Trump hints at a softer stance on Huawei in a bizarre ‘6G’ tweet

President Donald Trump sent a pair of bizarre tweets Thursday morning mentioning a “6G” wireless network and seemingly hinting that he could take a softer stance on Chinese telecom company Huawei.

The tweets rang as odd because 6G technology doesn’t exist. U.S. telecom companies are barely on the cusp of 5G wireless networks, and they’re facing stiff competition to build it before Chinese companies.

Trump doesn’t name China or Huawei, but that’s likely what he’s referencing. Chinese companies are at the forefront of 5G technology, and the Trump administration resumed trade talks with Chinese negotiators Thursday. Both nations face a March 1 deadline to reach a deal, although Trump has indicated he could back off of it.

Meanwhile, Trump has reportedly been preparing an executive order to ban Huawei and ZTE from operating in the U.S., which would grant U.S. companies a little more cushion to build their own 5G networks. Now it seems Trump could be reconsidering a ban on Chinese telecoms.

It’s unclear whether a potential ban on Huawei and ZTE would factor into negotiations, but such an executive order would likely invite some bad blood between the world’s two largest economies.

The U.S. and other countries have long feared Huawei’s equipment could be used for spying.

TPG Telecom dropped plans to use Huawei equipment in Australia, which banned the use of Huawei’s equipment. New Zealand and Japan have similar prohibitions in place. The U.K. hasn’t made a decision either way, but the Royal United Services Institute, a defense think tank, warned earlier this month that allowing Huawei equipment could be “naive” and “irresponsible.”

Germany has considered similar measures, but said earlier this month that it isn’t ready to ban Huawei and that it will allow all 5G equipment vendors in the country.

U.S. carriers AT&T and Verizon are still activating fledgling 5G networks in select cities, and T-Mobile and Sprint plan to launch theirs later this year. Most experts think it will take until at least 2020 for 5G to become widespread.

Samsung just announced the first phone that will run on the faster network, but it won’t launch until the second quarter of this year.

Trump’s reference to nonexistent “6G” might just be an indication he wants technology to be running full speed ahead, but it’s not something that anyone will be able to use in the near future.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

[CNBC]

Reality

At the time of this tweet there is no white paper on 6G. Trump is showing again his complete lack of understanding of technology.

Trump declares New York Times ‘enemy of the people’

President Trump on Wednesday labeled The New York Times “a true enemy of the people” one day after an extensive report detailing the ways in which he has sought to influence the investigations into his presidency and allies.

“The New York Times reporting is false,” Trump tweeted. “They are a true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”

The president’s tweet did not refute any specific reporting from the Times, but marked yet another escalation in his sustained attacks on his hometown paper and the media as a whole.

New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger issued a statement hours later condemning the president’s use of the term “enemy of the people” as “dangerous” and inaccurate.

“It is particularly reckless coming from someone whose office gives him broad powers to fight or imprison the nation’s enemies,” Sulzberger said. “As I have repeatedly told President Trump face to face, there are mounting signs that this incendiary rhetoric is encouraging threats and violence against journalists at home and abroad.”

Sulzberger, who has met with Trump on at least two separate occasions in the past year, noted that past presidents have complained about coverage of their administration, but “fiercely defended” the free press.

Trump’s latest diatribe against the Times came after the newspaper reported Tuesday that Trump asked then-acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker late last year to put U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in charge of the investigation in New York’s Southern District into Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen.

Berman, an ally of Trump who donated to his 2016 campaign, had been recused from the investigation, and Whitaker did not act on Trump’s request.

Trump denied that he requested Berman be put in charge of the investigation when asked about it Tuesday afternoon.

“I don’t know who gave you that,” Trump said, calling the report “fake news.”

A Justice Department spokeswoman said in a statement that the White House has not asked Whitaker to interfere in investigations, pointing to his congressional testimony from earlier this month indicating as much.

Trump has a well-documented track record of attacking the press, and the Times in particular. He has called negative coverage of him and his administration “fake news” and referred to reporters and news outlets as the “enemy of the people.”

[The Hill]

Trump Cheers on Covington Student’s Lawsuit Against Washington Post: ‘Go Get Them Nick!’

President Donald Trump issued a tweet cheering on the defamation lawsuit a Kentucky high school student filed against The Washington Post for the paper’s coverage of his encounter with a Native American activist last month.

The lawsuit, according to the Post, claims the paper “targeted and bullied” 16-year-old Nicholas Sandmann“because it wanted to advance its well-known and easily documented, biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump.”

“Go get them Nick,” Trump tweeted to the MAGA hat-wearing student. “Fake News!”

The suit was filed by Sandmann’s parents, according to the Post, who are seeking $250 million in damages — the sum Jeff Bezos paid for the paper when he bought it in 2013.

