Trump claims he tried to quell “send her back!” chants. The video says otherwise.

During an Oval Office media session with the US Special Olympics team on Thursday, President Donald Trump made a desperate attempt to distance himself from one of the ugliest moments of his presidency — one his words directly incited, despite what he’d now have people believe.

ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked why he didn’t do something to try to stop the “send her back!” chants that were directed toward Somali refugee-turned-Rep. Ilhan Omar during his rally the night before in North Carolina. Trump defended himself by simply lying.

“Well, number one, I think I did. I started speaking very quickly,” Trump said. “I disagree with [the chants], by the way. But it was quite a chant, and I felt a little bit badly about it. But I will say — I did, and I started speaking very quickly. But it started up rather fast.”

Trump went on to try to draw a contrast between what he said and what his supporters chanted.

“I didn’t say that, they did,” Trump said, prompting Karl to point out that the chant seemed to be directly inspired not only by his misleading attacks on Omar during the rally, but also by tweets he posted on Sunday urging Omar and other Democratic women of color in Congress who are critical of him to leave the country.

“If you examine that, I don’t think you’ll find that,” Trump said, unconvincingly. He then moved on to taking questions from other reporters.

Trump isn’t shy about gaslighting — during a speech last summer, he advised his supporters to “just remember, what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.” But his claim that he “started speaking very quickly” is directly contradicted by video footage of Wednesday’s event.

Here’s what really happened

After Trump spent about two minutes lambasting Omar during his rally in North Carolina — going as far as to falsely accuse her of sympathizing with al-Qaeda — the “send her back!” chants broke out. But instead of trying to stop them, Trump briefly basked in the chants before moving on with his speech.

He gave no indication that he disagreed with the sentiments expressed by his supporters. In fact, given that he admonished Omar and other congresswomen of color “to go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” in the aforementioned tweet, the idea that he’s opposed to such sentiments is a huge stretch.

Here’s the full clip of the chants and what led up to them:

The chants quickly became the major headline from the speech, in a week when Trump has continued his racist attacks on Democratic women of color. Journalists and politicians compared the outburst to scenes from fascist rallies, including Nazi Germany.

Even Trump and his supporters seem to realize that this is a bad look. But instead of apologizing, they’re lying. For instance, during his weekly press conference on Thursday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) tried to portray the fact that Trump continued with his speech after the chants as though it constituted a bold stand against bigotry.

White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley echoed McCarthy during a Fox News interview later that day. “He didn’t let the chant go on very long,” Gidley said, adding that “it’s tough to hear what they were chanting.” (It was not tough to hear what people were chanting.)

While the White House and McCarthy try to rewrite history, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said the quiet part loud. Asked about the anti-Omar chants during a press gaggle on Thursday, Graham suggested that Trump and his supporters are only interested in deporting refugees who don’t support the president politically.

“If you’re a Somali refugee wearing a MAGA cap, [Trump] doesn’t want to send you back,” Graham said. “What does that tell me? That it’s about the criticism, not the critic.”

Refugees, however, have just as much of a right to criticize the president as anybody else — no matter how much Trump and his supporters may dislike it.

[Vox]

Trump Claims Only Republicans Can Pull Off Preexisting Condition Protections Already Available in Obamacare

Donald Trump told his rally-goers dozens of insane lies, but one lie really stood out, claiming, “The Democrats’ vision on healthcare is deception and disruption … patients with pre-existing conditions are protected by Republicans much more so than were protected by Democrats who can never pull it off.”

One problem. Obamacare, passed by Democrats, contains protections for people with preexisting medical conditions and this is the same law Republicans tried to repeal 70 times and Trump’s own DOJ is currently trying to dismantle in courts today.

Trump supporters chant ‘send her back’ as president hurls racially-charged accusations at Rep. Omar

President Donald Trump went through a series of things he said Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) had said that he deemed anti-American. He said that she belittled 9/11 and a slew of other accusations that were racially charged.

His crowd booed each thing he checked off of the box things he hated about her. But then the crowd began chanting “send her back! Send her back!”

Omar is an immigrant from Somalia who emigrated along with her parents when she was just 12 years old. Her family claimed asylum from their war-torn country.

Trump said on Twitter that he believed she along with three other Congresswomen of color should be sent back to the countries they’re from. Trump’s campaign and Republicans proceeded to spend the days that followed, saying that Trump simply wanted them to leave the U.S. if they didn’t like it so much. Today’s chant from his supporters proved once again, that the “love it or leave it” spin isn’t working.

