Trump is attacking a Twitter employee over the company’s decision to fact-check him because the employee criticized Trump in past tweets

President Donald Trump slammed a Twitter employee Thursday who was critical of Trump in past tweets, calling the employee a “hater” and tagging his twitter handle.

Trump has reacted strongly this week to Twitter’s decision to add fact-checking labels to some of his tweets for the first time, and has accused Twitter and other tech companies, again and without evidence, of anti-conservative bias.

On Wednesday, Trump allies and advisers started directing their ire at Twitter’s head of site integrity, Yoel Roth, who has tweeted harsh criticism of Trump in the past.

Roth’s old tweets from 2016 and 2017 were resurfaced and shared widely on Wednesday, including a tweet calling Trump a “racist tangerine,” a tweet decrying “ACTUAL NAZIS IN THE WHITE HOUSE,” and a tweet describing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as “a personality-free bag of farts.”

A Twitter spokesperson told Business Insider Wednesday that Roth is part of the team overseen by VP for trust and safety Del Harvey that recommends whether to label tweets that contain misinformation, but added that the decision to label tweets is ultimately made by “leadership” following recommendations from the trust and safety team.

On Wednesday night, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey stood by the decision to correct Trump’s false claims about voting.

“Fact check: there is someone ultimately accountable for our actions as a company, and that’s me,” Dorsey posted. “Please leave our employees out of this. We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally.”

“Per our Civic Integrity policy (https://help.twitter.com/en/rules-and-policies/election-integrity-policy), the tweets yesterday may mislead people into thinking they don’t need to register to get a ballot (only registered voters receive ballots),” Dorsey continued. “We’re updating the link on @realDonaldTrump’s tweet to make this more clear.”

Trump advisers are presenting Roth’s tweets as evidence of alleged anti-conservative bias across Twitter and other tech companies. Donald Trump Jr. slammed Roth on Twitter after Breitbart reported on his past tweets. On Fox News Wednesday morning, senior adviser Kellyanne Conway called Roth “horrible” and read his Twitter handle out loud on air.

“Somebody in San Francisco go wake him up and tell him he’s about to get a lot more followers,” Conway said on “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday.

The jabs at Roth are part of the Trump world’s broader backlash to Twitter’s decision to add fact-checking labels to Trump’s tweets that claimed without evidence that vote by mail is being used by Democrats to commit voter fraud. The tweets now include a disclaimer reading “get the facts” with a link to independent fact-checkers who debunk Trump’s claim.

This is the first time Twitter has taken action to mediate Trump’s false or misleading statements on the platform. Twitter has been upbraided by Trump critics over the years who say the platform enables Trump to spread falsehoods despite its policies against misinformation.

Trump lashed out at Twitter in response to the labels early Wednesday, threatening to shut down or “strongly regulate” social-media platforms that he claims are unfair to conservatives.

[Business Insider]

Trump tweets baseless conspiracy theory accusing Joe Scarborough of murder

President Trump again baselessly accused MSNBC host Joe Scarborough of murdering his intern in 2001 in a tweet Saturday, calling on his followers to “keep digging” and to “use forensic geniuses” to find out more about a death that occurred at Scarborough’s Florida office when he was a member of Congress.

Why it matters: Trump has had a lengthy feud with Scarborough and his wife Mika Brzezinski, who host “Morning Joe” and are often critical of the president and his administration. Brzezinski demanded last week that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey stop allowing Trump to “abuse” the platform by spreading conspiracy theories.

The president’s tweet referred to the 2001 death of Lori Klausutis, a 28-year-old aide at Scarborough’s office. 

  • Authorities determined that she died after losing consciousness from an abnormal heart rhythm and collapsed, striking her head, the Washington Post reports.
  • Police ruled that Klausutis’ death was accidental and never suspected foul play.

[Axios]


Trump says Sessions wasn’t ‘mentally qualified’ to be attorney general

President Trump said in a new interview that Jeff Sessions wasn’t “mentally qualified” to be attorney general and was a “disaster” while in office. 

The president told Sharyl Attkisson that Sessions “should have never” held the position.

“Jeff Sessions was a disaster as attorney general,” Trump said during the “Full Measure” interview, which aired on Sunday morning. “He’s not mentally qualified to be attorney general. He was the biggest problem.”

Trump’s remarks escalated an ongoing feud between the president and Sessions, a former Republican senator from Alabama who as attorney general recused himself from the FBI’s investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election. 

On Saturday, the president formally endorsed college football coach Tommy Tuberville, who is challenging Sessions’s bid to return to the Senate, citing the recusal.

