in 2020. Thank you Dems!” 

Trump’s tweet came shortly after law enforcement arrested three suspected white supremacists in Maryland and Delaware who had allegedly talked about opening fire at Monday’s pro-gun rally.

The suspects belong to a violent white-supremacist group called “the Base,” whose aim is “to accelerate the downfall of the US government, incite a race war and establish a white ethno-state,” according to an affidavit filed in Georgia court, as The Wall Street Journal reported.

Several other members of the Base were arrested throughout the country this week on different charges. 

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, announced Wednesday that the state would temporarily ban firearms in Capitol Square prior to Monday’s rally, citing the arrests and threat of a shooting. 

Gun rights groups appealed Northam’s decision, but a federal appeals court judge upheld the temporary gun ban on Thursday, writing that “the Second Amendment right to bear arms is not unlimited.” 

“This is the right decision,” Northam said in a Thursday statement about the ruling. “These threats are real — as evidenced by reports of neo-Nazis arrested this morning after discussing plans to head to Richmond with firearms.”

Virginia Democrats, who control both the state house and senate, are working on passing several gun regulations, including background checks on gun sales, a law that would allow authorities to confiscate a gun from someone they believe is a danger to themselves, a ban on firearms in government buildings. 

Tens of thousands of pro-gun protesters are expected to gather outside the state capitol building in the annual Lobby Day protest.

[Business Insider]

Trump Boasts of Stock Market In Wild Tweet: ‘HOW ARE YOUR 409K’S DOING?’

President Donald Trump touched on a series of topics in his Thursday morning Twitter statements, and in the most recent one, he declared that the stock market is soaring and everyone’s “409K’S” are doing great.

“STOCK MARKET AT ALL-TIME HIGH!” Trump tweeted in all-caps. “HOW ARE YOUR 409K’S DOING? 70%, 80%, 90% up? Only 50% up! What are you doing wrong?”

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1215285845336502272?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Here’s a picture of the tweet before it got deleted:

Long story short, there’s no such thing as a 409k. 401k, sure. Not 409.

[Mediaite]

Trump endorses tweet comparing top Senate Democrat to Iranians

President Trump on Friday endorsed a tweet comparing the top Senate Democrat to Iran, the United States’ longtime adversary, suggesting neither could be trusted, as Democratic leaders criticized the White House for ordering a military strike to kill a powerful Iranian commander without congressional input.

Amid a flurry of reactions from U.S. lawmakers, Trump retweeted conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza, who, in response to a headline about Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) not receiving advance notice of the military operation, wrote: “Neither were the Iranians, and for pretty much the same reason.”

Trump made similar insinuations about Democrats’ trustworthiness after the October raid that killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. At that time, Trump said he didn’t tell House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a former member of the Intelligence Committee, because “he wanted to make sure this kept secret.”

Trump ordered the U.S. drone strike that killed Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, whom the United States regarded as a war criminal responsible for hundreds of American deaths.

Republicans and Democrats were united in calling Soleimani an enemy of the United States and a terrorist.

‘This morning, Iran’s master terrorist is dead,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in remarks on the Senate floor. “The architect and chief engineer for the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism has been removed from the battlefield at the hand of the United States military.”

Schumer called Soleimani a “notorious terrorist,” and added: “No one should shed a tear over his death.”

But as Republicans celebrated what they described as Trump’s decisive action, Democrats criticized the president’s order to act unilaterally while expressing grave concern that this action would move the United States closer to an in­trac­table war with Iran.

“No matter how good it may feel that Qasem Soleimani is no longer alive, he likely will end up being more dangerous to the United States, our troops and our allies, as a martyr than as a living, breathing military adversary,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).

Trump, in brief remarks Friday afternoon about the attack, said he targeted Soleimani to “stop a war,” not to start one.

Presidents typically inform the so-called Gang of Eight — the House speaker and minority leader, the Senate majority and minority leaders, and the chairmen and ranking minority-party members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees — about high-level military operations.

Top Democratic leaders in Congress received no advance notification of the strike, aides said. Pelosi spoke to Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper after the attack for about 13 minutes, said an aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly.

“I’m a member of the Gang of Eight, which is typically briefed in advance of operations of this level of significance. We were not,” Schumer said in remarks on the Senate floor, adding that the administration must be “asked probing questions not from your inner and often insulated circle, but from others, particularly Congress, which forces an administration before it acts to answer very serious questions.”

It was unclear which congressional leaders were given advance notice of the strike.

[Washington Post]

Trump Fires Back at Home Alone Snub: ‘The Movie Will Never Be the Same’

President Donald Trump blamed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after his brief cameo in early 90s movie Home Alone 2 was cut out of a holiday broadcast on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

“I guess Justin T doesn’t much like my making him pay up on NATO or Trade!” Trump tweeted out, seemingly blaming the Canadian prime minister for the network’s editing choice.

