The attorney for former White House political strategist Steve Bannon relayed the questions his client was being asked during Tuesday’s testimony before the House Intelligence Committee back to officials at the Trump White House — and he was instructed to not answer them.
The Associated Press reports that Bannon’s attorney, Bill Burk, “relayed questions, in real time” to the Trump White House, who in turn instructed Bannon to not answer any questions about things that happened both during the presidential transition in late 2016, or about his time within the White House.
“It’s unclear who Burck communicated with or whether it was top White House lawyer Don McGahn,” the AP writes. “Burck is also representing McGahn in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.”
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) claimed Tuesday that Bannon’s attorney contacted the White House after the committee subpoenaed him.
“This was effectively a gag order by the White House,” Schiff said.
In a related story, sources tell CNBC that the White House believed that it had a deal with Congressional investigators to limit the scope of questioning to Bannon to only events that took place during the 2016 presidential campaign — not during the transition or the Trump presidency.
“We said ‘Hey, hey, pump the brakes,’” one White House official said. “We said to Bannon, ‘Don’t answer those questions because we haven’t agreed to that scope under the process.’”
Faced with the likelihood of a “blue tsunami” in the 2018 midterm elections, President Donald Trump is holding out hope that terrorists will attack the country, reported the Washington Post on Wednesday.
“In private conversations,” said the Post, “Trump has told advisers that he doesn’t think the 2018 election has to be as bad as others are predicting. He has referenced the 2002 midterms, when George W. Bush and Republicans fared better after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, these people said.”
Matthew Yglesias at Vox.com wrote, “(T)his is a frightening line of thought for an incumbent president and his team to be entertaining.”
“(I)f the president and his top staff are not so concerned with democracy but purely political power, that’s a terrifying proposition,” said Yglesias.
If Trump believes that a terror attack will be a boon to his political fortunes, asked Vox, “How hard is he really working to keep the country safe?”
Porn star Stormy Daniels has now gone on the record in an interview with In Touch Weekly about her alleged sexual encounters with President Donald Trump.
In an interview filled with cringe-worthy details, Daniels says that sex with Trump was “textbook generic,” while expressing regret that she ever had an affair with Trump back in 2006, shortly after his wife Melania gave birth to their son, Barron Trump.
“[The sex] was textbook generic,” she said. “I actually don’t even know why I did it, but I do remember while we were having sex, I was like, ‘Please, don’t try to pay me.’”
She reportedly became involved with Trump after he invited her to dinner in his hotel room after meeting her at the American Century celebrity golf tournament in July 2006. After Daniels went to the bathroom after dinner, she said she returned to see Trump lying in bed beckoning her toward him.
“And I was like, ‘Ugh, here we go,’” she said. “And we started kissing.”
Trump’s relationship with Daniels first became public after the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Trump attorney Michael Cohen had paid her $130,000 to keep quiet about their affair. Cohen tells In Touch that he still denies any allegation that the president had an affair with Daniels.
According to The Daily Beast, In Touch Weekly will publish a 5,500 word unedited interview with Daniels later this week.
The publication reportedly verified Daniels’ account with two sources, and made her take a polygraph test.
UPDATE: MORE DETAILS
WARNING: Prepare to scrub your eyes out] Stephanie Clifford, who uses the name “Stormy Daniels” in the adult film industry, may have signed a non-disclosure agreement and accepted a hush money settlement to keep quiet in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election, but she’d already spilled the beans on their super-cringeworthy affair back in 2011 to In Touch magazine. Now InTouch Weekly has released the details of that interview:
Stormy told In Touch, “[The sex] was textbook generic,” while discussing the fling they had less than four months after Donald’s wife, Melania, gave birth to their son, Barron. “I actually don’t even know why I did it, but I do remember while we were having sex, I was like, ‘Please, don’t try to pay me.’”
It all started at the American Century celebrity golf tournament in July 2006. “[Trump] was introduced to everybody. He kept looking at me and then we ended up riding to another hole on the same golf cart together,” Stormy recalled, adding that the business mogul later came to the gift lounge her adult-film company, Wicked Pictures, sponsored and asked for her number, which she gave him, before they posed for a photo together.
