Trump Says Sears Was Mismanaged. Mnuchin Was on Its Board for Years

President Donald Trump said that Sears Holdings Corp. had been mismanaged for years before it declared bankruptcy. Among those responsible for its management: his Treasury secretary.

Steven Mnuchin was a member of Sears’s board from 2005 until December 2016, and before that was a director for K-Mart Corp., which was acquired by Sears in 2005.

“Sears has been dying for many years,” Trump told reporters as he departed the White House on Monday to inspect hurricane damage in Florida. “It’s been obviously improperly run for many years and it’s a shame.”

Treasury didn’t immediately respond to questions about Mnuchin’s service on the company’s board.

Mnuchin was a college roommate of Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert, who attended Mnuchin’s confirmation hearing for Treasury secretary in January 2017. Mnuchin cut his ties to Sears when he joined the Trump administration.

Mnuchin said during his Senate confirmation hearing in January 2017 that he had invested about $26 million in Lampert’s hedge fund, ESL Investments Inc. He defended Lampert’s management of Sears, which he said “was already a failing issue” before Lampert invested in the company.

As Treasury secretary, Mnuchin sits on the board of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which considers applications from companies to terminate their pension plans. During the hearing, Mnuchin told Senator Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, that he would recuse himself if the PBGC receives an application from Sears. Menendez noted that would leave the PBGC board with just two voting members.

“I’m not sure that the remaining two can ultimately make a decision on such a case which involves 200,000 people’s pensions,” Menendez told Mnuchin.

The retailing icon filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday and said it will attempt to reorganize around a smaller number of profitable stores. Lampert resigned as CEO, but he is negotiating a financing deal with the company.

“Somebody that is of my generation, Sears Roebuck was a big deal,” Trump said. “So it’s very sad to see.”

[Bloomberg]

Trump calls Stormy Daniels ‘Horseface’ as defamation suit dismissed.

President Donald Trump lashed out at adult-film star Stormy Daniels and her attorney Tuesday morning, vowing to “go after” the pair, who he referred to as “Horseface and her 3rd rate lawyer.”

The tweet from Trump comes a day after a federal judge in California handed the president a rare legal victory in his ongoing legal battles with Daniels.

Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti – who has been teasing a possible run for president against Trump in 2020 – wasted little time in responding in kind to the insults, calling Trump a “disgusting misogynist and an embarrassment to the United States.”

“Bring everything you have,” Avenatti crowed, “because we are going to demonstrate to the world what a complete shyster and liar you are.”

Also firing back on her (usually) not-safe-for-work Twitter feed, Daniels wrote, “Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present your president.”

“[H]e has demonstrated his incompetence, hatred of women and lack of self control on Twitter AGAIN!” Daniels wrote.

The barrage of Twitter barbs follows a ruling Monday by US District Court Judge S. James Otero that dismissed Daniels’ defamation claim, one of two lawsuits she filed against the president.

Otero ruled that a tweet Trump sent earlier this year mocking Daniels’ credibility was free speech protected by the First Amendment.

The judge noted that Daniels had “sought to publicly present herself as an adversary” to Trump, and that to deny him the ability to engage in responding to her allegations “would significantly hamper the office of the President.”

An attorney for the president, Charles Harder, characterized that ruling in a statement as “a total victory for President Trump and a total defeat for Stormy Daniels.”

The court also ordered Daniels to pay Trump’s legal fees and costs associated with defending the lawsuit. The amount has yet to be determined.

Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti quickly filed a notice of an intention to appeal the ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The dismissal of the defamation claim has no bearing on Daniels’ separate lawsuit challenging the validity of the non-disclosure agreement she signed in 2016 to keep quiet about her allegations of a sexual tryst with Trump in 2006.

Trump has denied her allegations.

The defamation claim from Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, was originally filed in New York federal court earlier this year. The lawsuit claimed Trump acted with “actual malice” and “reckless disregard for the truth” when he posted a tweet mocking her claim that she was threatened by an unknown man to stay silent. The case was later transferred to federal court in California.