He then lamented with a bit of kid at the end — retweeting a Mediaite post — that “the movie will never be the same! (just kidding).”

Trump is featured only briefly in the film running into Home Alone 2 star Macaulay Culkin.

CBC has defended their editing choices, claiming cutting out Trump had nothing to do with politics. It was meant to make more room for commercials.

The decision was also reportedly made long before Trump bragged about being in the movie when speaking to the troops this holiday and, according to CBC, even before he was president.

[Mediaite]

Trump Retweets Attack Article That Names Alleged Whistleblower

U.S. President Donald Trump’s Twitter account retweeted on Thursday a tweet by the president’s re-election campaign account, the official “Trump war room” that allegedly names the whistleblower whose complaint led Democrats to launch the impeachment inquiry. 

“It’s pretty simple. The CIA ‘whistleblower’ is not a real whistleblower!” says the tweet Trump retweeted, which includes a link to a Washington Examiner piece, published Dec. 3, the alleged whistleblower’s name in the headline.

While some right-wing news outlets have named the alleged whistleblower, no major news agency has and Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, the president pro tempore of the United States Senate, has argued that the whistleblower’s name must remain private to protect his safety.

[Haaretz]

Trump criticizes California on homelessness, threatens federal involvement

President Donald Trump is blaming California’s governor for the state’s homeless crisis and threatening a federal government intervention.

In a Christmas Day tweet, Trump wrote, “Governor Gavin N has done a really bad job on taking care of the homeless population in California. If he can’t fix the problem, the Federal Govt. will get involved!”

This tweet came after cell phone video showed California Gov. Gavin Newsom telling reporters that the Trump administration was “not serious about this issue” and “they’re playing politics.”

This wasn’t the first time the president has chimed in on the issue. Earlier this year he had said he was considering creating a task force on the matter.

California has announced some changes to start solving homelessness. State lawmakers passed legislation that caps rent increases and the governor announced $1 billion in funding to help the homeless. But numbers from the Department of Housing and Urban Development show California has more work ahead.

The annual data from HUD shows homelessness in California increased by 21,306 people. This is up 16.4% from last year. This is higher than the overall national increase of 2.7%.

Maria Foscarinis is the executive director of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. She said affordable housing is the solution.

“It’s a matter of making this a priority and recognizing that this is something that needs a solution, it affects everybody. Homelessness obviously affects homeless people, but it affects entire communities,” said Foscarinis.

Local leaders in California also say that while housing is important in solving homelessness, it’s only part of it. They say there must be other services, such as addiction and mental health treatment.

That is the lesson that other states and cities are learning as they grapple with their own homelessness crises.

California is among the hardest hit by the homelessness crisis but it has affected communities up and down the West Coast. Oregon’s homeless population increased by more than 9% in 2019. And while Washington State showed a slight decline of 3.3%, Seattle continues to struggle to find solutions for its homeless population.

KOMO News recently reported on the intertwined crises of homelessness, drug addiction and restrictions on law enforcement in an extensive documentary, “Seattle Is Dying.” Reporters spoke to residents, business owners and police officers who expressed frustration as they have watched their city change for the worse in recent years.

KOMO reporters also traveled to San Francisco, a city with one of the highest costs of living in the country and one of the largest homeless populations. The documentary looked into possible solutions that have worked in other cities, including medication-assisted treatment for addiction and rehabilitation programs for homeless persons who enter the criminal justice system.

[ABC News]

Trump goes after Pelosi in early morning tweets complaining about impeachment

President Trump assailed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a series of tweets early Thursday, saying she should “clean up” her “filthy” and “dirty” district and suggesting she should face a primary challenger in 2020.

Trump, who repeated his earlier characterizations of Pelosi as “crazy,” continued his theme of lashing out at Democrats roughly a week after the House voted largely along party lines to pass articles of impeachment accusing him of abusing his office and obstructing Congress.

Trump has taken particular issue with Pelosi over her decision to delay sending the two articles of impeachment to the Senate until the rules for the impeachment trial in the upper chamber are made clear. Pelosi has expressed concerns that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will not hold a fair trial.

“The Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats said they wanted to RUSH everything through to the Senate because ‘President Trump is a threat to National Security’ (they are vicious, will say anything!), but now they don’t want to go fast anymore, they want to go very slowly. Liars!” Trump, who is on a two-week stay at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., tweeted early Thursday.

Trump then went after Pelosi and Gavin Newsom, California’s Democratic governor, claiming the two had ignored problems in their state.

“Nancy Pelosi’s District in California has rapidly become one of the worst anywhere in the U.S. when it come to the homeless & crime. It has gotten so bad, so fast — she has lost total control and, along with her equally incompetent governor, Gavin Newsom, it is a very sad sight!” Trump wrote.

“Crazy Nancy should clean up her filthy dirty District & help the homeless there. A primary for N?” the president added in a later tweet.