“Then he asked me if I wanted to have dinner that night. And I was like, ‘Yeah, of course!’” she told In Touch. Stormy, dressed up to go out on the town, arrived at Trump’s hotel room, where she says she was greeted by a bodyguard named Keith, who let her inside. Stormy claims Trump was sprawled on the couch watching TV, wearing pajama pants. “We ended up having dinner in the room,” she revealed to In Touch.
At one point, Stormy told In Touch, she excused herself to go to the bathroom. “When I came out, he was sitting on the bed and he was like, ‘Come here.’ And I was like, ‘Ugh, here we go.’ And we started kissing.” After having sex, Stormy said, “We hung out for a little while and he just kept saying, ‘I’m gonna call you, I’m gonna call you. I have to see you again. You’re amazing. We have to get you on The Apprentice.’”
A frequent theme throughout the interview concerns Trump being taken aback by how smart and business savvy Daniels was, with Trump going so far as to tell Daniels that he wanted to put her on The Apprentice. One of Daniels’s quotes on the subject which In Touch published in the print edition of the story but not online, is particularly striking.
“We had really good banter,” Daniels told In Touch. “He told me once that I was someone to be reckoned with, beautiful, smart, just like his daughter.”
The Daily Beast reports InTouch Weekly is going to publish the entire interview in full, including these gag-worthy details:
The interview with Daniels was conducted in 2011, which means it occurred before the performer signed the reported NDA. The magazine also verified Daniels’ account with two sources at the time and had the actress take a polygraph.
According to Daniels, she and Trump first met at a golf tournament in Lake Tahoe in July 2006, just four months after his youngest son Barron was born. Trump asked for Daniels’ number and invited her to dinner. When she arrived, he was wearing sweatpants, and they ended up eating in his hotel room. She excused herself to the bathroom and when she emerged, Daniels told InTouch Trump was sitting on the bed and invited her to join him.
The report also includes the cringeworthy detail that the pair did not use protection, even though both were married to other people at the time.
And ordering dinner to his hotel room, you say? Summer Zervos is the former Apprentice contestant who is suing Donald Trump for defamation after she came forward to detail Trump’s sexual misconduct that occurred when he invited her to a business meeting at his hotel. Trump called her a liar, but her account seems to fit an emerging pattern of Donald Trump luring women to his hotel room. Zervos’ account was detailed at The Cut:
I walked farther into the living room, away from the bedroom, and sat down. I waited for about 15 minutes until Mr. Trump emerged. He had his suit on. I stood up and he came to me and started kissing me open-mouthed as he was pulling me toward him. I walked away and I sat down in a chair. He was in a low seat across from me and I made an attempt at conversation. He then asked me to sit next to him. I complied. He then grabbed my shoulder and started kissing me again very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast.
I pulled back and walked to another part of the room. He walked up, grabbed my hand, and walked me into the bedroom. I walked out. He then turned me around and said, “Let’s lay down and watch some tele-tele.” He put me into an embrace and I tried to push him away. I pushed his chest to put space between us and I said, “C’mon, man, get real.” He repeated my words back to me — “get reeeeal” — as he began thrusting his genitals. He tried to kiss me again with my hand still on his chest and I said, “Dude, you’re tripping right now,” attempting to make it clear I was not interested. He said, “Well, what do you want.” I said, “I came to have dinner.” He said, “Okay, we’ll have dinner.”
Back in Lake Tahoe in 2006, when Trump was still a newlywed to Melania, two other porn stars claim that Donald Trump and/or Stormy Daniels tried to get them to “party” in Donald Trump’s room. After one turned her phone off to ignore the pleas to come to Trump’s room, Alana Evans said she followed-up with Stormy Daniels the next morning to see how the night went and welp, here are Evans own words in an interview on The Today Show:
I called because I disappeared on her the night before and I felt bad, of course. So I called and apologized for disappearing because it wasn’t like I called and told them I wasn’t coming, I literally just turned off my phone. And asked how it went and…..(giggles)….I’m sorry but the visual that I get has stuck with me this entire time. I’m glad that you guys are going to have to deal with it too. But, having her tell me the next day that when I asked, “How did it go?” and she says, “Well, picture this Donald Trump chasing me around the bedroom in his tighty whities isn’t something that you ever forget.”
