Trump: I won’t accept the blame if Dems retake House

President Trump said Tuesday that he wouldn’t accept the blame if Democrats earned a majority in the House after the November midterm elections.

Trump told The Associated Press in a wide-ranging interview that he believes he’s been helping Republican candidates’ efforts as the general election nears.

“I don’t believe anybody has ever had this kind of impact,” he said, adding that he thinks the GOP is “going to do well” this November.

The AP noted that Trump resisted comparisons to former President Obama, who after witnessing his party see major losses during his first midterm as president in 2010 acknowledged that his party got “shellacked.”

Trump’s comments come three weeks before an election that many Republicans expect will result in losses for their party in the House, where Democrats need to net 23 seats to retake the majority. Republicans are looking to defend a slim majority in the Senate.

Polls have continued to show Democrats with a lead over Republicans on the generic congressional ballot. A CNN survey released last week found that Democrats hold a 13-point lead over Republicans among likely voters on the generic congressional ballot.

Among other issues, Democrats have said they will demand that Trump turn over his tax returns if they win back a majority in the House.

Trump told the AP that he will “handle it very well” if the party attempts to open investigations into him or tries to pursue impeachment.

[The Hill]

Trump On Trade Wars With China, U.S. Allies: ‘We’ve Been the Stupid Country for So Many Years’

During his broad-ranging interview with 60 Minutes, President Trump said America has been a “stupid country” in the past, while also defending his approach to international economics and foreign policy.

Lesley Stahl pressed Trump on his escalating trade wars with China and their retaliation across multiple markets. Trump disputed her “trade war” characterization and that eventually led to a chat on the Trump Administration’s tariffs against American allies.

“I mean, what’s an ally?” Trump said. “We have wonderful relationships with a lot of people. But nobody treats us much worse than the European Union.”

Stahl continued to ask about this “hostile” approach, and whether Trump would consider dissolving the western alliance under NATO.

“We’ve been the stupid country for so many years,” Trump said. “We shouldn’t be paying almost the entire cost of NATO to protect Europe, and then on top of that, they take advantage of us on trade.”

[Mediaite]

Trump on Mocking Christine Ford at Rally: ‘It Doesn’t Matter. We Won’

During an interview on 60 Minutes, CBS’s Lesley Stahl challenged President Donald Trump about his mockery of Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford at a Mississippi rally.

“I watched you mimic her and thousands of people were laughing at her,” Stahl said at Trump claimed he was not making fun of her.

“I– I will tell you this. The way now Justice Kavanaugh was treated has become a big factor in the midterms. Have you seen what’s gone on with the polls?”

Stahl then pressed: “Do you think you treated her with respect?”

Trump said he did.

“But you seem to be saying that she lied,” Stahl pressed further.

Trump then tried to change the subject.

“You know what? I’m not gonna get into it because we won,” he said. “It doesn’t matter. We won.”

[Mediaite]

Trump: ‘Robert E. Lee was a great general’

President Trump praised Confederate General Robert E. Lee as “a great general” on Friday during a campaign rally in Lebanon, Ohio.

“So Robert E. Lee was a great general. And Abraham Lincoln developed a phobia. He couldn’t beat Robert E. Lee,” Trump said before launching into a monologue about Lee, Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant.

“He was going crazy. I don’t know if you know this story. But Robert E. Lee was winning battle after battle after battle. And Abraham Lincoln came home, he said, ‘I can’t beat Robert E. Lee,'” Trump said.

“And he had all of his generals, they looked great, they were the top of their class at West Point. They were the greatest people. There’s only one problem — they didn’t know how the hell to win. They didn’t know how to fight. They didn’t know how,” he continued.

Trump went on to say, multiple times, that Grant had a drinking problem, saying that the former president “knocked the hell out of everyone” as a Union general.

“Man was he a good general. And he’s finally being recognized as a great general,” Trump added.

Trump has drawn criticism for his defense of Confederate statues, including those of Robert E. Lee.

He drew widespread condemnation last year following a deadly rally in Charlottesville, Va., saying that white nationalist protesters were there to oppose the removal of a “very, very important” statue.

“They were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee,” Trump said at the time. “This week it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”

Trump, speaking at another rally in Ohio last year, said that he can be one of the “most presidential” presidents to hold office. “…With the exception of the late, great Abraham Lincoln, I can be more presidential than any president that’s ever held this office,” he said to a crowd in Youngstown.