[Raw Story]

Media

Trump Continues Attacks on Democratic Congresswomen – Calls Them the ‘Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse’

President Donald Trump is not letting go of his latest obsession: the four progressive Democratic freshmen Congresswomen who are also women of color.

In an early Wednesday morning rant Trump quoted Louisiana Republican Senator John Kennedy, a chameleon who likes to appear as a moderate on MSNBC, then take off his mask and reveal himself as strongly conservative.

Trump, quoting Kennedy, called the four Congresswomen, “wack jobs” and “the four horsewomen of the apocalypse,” a phrase white nationalist Fox News host Laura Ingraham coined to attack the progressive Democrats when they were first elected in November.

“In America, if you hate our Country, you are free to leave. The simple fact of the matter is, the four Congresswomen think that America is wicked in its origins, they think that America is even more wicked now, that we are all racist and evil. They’re entitled to their opinion, they’re Americans. Now I’m entitled to my opinion, & I just think they’re left wing cranks. They’re the reason there are directions on a shampoo bottle, & we should ignore them. The ‘squad’ has moved the Democrat Party substantially LEFT, and they are destroying the Democrat Party. I’m appalled that so many of our Presidential candidates are falling all over themselves to try to agree with the four horsewomen of the apocalypse. I’m entitled to say that they’re Wack Jobs.”

Here’s Sen. Kennedy last night talking to Fox News’ host Tucker Carlson, who has been accused of being a white supremacist.

Trump finished his rant by claiming – falsely – House Democrats are getting nothing done. Meanwhile, the truth is the House has passed 325 bills but “grim reaper” Mitch McConnell is refusing to allow almost any to come to the floor.

[The New Civil Rights Movement]

Trump: I don’t have a racist bone in my body

President Trump on Tuesday insisted he is not a racist amid sustained criticism of his attacks on four minority, progressive Democratic congresswomen.

The president’s latest defense of his tweets telling the lawmakers to “go back” to their home countries, even though they are all U.S. citizens, came hours before the House is set to vote on a resolution condemning them as racist.

“Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!” Trump tweeted.

Trump condemned the “so-called vote” on the resolution as a “Democrat con game,” sending a message to Republicans to vote against the measure.

“Republicans should not show ‘weakness’ and fall into their trap. This should be a vote on the filthy language, statements and lies told by the Democrat,” he tweeted.

Trump also repeated his belief that the four Democratic lawmakers “hate our Country.”

Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) — the group targeted by Trump — held a press conference Monday to push back against his statements the previous day.

Omar accused Trump of launching a “blatantly racist attack” against her and her three colleagues and said he is advancing the “agenda of white nationalists.” 

As the controversy raged on for a third day, the president telegraphed his strategy to elevate the group of lawmakers in an attempt to paint Democrats as extreme during his reelection race.

Nancy Pelosi tried to push them away, but now they are forever wedded to the Democrat Party. See you in 2020!” Trump tweeted.

But his attacks have also galvanized Democrats who have been plagued by infighting, in part due to a public spat between Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the group of four progressive lawmakers.

The House plans to vote on its resolution against Trump’s comments later Tuesday. The text of the measure “strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should ‘go back’ to other countries.”

In a series of tweets Sunday, Trump wrote that the women should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

Three of them are natural-born U.S. citizens and the fourth, Omar, is a naturalized citizen who was a refugee from Somalia.

The tweets are the latest instance of Trump stoking racial animus since he burst onto the political stage. Before he was elected president, Trump questioned whether former President Obama was a U.S. citizen even though he was born in Hawaii. Trump also lashed out at a federal judge by arguing his Mexican heritage would not allow him to fairly decide lawsuits against Trump University.

Almost two years ago, Trump drew widespread condemnation for saying there were “very fine people on both sides” of a violent protest in Charlottesville, Va., where a white nationalist killed a counterprotester.

[The Hill]

Reality

Kellyanne Conway Snaps Back at Reporter: ‘What’s Your Ethnicity?’

When White House reporter Andrew Feinberg posed a question to Kellyanne Conway on Tuesday about the president’s racist tweets against the four congresswomen known as the “Squad,” he found himself taken aback by her response. 

Feinberg, a reporter for the website BeltwayBreakfast.com, asked the White House counselor which countries President Donald Trump was referring to when he suggested Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar—all U.S. citizens—should “go back” to where they came from. 