The other adult film star who Trump tried to lure to his room in 2006 was Jessica Drake. She claimed Donald Trump offered her $10,000 for sex.
“[Trump] flirted with me and invited me to walk along the golf course with him, which I did. During that time, he asked me for my phone number, which I gave to him. Later that evening, he invited me to his room. I said I didn’t feel right going alone, so two other women came with me,” said Drake in prepared remarks.
“When we entered the room, he grabbed each of us tightly in a hug and kissed each one of us without asking permission,” Drake continued. “He was wearing pajamas. A bodyguard was also present. He asked me about details on my job as an adult film star—about shooting porn, and he also asked us about our personal relationships and whether we were married or single. We answered his questions. It felt like an interview. About 30 or 45 minutes later, we left his room.”
She alleged that Trump later called her and asked, “’What do you want? How much?” and then offered her $10,000 for sex. “This is not acceptable behavior for anyone, much less a presidential candidate,” Drake said at the presser.
Donald Trump’s Tuesday press gaggle was most notable for its continuation of Trump’s casual racism and for how quick he was to toss a reporter from the White House for asking the wrong question. But down there at the very tail end of the whole session was one apparently disconnected bit …
Q: Just the Caucasian or white countries, sir? Or do you want people to come in from other parts of the world?
Q: Mr. President, is there any Kazakh money in Trump Soho?
Ever since a series of bankruptcies left banks unwilling to lend to him, Donald Trump has been on the lookout for partners willing to fund the buildings that bear his name. …
A Financial Times investigation has found evidence that one Trump venture has multiple ties to an alleged international money laundering network. Title deeds, bank records and correspondence show that a Kazakh family accused of laundering hundreds of millions of stolen dollars bought luxury apartments in a Manhattan tower part-owned by Mr Trump and embarked on major business ventures with one of the tycoon’s partners.
The question is not whether there was Kazakh money in Trump Soho. It’s whether there was any Trump money. But while it’s not certain that Donald Trump put any money in, he certainly got plenty out.
Because the Trump Soho was built as a money-laundering engine.
Lawyers for Almaty told a US court in March that Mr Khrapunov and his family “conspired to systematically loot hundreds of millions of dollars of public assets . . . and to launder their ill-gotten gains through a complex web of bank accounts and shell companies . . . particularly in the United States”.
Those dozens of shell companies include multiple companies put together for the sole purpose of grabbing up chunks of Trump Soho at far higher than market values. Why do that?
“With any money laundering, you’re trying to make the illegally gotten money look legitimate,” Quick said. “So in the simplest terms, if you have real estate, you’re going to buy a piece of property with the illegal funds, hang on to it — or have rental income from it, so that rental income is legitimate — and eventually when you sell the real estate, you get your proceeds out of it and by all accounts it appears to be a legitimate transaction.”
But why would anyone pay extra? There are several possibilities. First, that extra fee could be just what’s required to get the original property owner to look the other way.
Money coming in from a foreign corporate entity, though, also can serve as a red flag to investigators. Another is someone who buys a property and then quickly sells it. Others are how the company is formed — Delaware corporations add a level of opacity, too — or who is listed as being involved in the business.
There’s another possibility as well, especially when someone pays $100 million for a home that’s valued at less than half that. That other possibility is a simple pass through, where funds move from LLC to LLC to LLC—and not all the cash ends up on one side of the line.
So was Donald Trump making money from foreign oligarchs by simply agreeing to ignore the source of the funds picking up his properties, or was some of his “profit” actually just a convenient pipeline where dirty rubles came in one end, and nicely laundered, folded, and pressed dollars went out the other?
That would be a good question for the next press pool, for anyone who doesn’t mind hearing “out.”
But don’t worry. Someone is already looking into the answer.
DailyMailTV has viewed records of the calls made to Jordan from a number registered to Track Palin.
