President Donald Trump criticizes Fox News over Pete Buttigieg town hall

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Sunday to comment on potential rival and Hoosier Pete Buttigieg and his chances on becoming president.

Trump’s tweets came hours before a Fox News town hall Sunday featuring Buttigieg in Claremont, New Hampshire. The 7 p.m. town hall was hosted by “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace.

“Hard to believe that @FoxNews is wasting airtime on Mayor Pete, as Chris Wallace likes to call him. Fox is moving more and more to the losing (wrong) side in covering the Dems. They go dumped from the Democrats boring debates, and they just want in. They forgot the people who go them there,” President Trump tweeted.

On his introduction to the show, Wallace said Buttigieg is “different, he breaks the mold and voters seem to be very intrigued by that at this point.”

Wallace compared Buttigieg’s fast-growing popularity to that of former president Barack Obama and Trump.

Trump tweeted that Wallace never speaks as well of him as he does of Buttigieg. He also referred to the South Bend, Indiana, mayor again as longtime Mad Magazine mascot Alfred E. Neuman.

“Chris Wallace said, “I actually think, whether you like his opinions or not, that Mayor Pete has a lot of substance…fascinating biography.” Gee, he never speaks well of me – I like Mike Wallace better…and Alfred E. Newman will never be President!,” he tweeted.

In an interview earlier this month, Trump compared Buttigieg to Mad Magazine’s freckled-faced cartoon boy mascot, saying, “Alfred E. Neuman cannot become president of the United States.

The shot landed home with baby boomers and Gen Xers, many of whom remember thumbing through the iconic satirical magazine. But Buttigieg, a millennial, told Politico he had to Google it.

“I guess it’s just a generational thing,” he said. “I didn’t get the reference. It’s kind of funny, I guess. But he’s also the president of the United States, and I’m surprised he’s not spending more time trying to salvage this China deal.”

The remark came on the heels of one Trump made at a campaign rally a few days earlier.

“Boot-edge-edge,” the president sounded out, according to a story reported by The Hill, “They say ‘edge-edge.’ “

Trump continued, apparently thinking little of Buttigieg’s stature on the world stage: “He’s got a great chance. He’ll be great. He’ll be great representing us against President Xi (Jinping) of China. That’ll be great.”

The president also alluded to Buttigieg on a conservative radio show last month as he speculated which Democrat he might face in the 2020 election, saying “It could be the mayor from Indiana.”

[USA Today]

Trump says campaign was ‘conclusively spied on,’ calls it ‘treason’

President Trump on Friday asserted that his 2016 campaign had been “conclusively spied on” by the Obama administration while calling the charge akin to “treason” and demanding jail time for those behind it.

In a tweet, the president said “nothing like this has ever happened” while calling for prison sentences.

“A really bad situation. TREASON means long jail sentences, and this was TREASON!” he continued.

The president’s tweet comes days after Attorney General William Barrannounced the appointment of a U.S. attorney to review the decisions that led to the establishment of an investigation into Trump’s campaign and Russian election interference.

The attorney general infuriated many Democrats on Capitol Hill earlier this year when he asserted that “spying” on the Trump campaign had occurred in 2016, while declining to take a position on its legality. His choice of language has earned rebukes from former members of the Justice Department including former FBI chief James Comey.

Barr told The Wall Street Journal and Fox News in interviews published Friday that he had received insufficient answers from Justice Department personnel about the reasons why an investigation had been launched into the Trump campaign in the first place.

“Government power was used to spy on American citizens,” Barr told the Journal on Friday. “I can’t imagine any world where we wouldn’t take a look and make sure that was done properly.”

“I’ve been trying to get answers to the questions and I’ve found that a lot of the answers have been inadequate and some of the explanations I’ve gotten don’t hang together, in a sense I have more questions today than when I first started,” Barr added in his interview with Fox.

“People have to find out what the government was doing during that period. If we’re worried about foreign influence, for the very same reason we should be worried about whether government officials abuse their power and put their thumb on the scale.”

[The Hill]

Trump takes credit for Red Sox “turnaround”

President Donald Trump tried to take credit on Monday for a sudden turnaround in the Boston Red Sox’ season, pointing out that the reigning World Series champions have gone undefeated since their fraught visit to the White House last week.

“Has anyone noticed that all the Boston @RedSox have done is WIN since coming to the White House!” Trump wrote in a tweet. “Others also have done very well. The White House visit is becoming the opposite of being on the cover of Sports Illustrated! By the way, the Boston players were GREAT guys!”

