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 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.


Trump warns Europe he will free ISIS fighters if allies won’t prosecute them

President Donald Trump threatened Sunday to release hundreds of Islamic State fighters being held in Syria if allies in Europe don’t agree to take custody of the militants.

“The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial,” Trump said in a late-night tweet. “The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them.”

Trump, who intends to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria, said the likely destination for the militants would be European countries. “The U.S. does not want to watch as these ISIS fighters permeate Europe, which is where they are expected to go,” Trump said.

During the civil war in Syria, hundreds of militants flooded into the country, many coming from Europe to join ISIS’ ranks. It’s unclear how many of the militants Trump is referring to are actually European citizens.

Trump’s comments come as global leaders wrap up three days of security talks in Munich, where the conflict in Syria was among the agenda items.

James Jeffrey, the U.S.’s special representative on Syria issues, said in Munich that the U.S. will leave northeastern Syria, but the troop pullout will not be abrupt.

“It will be an orderly step-by-step withdraw,”Jeffrey said without offering a timeline.

In December, Trump called for a complete withdraw of U.S. forces in the country. And on Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence reiterated that the U.S. still plans to wind down the mission in Syria.

Still, the U.S. said it intends to keep its coalition together and wants allies to play a larger role in the broader campaign to root out ISIS elements.

Jeffrey said there are hundreds of ISIS cells scattered throughout the region. U.S. air power will remain ready to respond when needed, he said.

Trump has essentially declared victory over the group, which has been forced out of all its former strongholds in Iraq and Syria. But there remain concerns that ISIS could regroup if the U.S. pulls out. Trump said the time has come for other countries to pick up the slack.

“We do so much, and spend so much – Time for others to step up and do the job that they are so capable of doing. We are pulling back after 100% Caliphate victory!,” Trump tweeted.

[Stars and Stripes]

Reality

Trump promised in the campaign he had a secret plan to defeat ISIS in 90 days. Instead:

1. 90 days came and went.

2. Said you’ll have a plan soon.

3. Your plan was to give the generals 90 days to formulate a plan.

4. Their plan was Obama’s strategy.

5. You take credit for #winning.

Trump cited Putin to push back on North Korea long-range missile reports

Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe wrote in his new book that President Trump did not believe U.S. intelligence reports about North Korean missile advances because of claims he’d heard from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Washington Post reported that McCabe’s book, “The Threat,” details an instance in July 2017 where Trump did not believe information in an Oval Office briefing that North Korea test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time. 

McCabe wrote that Trump called the launch of the long-range missile a “hoax,” telling officials he knew North Korea did not have the ability to launch that type of missile “because Vladimir Putin had told him so.”

Asked for comment, the White House pointed to a statement earlier Thursday from press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders that said McCabe “has no credibility and is an embarrassment to the men and women of the FBI and our great country.”

Those remarks came in response to an interview in which McCabe revealed he opened a probe into whether Trump obstructed justice when the president fired James Comey as FBI chief in 2017 amid the Russia investigation.

Trump ripped McCabe on Thursday morning, tweeting that the former FBI official “pretends to be a ‘poor little Angel’ when in fact he was a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax.”

McCabe was fired last year after an internal watchdog report found he had a “lack of candor” with investigators looking into FBI leaks about its probe into the Clinton Foundation during the 2016 presidential race.

The former deputy director’s account of the 2017 meeting is the latest instance calling into question Trump’s relationship with Putin. Democrats and critics of the president have repeatedly chastised Trump for his friendly rhetoric toward Russia and the Putin.

Special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election has so far implicated six former Trump associates. The president has repeatedly decried the investigation as a “witch hunt,” and denied colluding with Russia.

The president’s defenders have argued that Trump has been tougher on Russia than past administrations, pointing to various sanctions.

[The Hill]

Trump demands California pay him for funds sent for high-speed rail

Always one to attack the state of California, President Donald Trump demanded the state send him $3 billion after Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) said that the project is on hold while the state figures out some of the problems facing the state.

“California has been forced to cancel the massive bullet train project after having spent and wasted many billions of dollars. They owe the Federal Government three and a half billion dollars. We want that money back now. Whole project is a ‘green’ disaster!” Trump tweeted.

Newsome announced in his first state of the state address that he would scale back plans. The decision isn’t a surprise as California is grappling with one of the largest fires in their history, sparked in part by the main energy company. PG&E is steps from bankruptcy to avoid the billions of dollars courts have ordered them to pay to repair and maintain their electrical lines.

“We’re going to make high-speed rail a reality for CA,” Newsome said on Twitter. “We have the capacity to complete the rail between Merced and Bakersfield. We will continue our regional projects north and south. Finish Phase 1 enviro work. Connect the Central Valley to other parts of the state.”

[Raw Story]

Trump Falsely Claims Violent Crime Plummeted After Border Wall Went Up In El Paso

President Donald Trump on Monday presented the border wall as a work in progress, hailing the start of a “big, big portion” with much more coming soon. That’s a hefty exaggeration from a president who has yet to see an extra mile of barrier completed since he took office.

With another possible government shutdown looming, and illegal immigration still at the heart of the budget dispute, Trump is pulling out the stops to portray his proposed wall as essential to public safety, including stemming crime. As he’s done repeatedly, Trump also defied the record in claiming that the wall that Congress has refused to pay for is rapidly coming together anyway.