In one call from 2016, Track says: ‘Obviously, if you’re coming out here, and you’re going to bring anybody else out here, then your person who you’re going to bring out here is a hostile intent, and I’m going to treat him like a hostile intent I’m going to put him in the ground. I’m going to bury him.’
Jordan told DailyMailTV: ‘This is a violent person. This is a really dangerous, unstable person. I started recording him and saving every voicemail he left me.’
The 24-year-old revealed the physical assaults, harassment and psychological torture she endured as her ex awaits trial for assaulting his father at the Palin family compound in Wasilla, Alaska last month.
Jordan says that she was inspired to tell her story by the #MeToo movement, which for some reason really tickles me.
Jordan says that they started dating in 2015, and though there were some red flags, their relationship seemed relatively normal until Track took a contracting job in Iraq.
While he was gone Track became convinced that Jordan would cheat on him and called her constantly:
‘He was checking in at every location that I was at. He blamed it on being out of the country and I blamed it on that too, because he wasn’t like that before.’
As the long-distance relationship progressed, the phone calls and messages became relentless.
‘It was out of control. I think he had a lot of free time. He was stuck in a building with Wi-Fi and could blow up my phone with texts and calls.
Jordan thought things would mellow out once he returned. They didn’t. ‘Track was very possessive about me and going out in public and being around my old group of friends,’ Jordan said.
‘He was so threatened by my girlfriends, guy friends, my family, my brother – anybody. He didn’t want me around them.
‘He tried to make everybody in my life out to be a bad person and would find any flaws they had as people and make them well known to me.’
Jordan claims that Track did not seem to drink that much, but when he did he was violent and abusive.
He would sometimes use Bible verses to convince her that he would change. (Who does that sound like?)
Then came the night of the attack in 2016:
‘He wanted to see who the text was from but I wouldn’t show him my phone. We were in his car and at this point, I was ready to leave,’ she said.
‘I wanted to get in my in car and go home. He was trying to get my phone out of my hand and I was very adamant that he was not getting it.
‘I wouldn’t give him my phone and he pushed me on the ground. I was laying and he was on top of me, and still just trying to pull it out of my hands and was hitting me in the face, telling me to let go, let go, just give it to me.
‘I wouldn’t give it to him so he started kicking me and kneeing me and finally got it out of my hands and threw it across the driveway [of the Palin family home].
‘I found my phone and the screen was cracked but I tried to call 911 and it wasn’t working. I wanted to get out of there and go hide but he had my keys so I couldn’t leave.’
Jordan eventually managed to make it into the house to hide under Trig’s bed, but not before Track put the barrel of his mother’s pink AR 15 in his mouth and threatened to kill himself.
Yes, this AR-15. The one that Ted Nugent gave Palin because, you know, the more guns you have, the safer you are.
After that night, the night Track was arrested, Jordan found out she was pregnant.
Unbelievably she decided to make another go at the relationship. (Because doesn’t every young child deserve to have a dangerous, out of control parent in their life?)
Jordan claims that Todd and his friends took all of Track’s guns out of his house after the assault, but that Track is never without a gun.
He’s a gun fanatic. They are hidden in different places – his car, hunting bag, garage, bedside table, storage unit.
‘You can take away the guns that you see but he knows where other guns are hidden.
‘Even after there were no guns – there were still guns. He has friends who would bring him a gun or would buy him a gun.
‘There will never be a day that Track doesn’t have access to a gun if he’s not in jail.
‘Jordan said that Track often carried a gun with him and in particular when he was around strangers.
‘It was a regular thing that when he was yelling and mad, he had a gun in his hand.
‘After a while it didn’t even faze me. Looking back that’s so crazy. He never pointed a gun at me but he has had a gun in his hand, telling me he was going to kill me. He has put a gun to his head and in his mouth multiple times.’
Track’s abuse continued through the pregnancy, and eve after little Charlie was born.
This was Track’s response to seeing Jordan get dressed up for work:
‘He started screaming, “There’s no way, who are you working with? Did someone get hired at your work? What did you do after work? What time did you leave work? Where did you go when you left work?”