Instead of answering that question, Conway asked him, “What’s your ethnicity?” 

“Uh… why is that relevant?” Feinberg asked before Conway interrupted him to say, “Because I’m asking you a question.”

After Conway shares that her ancestors are from Ireland and Italy, the reporter said, “My ethnicity is not relevant to the question I’m asking you.” 

Conway still would not answer Feinberg’s question, instead insisting that he question was relevant because Trump said “originally” from—he didn’t—and going on a rant about how “a lot of us are sick and tired in this country of America coming last,” echoing comments she made on Fox News earlier in the day about the “Squad” representing a “dark underbelly in this country.” 

In that same Fox interview, Conway distanced herself from her husband George Conway, whose latest Washington Post column is headlined: “Trump is a racist president.” 

Reached for comment, Feinberg told The Daily Beast, “It’s not the first time she’s responded to one of my questions with an irrelevant question, but this time was particularly bizarre.”

“I just wanted to get back to what I was asking her about,” he added, “so I was glad she was able to confirm the president’s thinking on the matter.”

[The Daily Beast]

Media

Trump calls for a “treason” investigation based on a Fox & Friends news brief

President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that his administration would review whether Google has committed “treason” after seeing a Fox & Friends news brief in which one of his biggest Silicon Valley supporters floated that baseless claim.

Trump was responding to a Fox & Friends segment from earlier Tuesday morning, as he indicated by tagging the show’s Twitter handle and using quotes from its programming. An hour earlier, Fox news reader Jillian Mele began a news brief, “Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel believes China should be investigated for treason.” As she spoke, Fox’s chyron read, “Thiel accuses Google of working with Chinese Govt.”

Trump regularly watches Fox News programs like Fox & Friends (often on delay using his “Super Tivo”) and tweets about segments that catch his attention. This creates a feedback loop between the president and his most avid propagandists which can swing both the national news cycle and federal policy

Fox segments spur some of the president’s most inflammatory comments — this morning’s tweet marks at least the fourth time the president has responded to the network’s coverage by promoting a treason charge against his perceived enemies.

In this case, Trump was picking up on an accusation from Thiel, a wealthy tech investor and major Trump donor who spoke at the 2016 Republican convention. In a speech on Sunday, Thiel said that Google’s decision to work with the Chinese government to produce a censored version of its search while letting a Pentagon contract lapse was “seemingly treasonous,” and he suggested without evidence that Google’s executive corps had been “infiltrated” by foreign intelligence services. “These questions need to be asked by the FBI and the CIA,” he added. (Thiel sits on the board of Facebook, a Google competitor.)

The Pentagon has previously alleged that Google’s work in China provides a “direct benefit to the Chinese military,” and Trump has echoed the point. The tech company responded that it is not working with the Chinese military. 

Thiel returned to the subject during a Monday night appearance on Fox News host and sometime Trump adviser Tucker Carlson’s show, floating what he described as “a few different possibilities” while offering no evidence for his claim of Chinese infiltration of and treason by Google. 

“If [Google CEO] Sundar Pinchai was sitting right here, what would you say to him?” Carlson asked at one point.

“Well, I would say, answer my three questions,” Thiel replied. “How many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated Google? Have the Chinese in particular infiltrated? And why are you working with Communist China and not the U.S.? What is the reason you’re doing that?”

“The questions you raise, and this is not in any way to minimize their importance, are kind of obvious questions,” Carlson replied. “Why hasn’t the U.S. government ascertained the answers?”

“It’s possible that there are people in the U.S. government looking into it and they haven’t told us, but yeah, I think the FBI and CIA would be the natural places to look into it,” Thiel said.

Mele aired a clip from that interview during her news brief the following morning. 

Fox’s credulous coverage of Thiel’s speculation — and Trump’s parroting of those claims — is no surprise. Right-wing activists and journalists have treated tech companies as an emerging enemy force in recent years. By inflating claims of purported bias against conservatives on social media platforms, they sought to redeploy ref-working tactics previously used against news media outlets. 

Fueled by Fox, Trump has adopted this campaign as his own. Last year, Trump claimed Google’s search engine was “suppressing voices of Conservatives” and promised to act against it, apparently in response to a conspiracy-minded segment he saw on Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs Tonight

Last week, Trump took that accusation from Twitter to the White House Rose Garden. “We had a terrible bias,” Trump said at Thursday’s “Presidential Social Media Summit,” an event that sought to mainstream previously fringe pro-Trump figures. “We have censorship like nobody has any understanding or nobody can believe.” 