[Mediate]

Trump asked Whitaker if he could put prosecutor in charge of Cohen probe

President Donald Trump asked then-acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker if a US attorney he appointed could oversee an investigation tied to himself after the US attorney in question had already recused himself from the probe, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The Times report cited several US officials with direct knowledge of the call that the paper said occurred late last year. 

Trump tapped Whitaker to lead the Justice Department in November after he fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom Trump regularly slammed for recusing himself from the Russia investigation.

Trump soured on Whitaker as well, according to Times, which said it was “unclear” what Whitaker did after the call. The Times said there was no evidence Whitaker took steps to intervene in the investigation Trump asked about, although the report said he told Justice Department associates that the prosecutors needed “adult supervision.” 

CNN reported in December that Trump had lashed out at Whitaker on at least two occasions, angered by federal prosecutors who referenced Trump in crimes to which his former attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty. The first instance came after Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow, and the second came after prosecutors implicated Trump in a hush-money scheme to silence women.

Trump later denied the CNN report in a tweet saying he had “great respect” for Whitaker. 

Attorney General William Barr was confirmed last week to take over the department permanently. 

Kerri Kupec, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, said Whitaker told the House Judiciary Committee earlier this month that “‘at no time has the White House asked for nor have I provided any promises or commitments concerning the special counsel’s investigation or any other investigation.’ Mr. Whitaker stands by his testimony,” she said. When pressed directly by House Judiciary Committee members about any conversations with the President about the southern district of New York investigation Whitaker refused to answer.

Trump on Tuesday denied a question from a reporter about whether he asked Whitaker about a recusal matter in the case.

“No, I don’t know who gave you that,” Trump said.

Trump went on to praise Whitaker as “a very, very straight shooter” and said he had “a lot of respect” for him.

The President also praised Whitaker’s performance during the House Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this month, calling it “exceptional.”

“He should be given a lot of thanks from our nation,” Trump said. 

The investigation Trump called Whitaker about is led by the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, a Manhattan-based team that has prosecuted Cohen. After a showdown early in his White House tenure, Trump fired the head of that office.

Preet Bharara, the former US attorney who is now a CNN contributor, later said he felt if he had stayed on the job, Trump would have asked him “to do something inappropriate.” 

Trump’s then-Attorney General Sessions went on to appoint Geoffrey Berman, a former law partner of Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, to lead the high-profile office. CNN reported after the federal raid on Cohen last year that Berman had been recused from the probe.

[CNN]

The chairman of the far-right Proud Boys sat behind Trump at his latest speech

Amid the sea of dark suits and red “Make America Great Again” gear behind President Trump at his televised speech in Miami on Monday, one man stood out. Appearing above the president in some live shots, he wore dark sunglasses, a black baseball cap and a black T-shirt with a message of support for Trump’s longtime adviser now facing federal charges: “Roger Stone Did Nothing Wrong!”

The man is notable for more than his attire, though. Enrique Tarrio is the chairman of the Proud Boys, a far-right, self-described “western chauvinist” organization known for violently clashing with antifascists and for its alleged links to white nationalists.

Neither Trump nor the White House knew he was in attendance, Tarrio told The Washington Post. Rather, he said he scored the prime seat simply by showing up early at Florida International University.

“I got there at 7 a.m., so I got to pick my seat,” Tarrio told The Post. “I was the second person in line. I stood in the hot Miami sun.”

The White House didn’t immediately respond to a message about Tarrio’s appearance.

The Proud Boys leader’s prominent placement at Trump’s speech could give new fuel to critics who say the president has failed to distance himself from the far right in the years since he claimed there were “very fine people on both sides” at the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, which was organized by a man who once attended Proud Boys meetings. Tarrio also attended the rally, though he claims to have left before the violent attacks began.

Tarrio disputes the Southern Poverty Law Center’s claim that his organization is a hate group, an allegation that also led Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes to sue the SPLC earlier this month.

“I’m not a white supremacist. I’m not an extremist. I’m a regular dude,” said Tarrio, a small-business owner who identifies as Afro-Cuban and who served nearly a year in federal prison for his role in a scheme to resell stolen medical equipment.

[Washington Post]

Trump says ‘stock market would be down 10,000 points by now’ had ‘the opposition’ done this

President Donald Trump on Tuesday tweeted that the stock market would effectively have crashed had he lost the 2016 race for the White House, reiterating a number of similar statements he has made that have assigned credit to his administration for buoying financial markets over the past two-plus years.

Trump didn’t specify which benchmark he was referencing but, the 45th president was likely referring to the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.08% which has gained 42%, or more than 7,600 points, since the day before his stunning victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8, 2016. (A 10,000-point fall in the Dow would have taken the blue-chip gauge to 8,259, representing a 55% tumble.)