Sessions responded on Twitter, saying, “I did my duty & you’re damn fortunate I did.”

“It protected the rule of law & resulted in your exoneration,” he posted. “Your personal feelings don’t dictate who Alabama picks as their senator, the people of Alabama do.”

Sessions and Tuberville will compete in a July 14 runoff after a close Republican primary election in March. The Republicans seek to unseat Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), who took over Sessions’s seat in a 2017 special election.

Trump fired Sessions in November 2018 and told NBC News’s “Meet the Press” last year that Sessions would be his only “do-over” as president.

[The Hill]

Trump retweets a message calling Hillary Clinton a ‘skank’ and spreads sexist insults about other prominent female Democrats

President Donald Trump on Saturday shared a series of messages containing sexist taunts and personal insults against prominent female Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In one message retweeted by the president, John Stahl, a conservative who gathered only 3% of the vote in his bid to represent California’s 52nd District in the House in 2012, called the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, Clinton, a “skank.”

Like Trump, Stahl is fond of referring to political opponents with insulting nicknames, as seen on his Twitter feed.

In another message shared by Trump, Stahl aimed insulting gibes at Pelosi and Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost the 2018 race for the governor’s office in Georgia and is a contender for selection as Joe Biden’s running mate in the 2020 presidential race.

[Business Insider]

Trump tears into ’60 Minutes’ after segment with whistleblower Bright

President Trump took aim at CBS News and its flagship news magazine program, “60 Minutes,” on Sunday after the program interviewed whistleblower Rick Bright, former head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).

In a tweet, the president excoriated CBS and its “third place anchor, @NorahODonnell,” whom he accused of “doing everything in their power to demean our Country, much to the benefit of the Radical Left Democrats.”

“Tonight they put on yet another Fake “Whistleblower”, a disgruntled employee who supports Dems, fabricates stories & spews lies. @60Minutes report was incorrect, which they couldn’t care less about. Fake News!” he tweeted.

“This whole Whistleblower racket needs to be looked at very closely, it is causing great injustice & harm. I hope you are listening [Sen. Susan Collins.] I also hope that Shari Redstone will take a look at her poorly performing gang. She knows how to make things right!” Trump added. Redstone is the chairwoman of ViacomCBS.

Bright, who last week slammed the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 crisis during testimony before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, told CBS News that he was not “disgruntled,” as Trump has described him, but instead was frustrated with the administration’s response to the virus threat.

“Remember, the entire leadership was focused on containment. There was a belief that we could contain this virus and keep it out of the United States,” he said. “Containment doesn’t work. Containment does buy time. It could slow. It very well could slow the spread. But while you’re slowing the spread, you better be doing something in parallel to be prepared for when that virus breaks out. That was my job.”
“I am not disgruntled,” Bright added. “I am frustrated at a lack of leadership. I am frustrated at a lack of urgency to get a head start on developing lifesaving tools for Americans. I’m frustrated at our inability to be heard as scientists. Those things frustrate me.”

Bright told the House committee last week that “unprecedented illness and fatalities” would occur if the U.S. coronavirus response does not improve in upcoming months, and cast doubt on predictions that the U.S. would see a COVID-19 vaccine developed in the next year and a half.

[The Hill]

Trump asks why taxpayers should help bail out blue states

President Trump on Monday questioned why the federal government should provide financial relief to states facing budgetary strains due to the coronavirus pandemic, portraying it as a partisan issue in states and cities with Democratic leaders.

It’s a signal Trump may be turning away from supporting funding for cash-strapped states and cities in a new coronavirus relief bill, though the president has sent conflicting signals on the issue already.

“Why should the people and taxpayers of America be bailing out poorly run states (like Illinois, as example) and cities, in all cases Democrat run and managed, when most of the other states are not looking for bailout help?” Trump tweeted. “I am open to discussing anything, but just asking?”

Trump tweeted last week that he hoped future coronavirus legislation would include “fiscal relief to State/Local governments for lost revenues from COVID 19.” 

But after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-Ky.) floated the idea of allowing states to go bankrupt rather than sending federal money to them, Trump said his administration was looking into the idea.

“I’ve been talking to a lot of the different senators, but I don’t want to talk about it now,” Trump said Thursday. “That was a very interesting presentation.”

Governors in both parties have panned McConnell’s comments.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) called it a “really dumb idea.”

“The suggestion was made, states should declare bankruptcy. … You want to send a signal to the markets that this nation is in real trouble? You want to send an international message that the economy is in turmoil? Do that,” Cuomo said.