[The Hill]

White House Will ‘Look Into’ Fox News’ Decision to Stop Broadcasting Trump Rallies

The White House has vowed to “look into” a decision taken by Fox News to stop broadcasting Donald Trump’s rallies live and in full because they’re no longer bringing in high ratings. Politico reports viewing figures for Trump rallies have dropped and tend to be similar to, or even below, those for regular programming. The network only showed clips of his three rallies over the last week, rather than broadcasting the whole events uninterrupted. The report states White House figures are concerned Trump is losing control of a key platform ahead of the midterms. One senior White House official told Politico they were unsure why the network is cutting away from the rallies, saying officials planned “to look into that” and that they expect White House Communications Director Bill Shine, a former Fox News executive, to be in touch with his former colleagues about the move.

[The Daily Beast]

’Lock her up!’: Trump leads Iowa rally in a chant against California senator after saying he didn’t want to ‘slander’ her

During President Donald Trump’s Council Bluffs, IA rally he quickly threw shade at Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) over the Brett Kavanaugh scandal.

Trump claimed that Feinstein leaked Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s information, which sparked the entire sexual assault scandal.

“What about Feinstein, that’s a beauty,” Trump said.

“Did we leak the documents,” Trump said as he mocked her.

As Trump continued to joke about Feinstein, the crowd began to shout, “lock her up, lock her up.”

“I don’t want to get sued … but 98 percent she did it,” Trump said.

[Raw Story]

Reality

Donald Trump Says ‘Every Single Democrat in the US Senate Has Signed Up for…the Open Borders Bill’

At his rally in Topeka, Kansas, Saturday, President Donald Trump spoke of a bill created by Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California. The bill Trump spoke of is called the Open Borders Bill.

He stated:

“Every single democrat in the US Senate has signed up for open borders and its a billed called The Open Borders Bill and it’s written by, guess who, Dianne Feinstein. Remember the leaking, right? The leaking Dianne Feinstein.”

“If the democrat’s bill ever becomes law, a tidal wave of drugs and crime will pour into our nation like never ever before.”

Trump’s supporters echoed his statements online to bolster support for Republican candidates leading up to the November midterms.

Trump went on to state:

“Democrats also support deadly sanctuary cities that release violent predators and blood-thirsty killers like MS-13 into our communities.”

“Republicans believe our country should be a sanctuary for law-abiding Americans, not criminal aliens. And Republicans stand proudly with the brave men and women of ICE, Border Patrol, and law enforcement.”

There is a problem with the President’s characterizations of the bill however, namely, that the bill does not actually exist.

A review of the bills currently in committee in the Senate as well as those officially submitted or up for other review or vote yields no records of an “Open Borders Bill” or one that does the things Trump claims his fictitious Feinstein bill would do.

In addition to Twitter amplifying the President’s false claims of a Democrat created and fully supported “Open Borders Bill,” the Steve Bannon founded Breitbart and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars jumped on Trump’s false claims.

Both featured stories that included the President’s rally claims as well as adding a few extra details from the nonexistent bill’s contents. Breitbart even made up another nickname for the fictitious Open Borders Bill.

[Second Nexus]

Media

Trump says exposing ‘corrupt’ FBI probe could be ‘crowning achievement’ of presidency

President Trump in an exclusive interview with Hill.TV said Tuesday he ordered the release of classified documents in the Russia collusion case to show the public the FBI probe started as a “hoax,” and that exposing it could become one of the “crowning achievements” of his presidency.

“What we’ve done is a great service to the country, really,” Trump said in a 45-minute, wide-ranging interview in the Oval Office.

“I hope to be able to call this, along with tax cuts and regulation and all the things I’ve done… in its own way this might be the most important thing because this was corrupt,” he said.

Trump also said he regretted not firing former FBI Director James Comey immediately instead of waiting until May 2017, confirming an account his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, gave Hill.TV earlier in the day that Trump was dismayed in 2016 by the way Comey handled the Hillary Clinton email case and began discussing firing him well before he became president.

“If I did one mistake with Comey, I should have fired him before I got here. I should have fired him the day I won the primaries,” Trump said. “I should have fired him right after the convention, say I don’t want that guy. Or at least fired him the first day on the job. … I would have been better off firing him or putting out a statement that I don’t want him there when I get there.”

Trump has offered different reasons in the past for his firing of the FBI chief, blaming Comey’s handling of the Clinton case but also linking it to Comey’s actions in the Russian investigation.

The president also called into question the FBI’s handling of the Russian investigation, again criticizing it for surveilling his campaign.

He criticizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court’s approval of the warrant that authorized surveillance of Carter Page, a low-level Trump campaign aide, toward the end of the 2016 election, suggesting the FBI misled the court.

“They know this is one of the great scandals in the history of our country because basically what they did is, they used Carter Page, who nobody even knew, who I feel very badly for, I think he’s been treated very badly. They used Carter Page as a foil in order to surveil a candidate for the presidency of the United States.”