In an April appearance on ABC’s “The View,” Daniels and Avenatti released a sketch of the man she claims menaced her and her toddler daughter in 2011 in a Las Vegas parking lot shortly after she granted an interview to In Touch magazine about her alleged relationship with Trump, then a real estate mogul and reality-TV star.

Daniels alleges the man told her to “leave Trump alone” and to “forget the story.”

The magazine didn’t publish its story about Daniels claims until January of 2018 – after the Wall Street Journal published the first accounts of a non-disclosure agreement signed just weeks before the 2016 election.

In interviews with The View and on CBS’ 60 Minutes earlier this year, Daniels intimated that either Trump or his then-personal attorney, Michael Cohen, must have been behind the alleged threat.

To date, no evidence has emerged to support the claim.

One day after Daniels revealed the sketch – Trump ridiculed the claim on Twitter as “a sketch years later about a non-existent man.” He called it a “total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools.”

[ABC News]

Trump says ‘who cares’ after Warren takes DNA test, denies $1 million offer

President Donald Trump claims he “didn’t say” that he would pay $1 million to Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren for taking DNA test to review her Native American heritage, after she released the results of one on Monday morning.

“Who cares?” Trump said when asked about the DNA test. When pressed on the once-promised $1 million payment, Trump responded: “I didn’t say that. You better read it again.”

In fact, Trump did promise $1 million, during a July rally, but only if the test showed she was “an Indian.”

At a rally in July, Trump said: “And we will say, ‘I will give you a million dollars, paid for by Trump, to your favorite charity if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian … we’ll see what she does. I have a feeling she will say no but we will hold it for the debates.”

Warren has released the results of a DNA analysis showing she has distant Native American ancestry in an apparent attempt to pre-empt further questions and attacks should she run for president in 2020.

Warren first faced scrutiny for her purported Native American heritage during her 2012 Senate race. But Trump has revived and amplified the controversy as he eyes Warren as a possible rival, frequently mocking her with the nickname “Pocahontas.”

But Warren now has documentation to back up her family lore — a analysis of her genetic data performed by Carlos Bustamante, a professor of genetics at Stanford and adviser to Ancestry and 23 and Me.

Bustamante’s analysis places Warren’s Native American ancestor between six and 10 generations ago, with the report estimating eight generations.
After his initial “who cares” response, Trump said Monday he hopes Warren runs for president because she will be “easy” to beat.

“I hope she’s running for president because I think she’d be very easy. I do not think she’d be very difficult at all,” Trump said, adding: “I don’t want to say bad things about her because I hope she’s one of the people that get through the process.”

Trump added that Warren would turn the US into Venezuela.

[CNN]

Reality

Here is the video of Trump promising to donate $1 million if Warren proved ‘Indian’ ancestry:

Trump: Saudi Journalist Could Have Been Murdered By ‘Rogue Killers’

President Donald Trump spoke out on Monday about his call with the Saudi King to discuss allegations his government killed and dismembered Washington Post writer and dissident Jamal Khashoggi.

Speaking to reporters on the White House lawn Monday, Trump repeatedly noted Saudi Arabia’s denial of alleged killing was “very strong,” even adding that Khashoggi could have been murdered by “rogue killers.”

“I just spoke with the King of Saudi Arabia, who denies any knowledge with what took place,” Trump said. “And he firmly denies that.”

Trump added that he has sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with Saudi King Salman.

“The king firmly denied any knowledge of it, he didn’t really know, maybe, I don’t want to get into his mind, but it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers,” Trump said. “Who knows, we’re going to try getting to the bottom of it very soon, but his was a flat denial.”

“He told me in a very firm way that they had no knowledge of it,” Trump continued. “He said it very strongly.”

“His denial to me could not have been stronger,” Trump added.

