White House Transcript Edits Trump’s Dig That Female Reporter ‘Never’ Thinks

The White House used its official transcript to refashion President Donald Trump’s dismissive and insulting comment to a female reporter on Monday.

When Trump called on journalist Cecilia Vega of ABC News during the Rose Garden press conference, he also denigrated her intelligence:

But the official White House transcript dismissed the video evidence and claimed that he said: “I know you’re not thanking; you never do.”

White House issued a corrected transcript on Tuesday morning.

[Huffington Post]

Here’s the photo of a very white summer intern class the White House didn’t release

Past group photos of White House interns under President Donald Trump have drawn criticism for showing a group of overwhelmingly white young people. This summer, the White House didn’t make much progress on diversity — they just didn’t release the photo.

A group picture with President Donald Trump showed the summer 2017 class was very white and very male. In the fall 2017 picture, observers pointed out one of the interns seemed to be making a white power gesture. (He denied it.) And the spring 2018 class was, again, very white(although with more female interns represented).

The White House appears not to be in a hurry to put out its summer 2018 intern picture, but Vox obtained a copy.

The photo of 128 summer interns surrounding President Trump gives an overall impression of a sea of white faces, with those who appear to be people of color dramatically outnumbered. That’s despite the fact that almost half of millennials in the United States are minorities.

The White House’s summer internship program this year ran from May 30 to August 10, and the photo, which has appeared on at least one now-former intern’s Instagram account, has yet to be released. Last year, members of the media were invited into the summer 2017 photo op, with the Associated Press capturing video of the picture being taken. This year, the spring 2018 class picture was distributed by the White House as one of its photos of the week.

But the summer internship program has been over for two and a half weeks, and the White House has yet to distribute it, as its photo of the week or otherwise. The White House did not immediately return a request for comment on the photo, its release, and the diversity of its intern class.


White House Twitter Goes Full Trump, Targets Sen. Kamala Harris For ‘Supporting the Animals of MS-13’

The White House has often strained to contain President Donald Trump‘s brash rhetoric on his own personal Twitter feed, but every so often the vitriol bleeds into official channels that in previous administrations avoided trolling.

On Monday, the White House’s verified Twitter account took a page out of Trump’s book, directly targeting Democratic senators, falsely accusing them of “supporting” violent gangs.

The account typically posts statements on Trump’s achievements as president. On Monday, however, the account began by spreading positive stories about the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency — which is facing calls for its abolition by Democrats — before taking aim at lawmakers themselves.

Addressing Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), the account tweeted, “why are you supporting criminals moving weapons, drugs, and victims across our nation’s borders?”

“You must not know what ICE really does,” it added, linking to the Border Enforcement Security Task Force page of ICE’s website.

The account also targeted Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), asking “why are you supporting the animals of MS-13?”

Harris and Warren both called to abolish ICE last week, amidst outrage over the separation of migrant children from their parents at the southern border.

Meanwhile, Trump has frequently used the term “animals” to refer to MS-13 gang members, ever since his use of the term first drew outrage in May.

The president faced criticism from Democrats after he was accused of referring to undocumented immigrants as “animals” in vague comments at a televised roundtable. He later explained that he was referring to MS-13, and has exploited the confusion surrounding his comments to accuse Democrats of supporting the violent gang.

Harris later responded to the White House:


Trump Thinks the ‘White House is a Real Dump’

President Trump told members at his Trump National Bedminster golf club he has spent so much time there recently because “that White House is a real dump,” Golf magazine reported Tuesday.

According to the in-depth look at the president and his relationship to golf, Bedminster has become one of Trump’s favorite escapes. It served as a “permanent campaign rally site” in the months leading up to the election and Trump has visited the club four times since taking office.

“He has his own cottage adjacent to the pool; it was recently given a secure perimeter by the Secret Service, leading to the inevitable joke that it’s the only wall Trump has successfully built,” Golf magazine reported. “Chatting with some members before a recent round of golf, he explained his frequent appearances: ‘That White House is a real dump.'”
By contrast, people who’ve played with Trump on his courses say he praises every detail of his clubs.