The Red Sox, who visited the White House last Thursday, swept all three of their home games over the weekend against the Seattle Mariners, scoring 34 runs across the three games. Boston has won eight of its last 10 games, a stretch that predates the team’s reception with the president.

Championship-winning sports team visits to the White House have become particularly politicized during the Trump administration, and the president has yanked invitations for at least two teams after prominent athletes said they would not attend the traditionally unremarkable events.

The same was true with the Red Sox team, which was represented by only a portion of last year’s team. Nearly every racial minority member of the team skipped the event, as did manager Alex Cora, a Puerto Rico native, who cited the administration’s handling of hurricane relief efforts there in declining the invitation. The team attempted to downplay the divide and last week reportedly barred a reporter from asking about the upcoming White House visit during a series in Baltimore.

But while neither Trump nor the team addressed the elephant in the room during Thursday’s celebration on the South Lawn, Trump became defensive about his record on Puerto Rico earlier in the day when asked by reporters about the Red Sox visit. The awkwardness was compounded by the White House initially posting on its website that Trump would be celebrating the Boston “Red Socks” and later blasting out his remarks to the “World Cup Series Champions” via email.

Trump was correct Monday in noting that the Red Sox have won the three games since their White House visit, though their turnaround after an extended early season skid began several weeks before their trip to Washington. After falling to 6-17 in mid-April, the team has since won 16 of its last 22 games and was on a two-game winning streak before the team visited Trump.

[Politico]

Trump: McGahn had a better chance of being fired than Mueller

President Trump denounced his former counsel Don McGahn on Saturday, following a report that the White House asked the lawyer twice to say publicly that Trump didn’t obstruct justice by asking for special counsel Robert Mueller’s dismissal.

Why it matters:The New York Times report appears to indicate how far the Trump administration has gone to prove the president did not attempt to obstruct justice. The revelations prompted House Democrats to say it’s critical for McGahn to testify before Congress regarding the Mueller report.

[Axios]

Reality

The Mueller Report is very clear, Donald Trump fired Robert Mueller several times, it’s just his orders were never carried out because his aides knew they would be in deep legal jeopardy.

On June 17,2017 Don McGahn recalled Trump said something along the lines of, “You gotta do this. You gotta call Rod,” Mueller’s report said. McGahn said he told the president he would see what he could do and did not act on the request.

Trump followed up that call telling McGahn “Mueller has to go” and “call me back when you do it.”

Trump Calls for the Prosecution of John Kerry Under the Logan Act

President Donald Trump called for the prosecution of former Secretary of StateJohn Kerry for his negotiations with a foreign government, namely Iran. In particular, Trump said Kerry violated the Logan Act.

“What I would like to see with Iran, I would like to see them call me. John Kerry, he speaks to them a lot. John Kerry tells them not to call. That is a violation of the Logan Act. And frankly, he should be prosecuted on that,” he said. “But my people don’t want to do anything — only the Democrats do that kind of stuff. You know? If it were the opposite way, they would prosecute him under the Logan Act. But John Kerry violated the Logan Act.”

“He’s talking to Iran and has been, has many meetings and tells them what to do,” Trump added. “That is a total violation of the Logan act.”

The Logan Act came up before in the context of fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. At the time, it was noted that the Logan Act is a 1799 law that is “rarely enforced” and has “never been used to successfully prosecute any American citizen.”

Here’s what 18 U.S.C. §953, the Logan Act, says:

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

Only two people have ever been indicted for a Logan Act violation, and neither of them were convicted.

[Law and Crime]

Reality

In September Marco Rubio sent a letter to the DOJ urging an investigation of the matter.

https://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Press-Releases&id=2D9F248A-E57B-468D-8B76-99D0290EE080

Media

Trump awards Medal of Freedom to Business Partner Tiger Woods

President Donald Trump bestowed Tiger Woods with the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, on Monday evening in the White House Rose Garden. 

The duo shares a love of the game of golf, but both have also risen to unpredictable and spectacular comebacks: Trump from bankruptcy to the presidency; Woods from public shamingfollowing multiple affairs, injuries and a resulting painkiller addiction, to winning this year’s Masters. 

The Medal of Freedom recognizes individuals who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors,” according to the executive order designating the award. Since taking office, Trump has presented the award to numerous athletes, including Alan Page, Roger Staubach, and a posthumous award to Babe Ruth.

Trump, who has a long history with Woods, said in a tweet after the Masters that he had congratulated the golfer on the win and his comeback, announcing that he would be giving him the award.

“Spoke to @TigerWoods to congratulate him on the great victory he had in yesterday’s @TheMasters, & to inform him that because of his incredible Success & Comeback in Sports (Golf) and, more importantly, LIFE, I will be presenting him with the PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM!” the tweet said.