[The Hill]

Reality

Fact: Blue high-tax states fund red low-tax states – in a big way.

White House Tried To Move CNN Reporter To Back Of Briefing Room Before Trump Walked Out

President Donald Trump is not a fan of CNN.

He clashes almost daily with reporters from the liberal cable network, and he once had a White House pass pulled from a reporter, Jim Acosta.

Trump got into another battle with the network last week — and lost.

A White House official on Friday ordered a CNN reporter to swap her front-row seat with another reporter at the back of the briefing just before Trump appeared for his daily press conference with the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

The reporter, CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins, refused to swap seats, as did the other reporter. The official then said the Secret Service would get involved.

The seating chart in the briefing room is set by the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA), currently headed up by ABC’s Jonathan Karl, another reporter Trump doesn’t like.

Chris Johnson, a reporter with the Washington Blade, sent out a print pool report to other reporters detailing what happened.

“Earlier today before the briefing, a White House official instructed the print pooler to take CNN’s seat in the briefing room because the seating would be swapped for the briefing. Given the seating assignment is under the jurisdiction of the White House Correspondents’ Association, not the White House, pooler refused to move. The White House official then informed the print pooler swapping wasn’t an option and the Secret Service was involved. Again, pooler refused to move, citing guidance from the WHCA. The briefing proceeded with both CNN and print pooler sitting in their respective assigned seats,” Johnson wrote.

Friday’s briefing marked the first time Trump had held the briefing and then left without taking questions.

Other reporters applauded the pair for fighting back.

“We just got word the briefing will begin in one minute. Reporters were not moved. Shout out to @chrisjohnson82 @kaitlancollins and the @whca for standing their ground,” wrote Hunter Walker, White House correspondent with Yahoo News.

Trump had clashed with Collins just the day before. In his briefing Thursday, Trump dismissed a question from a reporter about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s health, saying it arose from an “incorrect” report from CNN. Collins tried to ask a follow-up question, but Trump interrupted her.

“No, that’s enough,” he said. “The problem is, you don’t write the truth.” Collins tried to ask again, but Trump said, “No, not CNN. I told you, CNN is fake news. Don’t talk to me.”

Acosta’s press pass was revoked in November 2018 after a press conference held by Trump. The White House rebuked Acosta for “placing his hands on a young woman” after he refused to give up the microphone, pushing a White House intern’s hand away as she tried to take back the microphone.

“As a result of today’s incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice,” Press Secretary Sarah Sanders wrote on Twitter, adding a video when she said, “We stand by our decision.”

Acosta sued and got his pass back.

[Daily Wire]

Trump announces U.S. will halt funding for WHO over coronavirus response

President Trump announced Tuesday that the U.S. is placing a hold on funding to the World Health Organization for 60–90 days over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, pending a review.

Driving the news: Trump accused the WHO of “severely mismanaging and covering up” the coronavirus crisis, adding that the U.S. “has a duty to insist on full accountability.”

  • “With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have deep concerns whether America’s generosity has been put to the best use possible,” Trump said at a briefing in the Rose Garden.
  • “If we cannot trust them, if this is what we will receive from the WHO, our country will be forced to find other ways to work with other nations to achieve public health goals.” 

By the numbers: The WHO’s 2018–2019 budget was about $6 billion, and the U.S. is by far the biggest donor of any country, contributing more than $400 million to the organization last year.

  • “American taxpayers provided between $400 million and $500 million per year to the WHO. In contrast, China contributes roughly $40 million a year, or even less,” Trump said Tuesday.
  • “As the organization’s leading sponsor, the United States has a duty to insist on full accountability. One of the most dangerous and costly decisions from the WHO was its disastrous decision to oppose travel restrictions from China and other nations.”

Behind the scenes: Trump has been fuming for days about what he sees as the WHO’s botched response to the pandemic and its deference to China.

  • “The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look,” Trump tweeted last week.
  • Trump’s national security team has rallied behind him, believing that the U.S. needed to go beyond public statements and make the WHO feel some pain for its missteps, according to officials involved in the internal discussions.
  • Our thought bubble: The decision gives Trump somebody else to blame and a way to deflect from his own missteps in handling the virus.