‘Charlie was now awake and screaming. I said I’m going to leave, I’m not doing this.
‘He shoves me back down and tells me I’m not leaving. This is while I’m holding Charlie who is 8lb, he was really little. I was really scared because this is the first time he had pushed me while I’m holding Charlie.
‘I stand up and dart for the door and he grabs me by the shoulders. He tells me I’m not leaving, I live here now and I need to grow up.
‘He shoved me onto the floor and I didn’t want to let a single hand off of Charlie, so I couldn’t catch myself or anything, and I fall to the floor with Charlie in my arms.
‘I run to my car and set Charlie in the carrier and lock all the doors. I’m hiding in the backseat with him trying to get Track away from us. He’s banging on the windows and throwing rocks at the car.
‘I buckle Charlie in, climb into the front seat, start my car and go down the driveway. It was a gravel driveway so he’s picking up handfuls of rocks and throwing them at my car.
Track chased her down in his truck and tried to run her, and the baby, off the road.
Track also dared her to call the police so that she “could read give our son one more embarrassing headline to read when he grows up.”
So she didn’t call the police that day, but she did leave him.
Jordan also says that Track never attended any of the counseling sessions he was court ordered to attend, including the ones he was supposed to complete in order to have joint custody of his son.
The Daily Mail post includes audio of some of Track’s harassing phone calls, and they are the stuff of nightmares.
Essentially Jordan’s story confirms just about every single thing we have been saying about Track for the last eight or nine years.
He is a violent, out of control sociopath, whose family has covered for him, and enabled him at every turn.
And it took Track almost killing his dad, to finally get them to stop letting him skate by.
UPDATE: SECOND INSTALLMENT OF JORDAN LOEWE SPILLING THE BEANS ON THE PALIN CRIMINAL FAMILY
Jordan Loewe, 24, was Track Palin’s girlfriend until weeks after the birth of their son, Charlie, now 16 months, and says they split over his violence
Now she tells DailyMailTV she felt pressured by his parents, Sarah and Todd Palin, not to go to police over the attacks she says she suffered
One attack when she did call police was two days before Palin endorsed Trump at a rally and said her son had PTSD from service in Iraq
But she tells how Sarah Palin met her weeks after that attack and offered a different account, saying: ‘Track has always had an outlet for his violence.’
‘Since he’s out of the military, he doesn’t have that outlet anymore. So it’s hard for him,’ the ex-governor said
Loewe tells DailyMailTV: ‘To his family, I was still kind of the bad guy for calling the police. The answer to them is, “we don’t call the police”.’
Todd Palin texted her after he was allegedly attacked by his son and said: ‘I’m sorry for the hell that Track has put you through.’
Sarah Palin’s attorney has not responded to repeated requests for comment form DailyMailTV
The AP has put together a running series of comments from the White House on Tuesday morning where Sarah Huckabee Sanders upholds Donald Trump as America’s unrepentant ‘hole.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says President Donald Trump is “not going to apologize for trying to fix our immigration system,” as the fall-out continues from Trump’s reported use of a vulgarity to describe some African countries.
Sanders tells reporters that Trump “hasn’t said he didn’t use strong language” in the meeting with bipartisan in the heated immigration debate last week. He was said to have used “shithole” to describe some nations in Africa.
Admitting that he actually did say “shithole” is the logical next step for Trump. It would bring the White House around to the full Fox News position—the one that says African nations, Haiti, El Salvador, and roughly half the planet, really are made up of fetid swamps, crumbling huts, and people infected with AIDS. At which point Republicans who have remained silent to this point can embrace the “tough” language of Trump, Senators Cotton and Perdue can deny they ever denied Trump’s words, and the Fascism Watch can tick another minute toward putting a nice eagle at the end of the national mall.
But while we wait for that magic moment, Sarah Huckabee Sanders has the Best Argument Ever to convince you that none of this is racist.
Responding to Democrats’ assertions that Trump’s comments were “racist,” Sanders calls the claim “outrageous,” citing their previous embrace of Trump. She said: “Why did NBC give him a show for a decade on TV. Why did Chuck Schumer and all of his colleagues come and beg Donald Trump for money?”