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 SPX, +0.19%  has climbed 30.2% and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.21%  has advanced by roughly 45% over the same period, according to FactSet data.

Perhaps more than any other president, Trump has hitched his success to that of the stock market.

He has signed into law a late-2017 corporate tax cut that delivered a fillip to U.S. stocks. However, Trump is dogged by an investigation into whether his presidential campaign colluded with Russia and his hard-charging tactic in negotiations with China on tariffs has helped to roil markets, even if there is hope that the testy discussions lead to a fairer trade pact between the two largest economies in the world.

[MarketWatch]

Reality

Donald Trump is again trying to take credit for a stock market that was booming, at the start of his presidency.

The reality is, the stock market was booming years before he took office, smashing an all-time record in 2014, thanks to the economic policies of President Barack Obama.

Frazzled and furious Trump attacks McCabe, Mueller and the media in hours-long Twitter meltdown

President Donald Trump closed Presidents Day weekend with a repeat performance of his late Sunday night into early Monday morning tweetstorm. For the second night in a row the President was up late Monday launching angry – and this time, juvenile – tweets, attacking his favorite targets: the Mueller investigation, former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and, as usual, the media.

And accusing some, like McCabe, of “Treason!”

Trump was clearly watching Fox News’ Sean Hannity when he tweeted that attack, and clearly he liked the “lying & leaking” part because about 30 minutes later, this juvenile attack:

Less than nine hours later, Trump was back with the attacks, again, quoting Fox News:

And then, minutes later, the media:

And then, the Democrats. Trump has literally no idea how the U.S. court system works. He thinks California has the option of filing a lawsuit in, say, Maine. They don’t. The 9th Circuit has jurisdiction over California, but Trump doesn’t understand that, so he displays his ignorance time and time again. But he’s also wrong: it’s 16 states, not cities, led by California.

“As I predicted, 16 cities, led mostly by Open Border Democrats and the Radical Left, have filed a lawsuit in, of course, the 9th Circuit! California, the state that has wasted billions of dollars on their out of control Fast Train, with no hope of completion, seems in charge!”

All in all, 10 tweets in 10 hours, including, quite ironically – and an amazing self-own – this:

[Raw Story]


Japan’s PM nominated Trump for Nobel Peace Prize on U.S. request

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe nominated U.S. President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize last autumn after receiving a request from the U.S. government to do so, the Asahi newspaper reported on Sunday.

The report follows Trump’s claim on Friday that Abe had nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize for opening talks and easing tensions with North Korea.

The Japanese leader had given him “the most beautiful copy” of a five-page nomination letter, Trump said at a White House news conference.

The U.S. government had sounded Abe out over the Noble Peace Prize nomination after Trump’s summit in June last year with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the first meeting between a North Korean leader and a sitting U.S. president, the Asahi said, citing an unnamed Japanese government source.

A spokesman for Japan’s Foreign Ministry in Tokyo said the ministry was aware of Trump’s remarks, but “would refrain from commenting on the interaction between the two leaders.”

The White House had no immediate comment when contacted by Reuters.

The Nobel Foundation’s website says a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize may be submitted by any person who meets the nomination criteria, which includes current heads of states. Under the foundation’s rules, names and other information about unsuccessful nominations cannot be disclosed for 50 years.

[Reuters]

Trump Urges ‘Retribution’ Against Saturday Night Live and ‘Many Other Shows’

Donald Trump‘s Sunday morning rage-tweet began with the suggestion of “retribution” against Saturday Night Live after the sketch show lampooned his “national emergency” press conference, in a pair of tweets that could serve as the script for next week’s show.

Trump slammed SNL and “many other shows,” called for “retribution,” and suggested that comedy shows be investigated for “collusion”:

Saturday night’s episode of SNL featured a cold-open that tore into the press conference at which Trump admitted his national emergence was not a national emergency while he was declaring a national emergency. There was also a biting segment during Weekend Update in which Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi rubbed Trump’s nose in the border compromise deal.

This is not the first time Trump has levelled accusations of “collusion” and suggested action against this particular television program. In December, Trump said that SNL and “unfair news coverage” should be “tested in courts.”

It is unclear what, exactly, Trump wants investigated, or what “retribution” he thinks is in order, but the First Amendment appears to protect comedy shows, even if they all make fun of the same guy.

[Mediaite]

Trump Brags of 52% Approval Rating, From a Single Day in a Single Republican Daily Poll, Several Days Ago

n Trump’s third tweet this morning he cited numbers from an unnamed poll that he claims shows a 52 percent approval rating, 93 percent among the Republican Party: “Pretty amazing considering that 93% (also) of my press is REALLY BAD. The PEOPLE are smart!”

[Palm Beach Daily News]

Reality

Trump is cherry picking the Republican-leaning Rasmussen polls again. This number is from a single daily poll from one polling company… from several days ago.


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