Trump HUD appointee spread conspiracy about Hillary Clinton’s satanic ritual

Joe Gibbs, one of President Trump’s appointees in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, spread the false rumor that Hillary Clinton is a Satanist during the 2016 election, CNN reports.

John Gibbs was a conservative commentator tapped to join HUD as the head of a program aimed at spurring economic development and now holds the title of senior adviser in the community planning and development division.

On Twitter, Gibbs used the “#spiritcooking” hashtag, helping spread the rumor that Clinton and her campaign chairman John Podesta participated in a Satanic ritual involving the consumption of bodily fluids. #Spiritcooking evolved into the better-known #pizzagate despite being debunked at every turn.

The tweets from Gibbs are archived on the Wayback Machine.

He also used the term “cucks” in a defense of Milo Yiannopoulos and defended anti-Semitic alt-right commenter Ricky Vaughn when he was banned from Twitter.


Don Jr. Applauds Poor Indians For Smiling Unlike People in ‘Other Parts of the Emerging World’

Don Jr., President Donald Trump’s eldest adult son and most industrious online defender, is in India this week to peddle luxury apartments bearing the family name.

And Jr., who has oft been referred to as the “smart Trump son,” had some cringeworthy comments about poor Indians that he expressed in an interview with CNBC TV18 in New Dehli.

“I think there is something about the spirit of the Indian people that is unique here to other parts of the emerging world,” Don Jr. started.

“You go through a town — and I don’t mean to be glib about it, but you can see the poorest of the poor and there is still a smile on a face,” he said. “It is a different spirit that you don’t see in other parts of the world and I think there is something unique about that.”

Don Jr. concluded with a comment that sounds like it was inspired by a fortune cookie: “I know some of the most successful people in the world, and some of them are the most miserable people in the world.”

The Trump son’s career in punditry was launched by a rousing speech he gave at his father’s nomination at the Republican National Convention in July 2016, which led many to speculate the scion harbored political ambitions. Since, Don Jr.’s political career has been mostly confined to his very active Twitter profile, which he recently used to tout fringe conspiracy websites suggesting the victims of the Florida school shooting are FBI plants.



VA cuts program for homeless vets after touting Trump’s commitment

Four days after Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin held a big Washington event to tout the Trump administration’s promise to house all homeless vets, the agency did an about-face, telling advocates it was pulling resources from a major housing program.

The VA said it was essentially ending a special $460 million program that has dramatically reduced homelessness among chronically sick and vulnerable veterans. Instead, the money would go to local VA hospitals that can use it as they like, as long as they show evidence of dealing with homelessness.

Anger exploded on a Dec. 1 call that was arranged by Shulkin’s Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans to explain the move. Advocates for veterans, state officials and even officials from HUD, which co-sponsors the program, attacked the decision, according to five people who were on the call.

“I don’t understand why you are pulling the rug out,” Elisha Harig-Blaine, a National League of Cities housing official who was on the call, said in an interview afterward. “You’re putting at risk the lives of men and women who’ve served this country.”

“The VA is taking its foot off the pedal,” said Leon Winston, an executive at Swords to Plowshares, which helps homeless vets in San Francisco, where he said the VA decision is already having an impact. HUD recently put up 100 housing vouchers for veterans in the program, but the local VA hospital said it could only provide support for 50.

The agency’s move came as HUD on Wednesday released its annual survey showing a 1.5 percent increase in veteran homelessness over 2016 — the first rise since 2010. Most of the jump occurred in Los Angeles, where housing costs are skyrocketing.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who sits on a veterans’ affairs subcommittee, called the VA decision “a new low” for the Trump administration that was “especially callous and perplexing” in view of the latest data on homelessness.

In a statement late Wednesday, Shulkin insisted that overall funding for veteran homelessness was not being cut, and seemed to suggest he might reverse the decision. He promised to get input from local VA leaders and others “on how best to target our funding to the geographical areas that need it most.”

HUD data show there were nearly 40,000 homeless veterans in 2016, and even those with housing still need assistance. The program has reduced the number of displaced servicemembers, serving 138,000 since 2010 and cut the number without housing on a given day by almost half. More than half the veterans housed are chronically ill, mentally ill or have substance abuse problems.


HUD Secretary Ben Carson: Poverty is Largely ‘A State of Mind’

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said in an interview Wednesday that having “the wrong mindset” contributes to poverty.

“I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind,” the retired neurosurgeon said during an interview with SiriusXM Radio released on Wednesday evening. “You take somebody that has the right mindset, you can take everything from them and put them on the street, and I guarantee in a little while they’ll be right back up there. And you take somebody with the wrong mindset, you could give them everything in the world, they’ll work their way right back down to the bottom.”

The former 2016 presidential candidate, who was appointed by President Donald Trump and confirmed to his Cabinet post in March, argued parents can help prevent their kids from developing the “wrong mindset.”