Seriously. That’s Huckabee’s argument. Trump can’t be racist because: Someone gave him a TV show and he was rich.
And if there’s anything the last few months have proven, it’s that rich people in the media can’t possibly do anything wrong. Right, Harvey? Isn’t that so, Charlie? Hey, why don’t we get Matt to tell us what excellent decisions NBC makes about who gets a show?
The Trump administration office in charge of combating the opioid epidemic has been hit so hard by departing staff members that officials elevated an inexperienced, unqualified 24-year-old who faked his resume’ to help get the job done.
A year after finishing college at New York’s St. John’s University, Taylor Weyeneth was promoted to deputy-chief-of-staff at the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the office responsible for the government’s billion-dollar anti-drug campaigns and fighting the opioid epidemic, The Washington Post reported on Sunday.
Before shooting to the top of the ONDCP, Weyeneth acted as a White House liaison and his only prior professional experience was working on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. The Post also uncovered that Weyeneth had falsely stated he had a Masters degree in Political Science from Fordham University on three of his résumés. He has yet to complete his degree, according to school officials.
The White House attributed his sudden rise to a large number of staff turnovers, with at least seven of the administration’s appointees departing, the office’s spokesman, William Eason told The Post. Among them were the general counsel and acting chief-of-staff, some of whose duties were taken over by Weyeneth, according to a memo obtained by The Post.
“ONDCP leadership recognizes that we have lost a few talented staff members and that the organization would benefit from an infusion of new expert staff,” said a January 3 memo from acting director Richard Baum. “The functions of the Chief of Staff will be picked up by me and the Deputy Chief of Staff.”
The White House had hired Weyeneth in March “after seeing his passion and commitment on the issue of opioids and drug addiction,” an official told The Post. Weyeneth was said to have been moved by a relative’s death from a heroin overdose several years ago.
After being contacted by the newspaper, the official said the 24-year-old would return to his role as White House liaison for ONDCP. Weyeneth had allegedly only been performing administrative work and was not involved in any policy decisions, according to the official.
It is unclear when Weyeneth returned to his original posting and his LinkedIn page still reads that he is employed as a deputy chief-of-staff.
The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.
Meanwhile, there’s this little tidbit:
When he was in high school, Weyeneth was “Director of Production” for Nature’s Chemistry, a family firm in Skaneateles, N.Y., that specialized in processing chia seeds and other health products. One résumé said he served in that job from 2008 to 2013, and two others indicate he stopped working there in September 2011.
In the summer and fall of 2011, the firm was secretly processing illegal steroids from China as part of a conspiracy involving people from Virginia, California and elsewhere in the United States and one person in China, federal court records show. Weyeneth’s stepfather, Matthew Greacen, pleaded guilty to a felony conspiracy charge last year and received two years probation and a fine.
Weyeneth was not charged in the investigation, known as Operation Grasshopper. His mother, Kim Weyeneth, said in an interview that neither she nor her son knew about the steroid production and that he provided information to help the federal prosecutors.
“We didn’t know anything that was going on,” Kim Weyeneth said, adding that she and Taylor were excluded by Greacen from a part of the facility where the steroids were kept. “It’s a very humongous plant.”
Kim Weyeneth said that she and Taylor were becoming estranged from Greacen and that she is now seeking a divorce.
Now that Trump has been president for almost a year, it’s time the media called his behavior for what it is rather than try to normalize it. Here are the six most misleading media euphemisms for conduct unbecoming a president:
1. Calling Trump’s tweets “presidential “statements” or “press releases.” “The President is the President of the United States, so they’re considered official statements by the President of the United States,” Trump’s first press secretary, Sean Spicer, said last June when asked during his daily briefing how his tweets should be characterized
Wrong. Trump’s tweets are mostly rants off the top of his head – many of them wild, inconsistent, rude, crude, and bizarre.
Normal presidential statements are products of careful thought. Advisers weigh in. Consequences are considered. Alternatives are deliberated. Which is why such statements are considered important indicators of public policy, domestically and internationally.