[Media Matters]

Trump Attacks Congresswomen in Unhinged Presser: ‘They Hate Our Country’ With a Passion, ‘They Hate Jews’

In his first public comments since he leveled attacks on Democratic congresswomen that many saw as racist, President Donald Trump defended his tweets in a press conference on the south lawn of the White House.

Trump took questions in a contentious back-and-forth from the press and continued to hit Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) for “hating Israel” and three other freshman congresswomen, namely Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. Rashida Tlaiband Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the last of which he blamed for Amazon not building a East Coast headquarters in Queens, New York.

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” Trump wrote of the congresswomen in a Twitter thread Sunday morning.

“They are very unhappy,” Trump told reporters on Monday. “I’m watching them, all they do is complain. All I’m saying, if they want to leave, they can leave.”

He then turned his focus of derision on Rep. Omar, referring to her as “somebody that comes from Somalia.” He continued that Omar is “never happy, says horrible things about Israel, hates Israel, hates Jews.”

“I look at the one, I look at Omar,” Trump said. “I don’t know, I never met her. I hear the way she talks about Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda has killed many Americans.”

He finished, “They can leave, and you know what? I’m sure there will be many people that want to miss them.”

Trump spoke at length, ultimately claiming that these four congresswomen, “hate our country … with a passion” before oddly lamenting how the “Democrat party” would be making a big political mistake by getting behind these four individuals.

[Mediaite]

Reality

Trump lied about Omar’s Al Qaeda comments.

Trump admin dramatically limits asylum claims by Central Americans

The Trump administration on Monday moved to dramatically limit the ability of Central American migrants to claim asylum if they enter the United States by land through Mexico, the latest attempt by the White House to limit immigration and toughen the US asylum process amid overcrowded conditionsat border facilities.The rule from the departments of Justice and Homeland Security would prohibit migrants who have resided or “transited en route” in a third country from seeking asylum in the US, therefore barring migrants traveling through Mexico from being able to claim asylum and as a result, drastically limit who’s eligible for asylum. Over recent months, there’s been a dramatic spike in apprehensions at the US-Mexico border. The majority of migrants are from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. They’ve had to travel through Mexico to reach the border and upon arriving in the US, some have turned themselves into the US Border Patrol and claimed asylum.The regulation addresses that group of migrants.

“Until Congress can act, this interim rule will help reduce a major ‘pull’ factor driving irregular migration to the United States,” acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan in a statement. It will allow the departments of Justice and Homeland Security to “more quickly and efficiently process cases originating from the southern border, leading to fewer individuals transiting through Mexico on a dangerous journey.”There are some exceptions: an asylum seeker whose claim was denied after applying for protection in a country, if someone has been trafficked, and if someone transited through a country that did not sign one of the major international treaties on refugees. The rule would take effect immediately but is certain to face legal challenges. Under US law, migrants are allowed to claim asylum once on US soil. There’s a caveat, however, for those who come through safe third countries, meaning countries that the US has entered into an agreement with. The United Nations’ refugee agency defines “safe country,” in part, as “being countries in which refugees can enjoy asylum without any danger.”But Trump’s own statements on Mexico could undercut that definition. In tweets, the President has called Mexico “one of the most dangerous country’s in the world” and claimed that the murder rate in the country has increased.”The Coyotes and Drug Cartels are in total control of the Mexico side of the Southern Border. They have labs nearby where they make drugs to sell into the U.S. Mexico, one of the most dangerous country’s in the world, must eradicate this problem now. Also, stop the MARCH to U.S.” Trump tweeted in April.

[CNN]

Trump Doubles Down on Attacking Democratic Congresswomen Who He Said Should ‘Go Back’

President Donald Trump stuck to his attack on freshmen Democratic congresswomen from earlier Sunday, arguing his opponents are defending “people who speak so badly of our Country.”

Trump has been widely condemned for his tweets attacking freshmen Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib(D-MI) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA).

He doubled down on his stance Sunday night:

“If the Democrat Party wants to continue to condone such disgraceful behavior, then we look even more forward to seeing you at the ballot box in 2020!” Trump said.

A new poll from NBC News and The Wall Street Journal shows Trump trailing Democratic rivals Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) by at least five points.

[Mediaite]

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