As for the judges on the secret intelligence court: “It looks to me just based on your reporting, that they have been misled,” the president said, citing a series of columns in The Hill newspaper identifying shortcomings in the FBI investigation. “I mean I don’t think we have to go much further than to say that they’ve been misled.”

“One of the things I’m disappointed in is that the judges in FISA didn’t, don’t seem to have done anything about it. I’m very disappointed in that Now, I may be wrong because, maybe as we sit here and talk, maybe they’re well into it. We just don’t know that because I purposely have not chosen to get involved,” Trump said.

The president spared no words in criticizing Comey, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, lawyer Lisa Page and other FBI officials who started the probe. He recited specific text messages Page and Strzok traded while having an affair and investigating his campaign, arguing the texts showed they condoned leaks and conducted a bogus probe.

Those texts are to be released as a result of Trump’s announcement on Monday.

“It’s a hoax, beyond a witch hunt,” he said.

Trump cited one text released recently in which Strzok and Page appear to discuss getting McCabe to approve an expansion of the Russia case right after Comey is fired.

“Comey was a bad guy. He gets fired. They only have Andy left because they know they’re doing wrong,” the president said in describing how he felt wronged by the FBI.

He denounced the FBI for leaking to create what he said was a false narrative against him, saying it appeared to be an “insurance policy” to destroy his presidency if he won.

“Number one how illegal is it? And number two, how low is it,” he said.

“What we have now is an insurance policy,” the president said. “But it has been totally discredited, even Democrats agree that it has been discredited. They are not going to admit to it, but it has been totally discredited. I think, frankly, more so by text than by documents.”

Trump said he had not read the documents he ordered declassified but said he expected to show they would prove the FBI case started as a political “hoax.”

“I have had many people ask me to release them. Not that I didn’t like the idea but I wanted to wait, I wanted to see where it was all going,” he said.

In the end, he said, his goal was to let the public decide by seeing the documents that have been kept secret for more than two years. “All I want to do is be transparent,” he said.

Asked what he thought the outcome of his long-running fight with the FBI, the president said: “I hope to be able put this up as one of my crowning achievements that I was able to … expose something that is truly a cancer in our country.”

[The Hill]

Trump: Republicans’ and my poll numbers would be higher if not for Mueller’s ‘witch hunt’

President Trump accused special counsel Robert Mueller on Saturday of hurting his and Republican candidates’ approval ratings, again characterizing the special counsel’s investigation as a “witch hunt.”

The president tweeted Saturday afternoon that his approval ratings, which have hovered below 50 percent for weeks in most polls, and those of Republican candidates around the country would be higher if not for Mueller’s investigation into possible ties between his campaign and Russia in the 2016 presidential election.

“While my (our) poll numbers are good, with the Economy being the best ever, if it weren’t for the Rigged Russian Witch Hunt, they would be 25 points higher!” Trump said.

“Highly conflicted Bob Mueller & the 17 Angry Democrats are using this Phony issue to hurt us in the Midterms. No Collusion!” he added.

Trump’s tweet comes one day after Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded guiltyFriday to two federal charges. In pleading guilty, Manafort agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s team in its investigation.

As part of his cooperation, Manafort has agreed to submit to interviews with the special counsel, testify in any future cases and provide related documents.

Manafort, the fourth Trump associate to plead guilty in Mueller’s investigation, was found guilty last month of tax and bank fraud charges in a Virginia court and faced another trial in Washington, D.C., this month.

What Manafort’s plea agreement means for Mueller’s probe is yet unknown, but his cooperation could be significant for Mueller’s investigation given his work on the Trump campaign.

Trump’s tweet also followed a series of endorsements for Republican candidates across the country, including several candidates facing tight races in November like Nevada congressional candidate Danny Tarkanian (R) and Texas Rep. Pete Sessions (R).

[The Hill]

Trump Attacks Puerto Ricans, ‘Totally Incompetent’ San Juan Mayor Ahead of Hurricane Florence

MAs Hurricane Florence is about to bear down on the southeastern U.S. coastline, President Trump is attacking San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz for her criticism of the government’s “unappreciated great job” of how it handled the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Here’s the part where Trump advised people to take appropriate safety measures to prepare for Florence.

Yesterday, Trump held a pool spray where he bragged about about the federal government’s “unsung success” in handling the disaster in Puerto Rico last year. These remarks were panned immediately by critics who wonder how Trump can possibly call the recovery a success when almost 3,000 died as a result of the storm.

Last night, Cruz responded to Trump by blasting his “despicable” comments and “lack of understanding of reality.” Puerto Ricans governor Ricardo Rosselló also gave a statement, saying the island is still in the middle of a crisis, and he also criticized the “unfair and unAmerican” relationship between Puerto Rico and Washington.

[Mediaite]

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