Turkish officials say they have proof that Khashoggi — missing since he entered the Saudi consulate on October 2 — was murdered by a team of Saudi agents. Trump has repeatedly stressed that the Saudis vehemently deny their involvement in his disappearance. In a tweet on Monday morning, he emphasized that U.S. resident Khashoggi is a “Saudi citizen,” and that King Salman “denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened.”

The disappearance and possible murder of Khashoggi poses a problem for Trump administration attempts to build a closer relationship with Saudi Arabia, notably through Jared Kushner‘s relationship with young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

[Mediaite]

Reality

Trump & Saudi Business:
•1991: Sold yacht to Saudi Prince
•2001: Sold 45th floor of Trump World Tower to Saudis
•Jun 2015: I love the Saudis…many in Trump Tower
•Aug 2015: “They buy apartments from me…Spend $40M-$50M”
•2017: Saudi lobbyists spent $270K at Trump DC hotel

Trump Snaps at Leslie Stahl After She Reads Resume of Kim Jong Un Atrocities: ‘I’m Not a Baby, I Know These Things’

In an interview that aired Sunday night on 60 Minutes, President Donald Trump snapped at CBS News’ Lesley Stahl after she read a resume of atrocities committed by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

“He presides over a cruel kingdom of repression, gulags, starvation. Reports that he had his half-brother assassinated. Slave labor. Public executions. This is a guy you love?” Stahl asked.

“I’m not a baby. I know these things,” Trump snapped before going on to explain that he gets along with him and saying he loved him is just a “figure of speech.”

Then after Stahl pointed Kim was a “bad guy,” Trump said this:  “Let it be whatever it is. I get along with him really well. I have a good energy with him. I have a good chemistry with him. Look at the horrible threats that were made. No more threats. No more threats.”

In another part of the interview, he also called political people “babies.”

[Mediaite]

Trump’s Columbus Day tweet sparks Backlash

President Trump on Monday celebrated the controversial 15th-century explorer Christopher Columbus as an “inspiration.”

“Christopher Columbus’s spirit of determination & adventure has provided inspiration to generations of Americans,” Trump tweeted. “On #ColumbusDay, we honor his remarkable accomplishments as a navigator, & celebrate his voyage into the unknown expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.”

Trump also shared a link to his proclamation marking Columbus Day, in which he noted, “We commemorate the achievements of this skilled Italian explorer and recognize his courage, will power, and ambition — all values we cherish as Americans.”

Blowback was swift and included the comment, “Columbus destroyed races, languages, and customs. He enslaved natives by invoking superstition. He’s no hero. He wasn’t even a pioneer.”

There was also a person who quipped, “We’re finally saying ‘Merry Columbus Day’ again!”

Another Twitter user pointed out, “Columbus did not discover North America, maybe Jamaica but not North America.”

It is, indeed, true that Christopher Columbus never set foot on what would become the United States of America, notes CNN.

“During four separate trips that started with the one in 1492, Columbus landed on various Caribbean islands that are now the Bahamas as well as the island later called Hispaniola,” according to the Washington Post.

[AOL]

Trump mocks Al Franken for ‘folding like a wet rag’ over sexual harassment claims at Minnesota rally

President Donald Trump mocked former Senator Al Franken (D-MN) during a campaign rally in Rochester, Minnesota.

Trump mocked Franken for resigning from his position after being accused of sexual assault. Franken was accused of grabbing a woman during a USO performance.

“Oh, he did something, I resign, I resign, I quit,” Trump said as he mocked Franken.

“He was gone so fast,” Trump said, adding, “He was replaced by somebody that nobody ever heard of.”

[Raw Story]

Media

Trump: I told Saudi king he wouldn’t last without U.S. support

President Donald Trump made an undiplomatic remark about close ally Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, saying he warned Saudi Arabia’s King Salman he would not last in power “for two weeks” without the backing of the U.S. military.

“We protect Saudi Arabia. Would you say they’re rich. And I love the King, King Salman. But I said ‘King – we’re protecting you – you might not be there for two weeks without us – you have to pay for your military,'” Trump said to cheers at a rally in Southaven, Mississippi.