“‘Is this not the most beautiful asphalt you’ve ever seen in your life?'” he’ll say of an ordinary cart path,” Golf reported. “At the turn he’ll ask, “‘Have you ever had a better burger?'”

Though Trump may take a lot of “floating mulligans” — ignoring a bad shot, or dropping a new ball without taking a penalty — and though he may have a nasty habit of driving his cart onto greens and tee boxes, Golf writes that no president has ever played the sport better.

Trump “clearly loves the game, and even at 71 is easily the best golfer who has ever lived in the White House,” the magazine said.

[USA Today]


Many of Trump’s supports are fighting to hold onto their homes, living paycheck to paycheck, and Trump calls his historic home a dump and spends weekends at his own golf resorts at their expense.

Trump White House Declines to Recognize LGBT Pride Month

President Donald Trump has broken with recent precedent by not recognizing June as LGBT Pride Month.

The decision marks an end to two of his predecessors’ tradition of officially recognizing the month. President Bill Clinton first recognized it in 1999 in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots of late June 1969, which many point to as the start of the modern gay rights movement.

Clinton again recognized June as Pride Month in 2000, but the practice was paused under the George W. Bush administration. President Barack Obama picked it up again during his eight years in office, issuing June proclamations and hosting celebrations inside the White House.

The White House did not respond to a request for a comment. Although Trump did not recognize LGBT Pride Month, he proclaimed June as Great Outdoors Month, National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, African-American Music Appreciation Month, National Ocean Month and National Homeownership Month.

As a candidate, Trump had promised to be different than many of his GOP peers on the campaign trail. In June of last year, he declared that he would be a better ally of the LGBT community than Hillary Clinton.

“Thank you to the LGBT community”, he tweeted. “I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.”

Later that month, Trump reiterated his commitment to the LGBT community after the attack at an gay nightclub in Orlando. At a New Hampshire rally, he said, “Ask yourself, who is really the friend of women and the LGBT community? Donald Trump with actions or Hillary Clinton with her words?”

So far, however, Trump has taken no actions to commemorate LGBT Pride Month or recognize the community. Ivanka Trump — the first daughter and a close adviser to the President — did, however, tweet in honor of Pride Month.

Trump’s decision to stay silent on the matter throughout June comes at a time when record numbers of Americans support same-sex marriage. According to the Pew Research Center, a record 62% of Americans now say they are in favor of allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally.


Donald Trump abandons traditional White House Ramadan celebration

Donald Trump has been criticised for not hosting an iftar dinner during Ramadan, breaking a nearly 20-year tradition.

Despite events held by previous administrations from across the political divide, this year’s Ramadan – which began on 26 May – passed nearly unobserved by the White House. It was marked only by a statement published late on Saturday afternoon, coinciding with the end of the holy month.

The first White House iftar dinner is said to have been hosted by President Thomas Jefferson in 1805. Guests included a Tunisian ambassador to the US.

Hillary Clinton, when she was first lady, resurrected the event in February 1996, hosting about 150 people for a reception for Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month.

The sunset dinner, attended by legislators, diplomats and leaders within the US Muslim community, went on to become an annual tradition starting in 1999, observed by the past three administrations.

George W Bush held an iftar dinner every year of his two terms, including just after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. James Norton, a former deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security under Bush, said: “From President Bush’s perspective, it was important post-9/11 for the administration and to show the White House and the US is inclusive of all people and religions, especially after such a traumatic event. We were not at war with Islam itself but with terrorist organisations.

“President Bush went out of his way to wrap his arms around the Muslim community. I don’t know why the current administration made this decision.”

Barack Obama hosted his first Ramadan dinner in 2009, and subsequently every year of his presidency. He visited a mosque in Baltimore last year and spoke out against Muslim stereotypes in TV dramas.

The Washington Post reported that Saturday’s White House statement was signed by Donald and Melania Trump, and was not posted to the president’s social media presences. It read: “Muslims in the United States joined those around the world during the holy month of Ramadan to focus on acts of faith and charity.