Woods’ career slumped following his divorce and surrounding scandal in late 2009 and early 2010. He lost about $20 million from estimated endorsements after sponsors including Gatorade, AT&T, and Accenture cut ties. After a string of losses in 2011, Woods failed to make the World Golf Ranking’s top 50 players list. But one fan who stuck with him: Donald Trump, who supported the embattled golfer in March 2013 via Twitter.

“I remained strong for @TigerWoods during his difficult period. He rewarded me (and himself) by winning at Trump National Doral,” Trump wrote

Days later, Woods regained his No. 1 ranking

While it’s entirely up to the President’s discretion as to who receives the Medal of Freedom, the choice of Woods, who at 43 is still relatively young compared to other recipients, has raised eyebrows for Trump’s business ties to the pro golfer.

Trump, an avid golfer, owns courses across the world and frequently hits the links, playing most recently this Saturday at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia. His Trump National Doral in Miami has a villa named for Woods. According to The New York Times, Woods celebrated his first Masters win in 1997 at Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. 

And, per the Times, Woods is designing a course in Dubai that would be managed by the Trump Organization. Though it was expected to be completed by the end of 2017, it has yet to open, and a spokesman for Woods declined to comment to the Times. 

The President has played multiple rounds with Woods, including alongside Jack Nicklaus in February at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida.

[CNN]

Reality

Donald Trump is giving the Presidential Medal of Freedom to HIS BUSINESS PARTNER, for businesses he still owns, operates, promotes, and receives profits from.

https://tgrdesign.tigerwoods.com/courses/trump-world-golf-club-dubai/

Trump demands Democrats investigate themselves for impeachable offenses in bonkers early morning tweet

President Donald Trump on Monday said Democrats need to stop talking about impeaching him — and then demanded that they launch investigations into themselves over their own purported “crimes.”

Reacting to comments about impeaching Trump made by Rep. Al Green (D-TX), the president insisted that House Democrats had no grounds to impeach him.

“You can’t impeach a president for creating the best economy in our country’s history,” the president wrote. “Also, there are “No High Crimes & Misdemeanors,” No Collusion, No Conspiracy, No Obstruction. ALL THE CRIMES ARE ON THE OTHER SIDE, and that’s what the Dems should be looking at, but they won’t.”

Even though Trump has claimed that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference was a “total exoneration,” he has nonetheless bitterly complained about it and he said over the weekend that Mueller should not be allowed to testify before Congress about his work.

And contrary to the president’s assertion that the report found “no obstruction,” it actually outlined multiple instances that it said could constitute obstruction of justice, including the president ordering his White House counsel to fire Mueller and the president trying to pressure former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to limit the scope of Mueller’s probe.

[Raw Story]

Trump: ‘Mueller should not testify’

President Donald Trump said on Sunday that Robert Mueller “should not testify” before Congress, hours after a Democratic lawmaker confirmed that the House Judiciary Committee was still seeking to schedule a hearing with the special counsel for later this month.

“Bob Mueller should not testify. No redos for the Dems!” the president wrote on Twitter, after excoriating Mueller’s 22-month investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election in a previous post.

“After spending more than $35,000,000 over a two year period, interviewing 500 people, using 18 Trump Hating Angry Democrats & 49 FBI Agents — all culminating in a more than 400 page Report showing NO COLLUSION — why would the Democrats in Congress now need Robert Mueller to testify,” Trumptweeted.

“Are they looking for a redo because they hated seeing the strong NO COLLUSION conclusion? There was no crime, except on the other side (incredibly not covered in the Report), and NO OBSTRUCTION,” the president added.

Attorney General William Barr previously told Congress that he has no objection to Mueller, who is a Justice Department employee, testifying before lawmakers. Peter Carr, the special counsel’s spokesman, declined to comment on the president’s tweet.

Earlier Sunday, a Judiciary Committee member, Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), told “Fox News Sunday” that Mueller was tentatively scheduled to testify on May 15, but he later walked back that remark on social media.

“Just to clarify: we are aiming to bring Mueller in on the 15th, but nothing has been agreed to yet,” Cicilline wrote online. “That’s the date the Committee has proposed, and we hope the Special Counsel will agree to it. Sorry for the confusion.”

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) has said the committee is eyeing May 15 for Mueller to testify. The committee did not immediately respond to Cicilline’s comments.

The White House, Cicilline said in the Fox interview, has indicated it would not interfere with Mueller’s attempt to testify and “we hope that won’t change.”