Trump addressed the subjects at an El Paso, Texas, rally Monday night and an earlier White House meeting with sheriffs. A look at some of his comments:

TRUMP, on the effect of a border wall on crime in El Paso: “When that wall went up, it’s a whole different ball game. … I don’t care whether a mayor is a Republican or a Democrat. They’re full of crap when they say it hasn’t made a big difference. I heard the same thing from the fake news. They said, ‘Oh crime, it actually stayed the same.’ It didn’t stay the same. It went way down. … Thanks to a powerful border wall in El Paso, Texas, it’s one of America’s safest cities now.” — rally remarks.

Reality

Trump falsely suggests a dramatic drop in crime in El Paso due to a border wall. In fact, the city’s murder rate was less than half the national average in 2005, the year before the start of its border fence. It’s true that the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report shows that El Paso’s annual number of reported violent crimes dropped from nearly 5,000 in 1995 to around 2,700 in 2016. But that corresponded with similar declines in violent crime nationwide and included periods when the city’s crime rates increased year over year, despite new fencing and walls.

Before the wall project started, El Paso had been rated one of the three safest major U.S. cities going back to 1997.

Trump: ‘Some of the Most Dishonest People in Media Are the So-Called Fact-Checkers’

President Donald Trump used part of his Monday night rally in El Paso, TX to rail against a particular branch of the media: fact checkers.

As Trump slammed former president Barack Obama‘s “you can keep your doctor” promise from the Affordable Care Act, he accused fact-checkers of never calling out the falsity of that claim.

“Where are the fact-checkers? Some of the most dishonest people in media are the so-called ‘fact-checkers’…That didn’t turn out to be what he said.”

Trump’s remarks come after he got on Twitter earlier today and parroted Fox News opinion host Jesse Watters who said “the fact-checkers have become fake news.”

To put some perspective on Trump’s complaints, Politifact has figured that approximately 70 percent of Trump’s political statements are factually-challenged to varying degrees, plus Washington Post‘s fact-check finds that Trump has made 8,158 false or misleading claims throughout his presidency so far.

[Mediaite]

Trump Quotes Inane Media Criticism From Fox News Host Jesse Watters: ‘So True!’

President Donald Trump quoted a mind-numbingly inane piece of media criticism from a Fox News host Monday morning in an attempt to undermine fact-checkers.

Jesse Watters, who hosts a Saturday night show on Fox News, kicked off last week’s iteration with a lazy generalization: “The media fact-checkers are lying to you.”

Watters’ dismissal of fact-checkers relied on reports that Trump’s recent false claims about violent crime in El Paso were false. Watters took issue with a specific headline from Vox, which he called a “distortion.”

“The fact-checkers have become fake news,” he declared confidently.

Trump parroted the remark on Twitter Monday, calling it “So True!”:

Fact checkers can slip up — we’ve chronicled bad fact-checking on this very site — but to dismiss the entire practice as “fake” is, of course, remarkably stupid. There’s no doubt why Watters is taking aim at fact-checkers, however, and why the president is parroting his attack. The Washington Post‘s running fact-check found that in his first two years in office, Trump made a mind-blowing 8,158 false or misleading claims. That’s an average of 5.9 PER DAY.

[Mediaite]

Trump Gets Toe Tagged and Bagged by Black Twitter After ‘African-Americans Are Very Angry’ Tweet

In the CVS receipt-long list of people who should never speak on behalf of black folks, Donald Trump and Uncle Ruckus are engaged in a bloody duel for last place. But lo and behold, Melania’s Baby Daddy took to Twitter to come to our alleged rescue Sunday morning and speak on behalf of our collective outrage at all the blackface and sexual assault allegations pouring out of Virginia.

“African-Americans are very angry at the double standard on full display in Virgina!” he tweeted through a haze of hypocrisy, while resisting the undying urge to refer to us as “The Blacks”.

His tweet was in reference to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring’s apparent penchants for blackface and the widespread calls for each them to resign. In addition to Northam’s would-be successor, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, whose spent the past week being hammered by allegations of sexual assault by two women.

But again, this is Donald fucking Trump we’re talking about here. So Black Twitter politely declined his heroics and told him to go fuck himself in variety of colorful ways:

[The Root]

Trump again confuses climate with weather in tweet attacking Amy Klobuchar

Donald Trump attacked Amy Klobuchar on Sunday, in a tweet that appeared to demonstrate a lack of understanding about climate change.

The Democratic senator had announced that she was running for the presidency earlier that day, in a speech delivered as snow fell around her in Minneapolis

“As your president, I will look you in the eye. I will tell you what I think. I will focus on getting things done. That’s what I’ve done my whole life,” she told a crowd of people gathered at a park along the Mississippi River.

The Minnesota senator added that on her first day as president she would have the US rejoin the Paris climate agreement, which Mr Trump withdrew the country from in 2017.

“Well, it happened again,” the president wrote on Twitter.

“Amy Klobuchar announced that she is running for President, talking proudly of fighting global warming while standing in a virtual blizzard of snow, ice and freezing temperatures.”

“Bad timing. By the end of her speech she looked like a Snowman(woman)!”

Conflating weather and climate change is a common error and Nasa has a webpage dedicated to distingushing the two.

“The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time,” it states.

“Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere ‘behaves’ over relatively long periods of time.”

Mr Trump has a long history of spreading incorrect information about climate change, despite the wealth of information available.

His tweet came just three weeks after another one in which he discussed forecasts of heavy snow.

“Wouldn’t be bad to have a little of that good old fashioned Global Warming right now,” the 72-year-old said. 

Mr Trump also once claimed that climate change was a Chinese hoax, invented to hurt US exports.

Ms Klobuchar responded to his mockery on Twitter by saying that science supported her policies.

“Science is on my side,” she wrote, addressing the president. 

[The Independent]

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