“Now, as they commemorate Eid with family and friends, they carry on the tradition of helping neighbours and breaking bread with people from all walks of life. During this holiday, we are reminded of the importance of mercy, compassion, and goodwill. With Muslims around the world, the United States renews our commitment to honor these values. Eid Mubarak.”

But Trump was condemned for cancelling the annual dinner. Washington-based Mamadou Samba, of Senegalese origin, who attended the iftar celebration hosted by Obama in 2015, said: “As a tradition held by US presidents, I personally appreciate the reception as recognition of our faith and as Muslim Americans. I looked forward to it this year but was a bit disappointed that it did not occur and wonder what it means to have skipped it.”

Talib Shareef, imam of the Nation’s Mosque in Washington, told Newsweek magazine: “It is disappointing because that’s been a good tradition. To stop it doesn’t send a good message. You get the chance to go golfing and all this other kind of stuff. How come you don’t have time for a population of your society that needs some assistance? The message that it sends is that we’re not that important.”

Others suggested the iftar dinner controversy was just the tip of an iceberg. Haroon Moghul, a fellow in Jewish-Muslim Relations at the Shalom Hartman Institute and author of the memoir How to Be a Muslim: An American Story, said: “[Trump] shows no concern for our rights, employs the worst anti-Muslim bigots in his administration, and enshrines Islamophobia into law.

“Just with this travel ban, the lives of thousands of Americans – and that’s who they are, because they live and work and contribute to here – are ruined. It is the beginning of his hatred of us, rhetoric unfolding into policy, and not the end. What difference would a dinner invitation make to any of these things?”

In May, Reuters reported that the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, had refused a recommendation by the state department’s office of religion and global affairs – which typically initiates such events – to host a reception marking Eid al-Fitr.

A state department spokesperson told Reuters it was “still exploring possible options for observance of Eid al-Fitr. US ambassadors are encouraged to celebrate Ramadan through a variety of activities, which are held annually at missions around the world.”

The Trump administration has been accused of Islamophobia for the president’s controversial proposed travel ban on six predominantly Muslim countries. After the presidential order was temporarily blocked by two federal appeals courts, the US supreme court on Monday reinstated significant elements of the ban. Trump was quick to claim a victory.

This month, about 100 Muslim activists protested against the US president’s divisive policies and rhetoric on Islam outside Trump Tower in New York. The group prayed and broke fast outside the president’s business headquarters late on 1 June, as part of the “#IftarInTheStreets” action organised by immigrant advocacy groups.

Asked why the dinner did not take place, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on Monday: “I don’t know.”

[The Guardian]

White House Warns Reporters Not to Report on Instructions About Not Reporting on Press Conference

The Trump administration, acting on the fairly sound logic that its supporters don’t care in any way whatsoever about the civic principle that the government should be scrutinized by a free press, has started to cut down on the number of press conferences it gives that occur on camera. Wednesday, the administration announced that Thursday’s press briefing by Sarah Huckabee Sanders would be one such no-video affair, then introduced a Kafka-esque twist by declaring that the announcement itself was “NOT REPORTABLE.”


Trump has spent $133K on White House furnishing

President Trump spent about $133,000 in taxpayer money on furnishings for the White House between January and May, Mic reported Wednesday.

Former President Barack Obama spent just about $51,000 during the same period, according to White House records – though the same records show Obama spent more money later that year, narrowing the gap between how much each president spent on furnishings.

Obama spent about $70,000 during June of 2008, compared to just $17,000 for Trump this month. That still puts Trump at roughly $24,000 ahead of Obama’s furniture spending at this point during Obama’s presidency.

According to the Mic report, one of Trump’s top dollar orders was a custom conference table from the Kittinger Company, Inc. that cost $13,000. According to Mic, former President Richard Nixon also had a Kittinger conference table, but paid for it himself.

The spending on White House furnishings comes amid scrutiny over Trump’s frequent weekend trips to Trump-brand golf clubs and luxury resorts, which have cost taxpayers millions.

[The Hill]