Trump appears to call out Samsung over missing FBI text messages

President Trump appeared to call out Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung for a missing trove of text messages between two senior FBI officials that was not retained by the agency.

“Where are the 50,000 important text messages between FBI lovers Lisa Page and Peter Strzok? Blaming Samsung!” Trump tweeted Tuesday.

The text messages between the two FBI employees, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, are among a larger trove of messages that were not saved by the FBI because of a software glitch on some Samsung 5 phones.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday that the Justice Department’s inspector general is reviewing why the messages were not retained and whether they are capable of being recovered.

Trump’s tweets came after Fox News host Sean Hannity addressed the issue on his Tuesday night show, though it is unclear if that is what prompted him to tweet. Trump is known to be an avid watcher of Fox News and often comments on matters shortly after they are addressed on air.

The text messages have come into focus as some Republicans raise concerns about political bias among the ranks of the FBI.

Strzok and Page reportedly exchanged text messages during the 2016 election expressing anti-Trump sentiments, and were both involved in the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.

[The Hill]

Update

The text messages were recovered a few hours after this tweet by the FBI using forensic tools.

Trump tweets support for GOP Pa. House candidate, raising funding questions

President Trump has endorsed Pennsylvania Republican state Sen. Rick Saccone in his bid to win a Pittsburgh-area House special election in March, an endorsement that came hours before Trump traveled to the district.

Trump tweeted his support for Saccone Thursday morning, arguing that he will help to move his agenda forward in Washington.

But the tweet could put the White House and the Republican National Committee (RNC) in a tricky spot ahead of the visit as the source of funding for the trip becomes an issue.

The taxpayers fund presidential travel for official trips but political parties are required to reimburse the White House for a portion of a trip that involves political activity.

The White House had framed Trump’s trip, which includes a speech at a manufacturing company touting the GOP’s successful tax-reform push, as official business and not a campaign stop. While Saccone is expected to attend, the White House had told The Associated Press that Trump wasn’t going to mention the GOP candidate explicitly.

With that speech set in the very district that is holding a special election in less than eight weeks, the subtext was clear.

Now, Trump’s tweet removes any of that subtext and could raise questions as to who is paying for the trip.

A 2012 report by the Congressional Research service explains that “when travel involves both official and political functions, the White House uses a formula to determine” the reimbursement from the political committee.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied the idea that the trip had political motivations in a statement to reporters, even as Trump called the visit “in order to give my total support to Rick Saccone.”

“The President is enthusiastic about today’s trip to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to discuss the incredible successes his tax plan is already achieving for the American people,” she said.

“While the President has made clear his support for Republican candidates throughout the country, including in Pennsylvania, the purpose of today’s visit is to promote the President’s successful agenda especially on taxes.”

The White House has not responded to questions as to whether it would seek reimbursement for any part of the trip, but the statement suggests it will not.
The Hill has reached out to the RNC to clarify whether the political portion of the trip will be reimbursed.

While running for president in 2016, Trump blasted then-President Obama for putting the taxpayers on the hook when he traveled to support Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.

[The Hill]

Trump teeing off with Tiger Woods, but vows the round of golf will go ‘quickly’

President Trump made a rare acknowledgement Friday of his plans to play golf, noting in a tweet that he was teeing off with Tiger Woods but stressing he will play “quickly” before returning to the burdens of the office.

Trump, who is spending Thanksgiving weekend at Mar-a-Lago, said he will play with the golf legend as well as Dustin Johnson, currently ranked the world’s No. 1 golfer.

The threesome is scheduled to tee off at the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., about 20 miles north of the presidential retreat at Mar-a-Lago.

Trump was careful in his tweet to underscore he planned a quick round. He also said he was going to be talking to the president of Turkey and also focusing on the economy.

He also used his pre-golf morning to blast NFL players who “disrespect” the country, the flag and national anthem with their pre-game protests “without penalty.”
Since taking office, Trump has rarely acknowledged playing golf. In recent years, particularly during the 2016 campaign, he slammed President Obama repeatedly for playing the game, chiding his “work ethic” and even criticizing the president for going to Hawaii during the holiday and taking Secret Service personnel away from their families.

For his part, Trump pledged to largely forego golf while in office, saying he was “not going to have time to play golf.”

After a year in the Oval Office, however, published reports indicate he has played at least 34 times since the inauguration and has visited his golf courses more than 70 times.

In addition, the traveling press is rarely allowed to observe his rounds and aides traditionally decline to say when the golf is played.

This week, after the presidential entourage arrived in Florida, the White House had to correct itself after a spokesperson initially said she was expecting a “low-key day” while the president spent time at the Florida resort. Minutes later, the correction was that the president “will NOT have a low-key day.”

Abut 90 minutes later, however, the press poll noted the motorcade arriving at a Trump golf club near West Palm Beach and left some five hours later, the New York Post reported.

Aides were mum on how he spent the time period, which is roughly the length of a round of golf, unless you play quickly.

[USA Today]

Reality

Donald Trump has visited a Trump property, which he still owns and receives profits from, 34 out of his 45 weeks in office so far.

Trump buried in mockery for false claim he ‘has the votes’ to repeal Obamacare: ‘News to everyone in the Senate’

During his Indianapolis speech touting tax reform, President Donald Trump claimed the GOP “has the votes” to pass the party’s unpopular Obamacare repeal and replace bill — despite it being pulled from a Senate floor vote and effectively killed the day prior.

Naturally, Twitter took Trump to task for this week’s latest false claim.

“This would be news to literally everyone in the Senate,” Reuters’ Pete Schroeder tweeted.

“Fact check: No, he doesn’t,” CNN’s Jim Acosta responded.

His bold claim during his tax reform speech was not the first time Trump claimed the GOP had votes that didn’t exist that day. Earlier, he said they had the votes, but could not pass it because “there’s an ailing senator in the hospital” — another false claim.

[Raw Story]