Trump’s tweet storms are relevant only to judging his mood on a particular day at a particular time.
2. Referring to Mar-A-Lago as “the Winter White House.” The White House says the term is accurate because Trump does official business from there, and, besides, Mar-A-Lago’s former owner wanted the Palm Beach estate to become a presidential retreat.
Rubbish. Unlike the White House and Camp David, the traditional presidential retreat, both of which are owned by taxpayers, Mar-a-Lago is a profit-making business owned by Trump.
The White House is open for public tours; Mar-a-Lago is open only to members who can pay $200,000 to join.
Mar-a-Lago, along with the other Trump resort properties that he visits regularly, constitute a massive conflict of interest. Every visit promotes the Trump resort brand, adding directly to Trump’s wealth.
Normal presidents don’t make money off the presidency. Trump does. His resorts should be called what they are – Trump’s businesses.
3. Calling his lies “false claims” or “comments that have proved to be inaccurate.” Baloney. They’re lies, plain and simple.
Early last year the Wall Street Journal’s editor-in-chief insisted that the Journal wouldn’t label Trump’s false statements as “lies.” Lying, said the editor, requires a deliberate intention to mislead, which couldn’t be proven in Trump’s case.
Last fall, NPR’s then news director, Michael Oreskes defended NPR’s refusal to use the term “liar” when describing Trump, explaining that the word constitutes “an angry tone” of “editorializing” that “confirms opinions.”
In January, Maggie Haberman, a leading Times’ political reporter, claimed that her job was “showing when something untrue is said. Our job is not to say ‘lied.’”
Wrong. Normal presidents may exaggerate; some occasionally lie. But Trump has taken lying to an entirely new level. He lies like other people breath. Almost nothing that comes out of his mouth can assumed to be true.
For Trump, lying is part of his overall strategy, his MO, and his pathology. Not to call them lies, or to deem him a liar, is itself misleading.
4. Referring to Trump’s and his aide’s possible “cooperation” or “coordination” with Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign.
This won’t due. “Cooperation” and “coordination” sound as if Trump and his campaign assistants were merely being polite to the Russians, engaged in a kind of innocent parallel play.
But nothing about what we’ve seen and heard so far suggests politeness or innocence. “Collusion” is the proper word, suggesting complicity in a conspiracy.
If true – if Trump or his aides did collude with the Russians to throw the election his way – they were engaged in treason, another important word that rarely appears in news reports.
5. Calling Trump’s and Paul Ryan’s next move “welfare reform,” as in “Trump has suggested more than once that welfare reform might be the next big legislative item on his agenda.”
Rubbish. They’re not going after “welfare.” Welfare – federal public assistance to the poor – was gutted in 1996. Trump and Ryan are aiming at Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.
Nor are they seeking to “reform” these programs. They want to cut them in order to pay for the huge tax cut they’ve given corporations and the wealthy. “We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform,” Ryan said recently, “which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit.”
So call it what it is: Planned cuts in Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.
6. Describing Trump’s comments as “racially charged.” “Racially charged” sounds like Trump doesn’t intend them to be racist but some people hear them that way. Rubbish.
Trump’s recent harangue against immigrants from “shitholes” in Latin America and Africa comes only weeks after The New York Timesreported that at another Oval Office meeting Trump said Haitian immigrants “all have AIDS” and that Nigerians who visit the US would never “go back to their huts.”
This is the man who built his political career on the racist lie that Barack Obama was born in Africa, who launched his presidential campaign with racist comments about Mexican immigrants, who saw “fine people on both sides” in the Charlottesville march of white supremacists, and who attacked African-American football players for being “unpatriotic” because they kneeled during the National Anthem to protest police discrimination.
This is the same man who in 1989 took out full page ads in New York newspapers demanding the return of the death penalty so it could be applied to five black and Latino teenagers accused of raping a white woman in Central Park – and who still refuses to admit his error even though they were exonerated by DNA evidence.
Stop using terms like “racially charged” to describe his statements. Face it. Trump is a racist, and his comments are racist.
Words matter. It’s important to describe Trump accurately. Every American must understand who we have as president.