Pelosi, who has served in Congress for more than three decades, is facing three primary challengers in California’s 12th Congressional District, though all are believed to be long shots for the nomination.

Trump is hungry for a trial in the GOP-controlled Senate, which is widely expected to acquit him of accusations that he abused his office by pressuring Ukraine to launch investigations that could benefit his reelection campaign and obstructed the impeachment inquiry into his administration’s dealings with Kyiv.

Pelosi’s decision to withhold the articles, however, has left the timing of a Senate trial up in the air. McConnell has said he will not acquiesce to Democrats’ demands that the Senate call witnesses such as acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to testify at the trial.

Trump has lashed out over impeachment several times in recent days, telling reporters Tuesday that he believed Pelosi would be “thrown out” as Speaker of the House over her decision to move forward with impeachment.

“She got thrown out as Speaker once before,” Trump told reporters following a video teleconference with members of the military.

“I think it’s going to happen again. She’s doing a tremendous disservice to the country, and she’s not doing a great job. And some people think she doesn’t know what she’s doing,” Trump added.

[The Hill]

Trump sides with Putin on impeachment in late Friday night tweet

President Donald Trump continues to side with Russia on questions of domestic politics.

On Friday, the commander-in-chief tweeted out Russian President Vladimir Putin’s views on impeachment, adding that it is “a total witch hunt.”

Trump has received a great deal of criticism for believing the Russian military intelligence conspiracy theory that it was actually Ukraine that interfered in the 2016.

The scandal is at the heart of the impeachment trial expected to start in January.

[Raw Story]

Trump calls Christianity Today ‘far left magazine’ after editorial called for his removal from office

President Donald Trump, who has attacked many news organizations during his career in politics, found a new target Friday: Christianity Today, the faith-focused magazine founded by the iconic evangelical preacher Billy Graham.

Trump lashed out at the publication, calling it a “far left magazine” on Twitter the day after Christianity Today posted an editorial calling for him to be removed from office. Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on Wednesday and faces possible removal in a Senate trial next year.

“Christianity Today, knows nothing about reading a perfect transcript of a routine phone call and would rather have a Radical Left nonbeliever, who wants to take your religion & your guns, than Donald Trump as your President,” Trump said.

In an editorial posted on Thursday, Christianity Today said the House was justified in approving impeachment articles over allegations Trump pressured Ukraine into investigating political opponent Joe Biden.

“The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents,” the magazine said. “That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.”

Christianity Today called on the Senate to convict Trump and remove him from office, calling it “not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments.”

The Republican-run Senate is expected to acquit Trump in the trial.

In his harangue against Christianity Today, Trump said “no President has done more for the Evangelical community, and it’s not even close.”

In the 2016 presidential election, Trump won 80% of the votes from whites who declared themselves born-again or evangelical Christians, according to exit polling.

While Billy Graham died in 2018, the magazine says it is still guided by his spirit. In its editorial calling for Trump’s removal, Christianity Today said that “we do feel it necessary from time to time to make our own opinions on political matters clear – always, as Graham encouraged us, doing so with both conviction and love.”

Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son and a Trump supporter, tweeted that his father “knew @realDonaldTrump, believed in him & voted for him. He believed Donald J. Trump was the man for this hour in history for our nation.”

Other news organizations editorial boards have called for Trump’s conviction and removal, and been subject to presidential blowback – including USA TODAY.

On social media, critics of Trump noted that Christianity Today is a conservative publication and mocked the president for his criticism.

“No one would call Christianity Today ‘progressive’ but you. Sad!” tweeted Daniel W. Drezner, a professor of international politics with The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

[USA Today]

Trump Screams ‘PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT’ On Twitter the Day After Impeachment

President Donald Trump got on the Twitter machine to rail against “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT” and “the greatest Witch Hunt in American history,” now that he has been impeached in the House of Representatives.

Here’s what Trump had to say on Thursday morning:

“I got Impeached last might [sic] without one Republican vote being cast with the Do Nothing Dems on their continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in American history. Now the Do Nothing Party want to Do Nothing with the Articles & not deliver them to the Senate, but it’s Senate’s call! The Senate shall set the time and place of the trial.” If the Do Nothing Democrats decide, in their great wisdom, not to show up, they would lose by Default!”

Trump’s first two tweets refer to how House Speaker Nancy Pelositold reporters on Wednesday that even though the House of Representatives approved the articles of impeachment against the president, she won’t send them to the senate just yet. As Pelosi invoked recent comments from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, she questioned whether the senate’s impeachment hearing will be fair, and suggested that the transfer of the articles could be delayed until certain assurances and rules for the trial are agreed upon.

“We will make our decision as to when we are going to send it when we see what they are doing on the Senate side,” Pelosi said. “So far, we have not seen anything that looks fair to us.”

[Mediaite]

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