“A lot of it has to do with what we teach children,” he said. “You have to instill into that child the mindset of a winner.”

He went to say that “there’s also a poverty of spirit. You develop a certain mindset.”

Carson said the government can provide help to those in need.

“I think the majority of people don’t have that defeatist attitude, but they sometimes just don’t see the way, and that’s where government can come in and be very helpful,” he added. “It can provide the ladder of opportunity, it can provide the mechanism that will demonstrate to them what can be done.”



This is not the first time Carson’s opinions have been viewed as controversial.

In March 2014, in an interview with conservative news outlet Breitbart, Carson compared the modern American government to Nazi Germany.

In 2015, Carson made headlines for saying he believes Egyptian pyramids were used to store grain.

And for reference, Ben Carson has never known poverty and currently lives in his third home in Virginia, estimated at $1.22 million dollars.


Trump’s Budget Director Convinced Him to Cut Key Program Because ‘He Didn’t Know’ What It Did

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget contained a lot of cuts to key programs that help Trump’s own voters, such as the Appalachian Regional Commission that has been responsible for helping slash high poverty rates in rural America.

In an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said that he was able to convince Trump to slash the Appalachian Regional Commission and similar programs in his proposed budget because he had no idea what the program did.

“My guess is he probably didn’t know what the Appalachian Regional Commission did,” Mulvaney said of Trump. “I was able to convince him, ‘Mr. President, this is not an efficient use of the taxpayer dollars. This is not the best way to help the people in West Virginia.’ He goes, ‘Okay, that’s great. Is there a way to get those folks the money in a more efficient way?’ And the answer is yes. And that’s what’s we’re going focus on doing.”

Harwood then asked Mulvaney if Trump was aware that his budget cuts might hurt his own voters — and Mulvaney responded that the best way to help all voters was to spur higher economic growth.

“I think what the president will tell you is, ‘The best thing I can do for those folks, whether or not they voted for me, is to figure out a way to get 3.5 percent economic growth,’” he said.

Elsewhere in the interview, Mulvaney said he’s working on getting Trump on board with making some changes to Social Security, including the disability benefits program, which he said has “become effectively a long-term unemployment, permanent unemployment program.”

(h/t Raw Story)

Trump Says Black Communities Worst Off Ever, Forgets Slavery

Donald Trump has faced criticism after declaring that African Americans are in the worst shape “ever, ever, ever”, in a town named after a slaveholder.

The Republican nominee’s latest outreach to black voters, at a North Carolina rally, drew a swift backlash.

Many on social media questioned whether Mr Trump had considered the US history of slavery and segregation.

It follows a report that his charity used funds to settle lawsuits for which he was personally liable.

At Tuesday’s campaign event in Kenansville, the White House hopeful said: “We’re going to rebuild our inner cities because our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape they’ve ever been in before.

“Ever, ever, ever.”

He continued: “You take a look at the inner cities, you get no education, you get no jobs, you get shot walking down the street.

“They’re worse, I mean honestly, places like Afghanistan are safer than some of our inner cities.

“And I say to the African-American communities, and I think it’s resonating, because you see what’s happening with my poll numbers with African Americans. They’re going, like, high.”

The businessman-turned-politician is continuing his outreach to African-American voters by meeting a group of pastors Wednesday in Cleveland, Ohio.

The BBC’s Anthony Zurcher says Mr Trump’s recent overtures to the black community may be aimed primarily at assuring moderate white voters of his racial sensitivity.

According to recent polls, he still faces an uphill climb in winning over even a modest level of black support.

Aside from a blip in one unconventional tracking poll, Mr Trump’s black support continues to be mired in low single digits.

This is roughly equal to the levels earned by the Republicans who ran against Barack Obama, the first black US president.

Last month, Mr Trump also raised eyebrows when he asked black voters: “What do you have to lose?”

He told a nearly all-white audience in Michigan that African Americans “are living in poverty” and their “schools are no good”.

Mr Trump said his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, “would rather provide a job to a refugee” than to unemployed black youths.

(h/t BBC)


One need not be a scholar to be familiar with generations of slavery, discrimination, state-sanctioned bigotry, red-lining, lynchings, segregation, and Jim Crow laws.

But as NPR points out, the data shows Trump is wrong. For example:

  • The black unemployment rate is more than 8 percent – that’s more than three points higher than the national average. But it’s halved from the recent post-recession high of 16.6 percent.
  • Plus, black employment rates have always been higher than the national average.
  • Eighty-six percent of African Americans are high school completers.
  • African Americans with a bachelor’s degree or more has more than tripled (from 6.6 percent to 22.2 percent 40 years ago) and roughly one-third of 18-24-year-olds are enrolled in college.
  • Because of the Obamacare that Trump is vowing to begin repealing on his first day in office, the number of uninsured African-Americans dropped by nearly 10 points over the last three years.
  • While there was a slight uptick in some cities since last year, crime is at an all-time low.