Trump did not say when he made those remarks to the Saudi monarch.

Despite the harsh words, the Trump administration has had a close relationship with Saudi Arabia, which it views as a bulwark against Iran’s ambitions in the region.

Trump made Saudi Arabia his first stop on his maiden international trip as president last year.

Trump called King Salman on Saturday and they discussed efforts being made to maintain supplies to ensure oil market stability and global economic growth, according to Saudi state news agency SPA.

Saudi Arabia is the world’s top oil exporter and the de facto leader of OPEC, which has been criticized by Trump for high oil prices.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month, Trump said OPEC members were “as usual ripping off the rest of the world.”

“We defend many of these nations for nothing, and then they take advantage of us by giving us high oil prices. Not good. We want them to stop raising prices, we want them to start lowering prices,” Trump said.

[Reuters]

Donald Trump Contradicts Brett Kavanaugh, Saying Nominee Admitted to ‘Difficulty’ With Drinking as Young Man

President Donald Trump appeared Monday to contradict the testimony and public comments by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh about his drinking during his high school and college days, with the president stating Kavanaugh had noted he had “difficulty as a young man.”

Trump defended Kavanaugh, stating he had been forthright with the Senate Judiciary Committee despite attacks from Democrats. The president said that Kavanaugh had explained his drinking as having “difficulty as a young man with drink…He was very strong on the fact that he drank a lot.”

However, Kavanaugh had stated before the committee on Friday and during his interview with Fox News a week ago that his drinking was not overly excessive and was in line with his peers.

“And yes, there were parties. And the drinking age was 18, and yes, the seniors were legal and had beer there. And yes, people might have had too many beers on occasion and people generally in high school—I think all of us have probably done things we look back on in high school and regret or cringe a bit, but that’s not what we’re talking about,” Kavanaugh told Fox.

Kavanaugh also told Fox that he never drank to the point of blacking out, which he also reiterated to the committee during his often combative testimony and defense.

“Sometimes I had too many beers. Sometimes others did. I liked beer. I still like beer. But I did not drink beer to the point of blacking out, and I never sexually assaulted anyone,” Kavanaugh said in his statement.

The federal judge was also grilled by senators about his drinking and he repeatedly said he had never blacked out or did not drink to the point that he could not remember what happened the evening before.

Trump was also asked if the allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh were proved to be true by the FBI’s current investigation would he consider pulling support for Kavanaugh.

The president said he was “open” but vehemently defended Kavanaugh. He challenged the way in which Democrats had conducted themselves during the confirmation process while blasting numerous senators like Diane Feinstein and Cory Booker, and even claimed to know of a Democratic senator in “very very bad situations … somewhat compromising.” Trump did not name the senator and said he would save the answer “for a book like everybody else.”

Trump’s press conference Monday was originally planned to discuss a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada, and the president fought off questions about Kavanaugh until he could answer inquiries about the trade deal.

[Newsweek]

Media

Trump Insults ABC Reporter, Saying She ‘Never’ Thinks

President Donald Trump insulted a female reporter for ABC News on Monday during a Rose Garden news conference, telling her that she “never” thinks even before she had a chance to ask her question.

As the reporter, Cecilia Vega, turned to retrieve a microphone to ask Trump a question, Trump joked “she’s shocked that I picked her. Like in a state of shock.”

Vega responded, “I’m not, thank you Mr. President.”

Trump appeared to misunderstand her. “That’s OK, I know you’re not thinking, you never do.”

“I’m sorry?” she responded.

“No, go ahead. Go ahead,” Trump said.

Vega tried to ask a question about the FBI investigation of sexual assault allegations against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, but the president initially insisted she ask about trade. He returned to Vega later for a Kavanaugh question.

“A news conference means you get to ask whatever question you want to ask,” Vega tweeted later, adding the hashtag “#FirstAmendment.”

[Bloomberg]

Media

1 2 3 19