As recently as last month, the request for Mueller to appear before the House Judiciary Committee was bipartisan; the panel’s top Republican, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, wrote to Nadler in April encouraging him to invite the special counsel to testify.

Trump’s tweet — if interpreted by the attorney general as a direct order to stifle Mueller’s testimony — could set up the most consequential legal question related to the special counsel’s probe: whether executive privilege can be used to stop an executive branch employee from testifying about an investigation into the president.

The president’s post also aggravates a partisan fight over Mueller’s findings that was already under way Sunday morning when Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) criticized the special counsel for not revealing sooner that he had not found that the Trump campaign and the Kremlin criminally conspired to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.

“It couldn’t have taken Bob Mueller that long to find that out,” King told a New York radio show. “The reports we get are that they knew a year ago there was no collusion. Well, didn’t he have an obligation to tell the president of the United States that? To let the world know?”

Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, later tweeted a news report on King’s comments, adding: “More evidence that Mueller probe was part of a political plan,ie., insurance policy, to remove or hurt ⁦@realDonaldTrump⁩. They failed because people wouldn’t lie.”

It is possible that Mueller could also appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee, after Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) asked him in a letter Friday whether he “would like to provide testimony regarding any misrepresentation” by Barr concerning an exchange he had with the attorney general about the special counsel’s report.

Barr already faces a torrent of criticism from congressional Democrats after his testimony last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee. At that hearing, he was grilled by lawmakers about a letter he received from Mueller that expressed disagreement with the way the Justice Department handled the release of the special counsel’s report.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday accused Barr of committing a crime by lying to Congress about similar concerns by Mueller’s investigators, and Nadler on Friday threatened to hold Barr in contempt of Congress if he did not grant access to Mueller’s unredacted report and its underlying documents by Monday morning.

The scrutiny of Barr is likely to intensify in the coming days, as Democratic lawmakers await a potential response from the attorney general to the president’s tweet.

The issue of executive privilege has featured prominently in debates concerning Mueller’s report since the special counsel concluded his investigation in mid-March and submitted his findings to the attorney general later that month.

Trump waived the privilege during the probe, allowing former White House counsel Don McGahn and other figures in his administration to cooperate with Mueller’s team of federal prosecutors. But it is now unclear whether the president will try to assert the power to block those officials from publicly testifying.

Asked on Wednesday whether he had any objections to McGahn appearing before Congress, Barr told the Senate Judiciary Committee that McGahn was “a close adviser to the president” and remarked: “We haven’t waived executive privilege.”

Trump said Thursday that he did not want McGahn to testify.

“Congress shouldn‘t be looking anymore,” the president told Fox News. “This is all. It‘s done.”

[Politico]

Trump Calls FBI and Justice Department Officials ‘Scum’

During a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, President Donald Trump called FBI and Justice Department officials “scum.”

“We’re taking on the failed political establishment and restoring government of, by and for the people,” Trump said. “It’s the people, or you’re the people. You won the election.”

Then turning to talk of his own intelligence officials he said this: “And if you look at what’s happened with the scum that’s leaving the very top of government, people that others used to say, oh, that’s one — these were dirty cops. These were dirty players.”

He continued on: “You take a look at what’s going on, there’s 21 of ‘em already. And I’m not even doing — they’re just leaving because they got caught like nobody ever got caught.”

The crowd cheered.

“And in the truest sense of the word, what we are doing now is draining the swamp,” the president continued on to louder cheers. “That’s true.”

The crowd then chanted “Drain the Swamp!”

[Mediaite]

Trump ignores black #1 NFL pick to congratulate white player with history of racist tweets

In his first tweet on Saturday morning, President Donald Trump ignored the first player picked in the NFL draft, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, who is black, to praise the number two pick — a white player with a history of racist tweets.

In his tweet, Trump skipped over the Heisman Trophy winner to celebrate Ohio State’s Nick Bosa — who missed most of the 2018 season — for being picked second.

“Congratulations to Nick Bosa on being picked number two in the NFL Draft. You will be a great player for years to come, maybe one of the best. Big Talent! San Francisco will embrace you but most importantly, always stay true to yourself. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” he tweeted.

According to to the San Franciso Chronicle,”Bosa recently deleted tweets in which he called Colin Kaepernick a ‘clown,’ referred to Beyonce’s music as ‘complete trash’ and called ‘Black Panther’ the worst Marvel movie. On Thursday, the website Blacksportsonline posted threads showing Bosa following and liking accounts that feature white nationalist posts. The twitter feed @rzstprogramming showed Bosa retweeted a tweet referring to ‘crappernick.’”

[Raw Story]

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