Details: Below are some of Trump’s specific complaints, which he said led him to his decision to freeze U.S. funding:

  • “The WHO failed to adequately obtain, vet and share information in a timely and transparent fashion. … The WHO failed in this basic duty and must be held accountable.”
  • “The WHO failed to investigate credible reports from sources in Wuhan that conflicted directly with the Chinese government’s official accounts. There was credible information to suspect human-to-human transmission in December 2019, which should have spurred the WHO to investigate.”
  • “Through the middle of January, it parroted and publicly endorsed the idea that there was not human-to-human transmission happening, despite reports and clear evidence to the contrary. “
  • “The delays the WHO experienced in declaring a public health emergency cost valuable time, tremendous amounts of time.”
  • “The inability of the WHO to obtain virus samples to this day has deprived the scientific community of essential data.”
  • “The WHO has not addressed a single one of these concerns nor provided a serious explanation that acknowledges its own mistakes, of which there were many.”

Background: Over the past week, officials within the White House’s Office of Management and Budget have been working on a menu of options for how to snub the WHO. Trump administration officials told Axios the options fall along two tracks.

  • The most likely route is to reprogram U.S. funding that was allocated to the WHO, moving it to other international organizations that can administer it for comparable purposes, officials said.
  • A more dramatic, but less likely, approach is to send a rescissions package to Congress, rescinding from the federal budget funds already allocated to WHO. A similar approach was adopted in 2017 when the U.S. cut $285 million from its funding to the United Nations.
  • Trump did not reveal on Tuesday which mechanism he will use to halt funding to the organization.

What they’re saying: António Guterres, secretary-general of the UN, to which the WHO reports, said in a statement, “Now is a time for unity in the global battle to push the COVID-19 pandemic into reverse, not a time to cut the resources of the … WHO, which is spearheading and coordinating the global body’s efforts.”

[Axios]

Trump lashes out at networks, newspapers: All I see is ‘hatred of me’


President Trump
 late Sunday lashed out at much of the media over their coverage of his administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, claiming that all he’s seen is “hatred of me.”

“I watch and listen to the Fake News, CNN, MSDNC, ABC, NBC, CBS, some of FOX (desperately & foolishly pleading to be politically correct), the [New York Times], & the [Washington Post], and all I see is hatred of me at any cost,” Trump said on Twitter. 

“Don’t they understand that they are destroying themselves?” he asked. 

Trump has regularly attacked the press since entering the White House, often referring to reporters as “fake news” and the “enemy of the people.” Last week, Trump railed against an NBC reporter, calling him “terrible,” after being asked what he’d say to Americans who are scared. 

His tirade against the group of news outlets came after a day in which several state and federal lawmakers called on the president to use his authority to help health systems being overwhelmed by a surge of patients. 

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) said on CNN that states were overpaying for medical equipment and were being forced to compete with each other for much-needed resources. Rather than a competition, it “should have been a coordinated effort by the federal government,” he said. 

“It’s a wild, wild West out there, and indeed [we’re] overpaying for [personal protective equipment] because of that competition,” Pritzker said. 

Trump railed against Pritzker and CNN just hours later, tweeting that they “shouldn’t be blaming the Federal Government for their own shortcomings.”

Pritzker tweeted in response that Trump “wasted precious months when you could’ve taken action to protect Americans & Illinoisans.”

“Get off Twitter & do your job,” Pritzker said. 

Speaking at a White House briefing on Sunday, Trump said that he would reject calls to ramp up production of critical medical supplies through the use of the Defense Production Act.

He said that he’s used the law as a source of leverage in negotiations with companies to persuade them to manufacture equipment, but he contended that it would nationalize industries and that he was not in favor it. The Defense Production Act does not nationalize industry, but it does allow the government to direct private businesses to make certain supplies. “We’re a country not based on nationalizing our business. Call a person over in Venezuela,” Trump told reporters. “How did nationalization of their businesses work out? Not too well.”

[The Hill]

Trump Lashes Out at NBC News’ Peter Alexander Over Question About What to Tell ‘Scared Americans’

President Donald Trump called an NBC News journalist a “terrible reporter” for asking a legitimate question about what the president would say to Americans feeling scared about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has claimed the lives of at least 194 people in the country.

“What do you say to Americans who are scared?” NBC News’ Peter Alexander asked on Friday. “There’ll be 200 dead, 14,000 who are sick, millions — as you witnessed — who are scared right now. What do you say to Americans watching you right now who are scared?”

“I say that you’re a terrible reporter,” Trump responded. “I think that’s a very nasty question, and I think it’s a very bad signal that you’re putting out to the American people. The American people are looking for answers and they’re looking for hope. And you’re doing sensationalism, and the same with NBC. … That’s really bad reporting, and you ought to get back to reporting instead of sensationalism.”

President Donald Trump called an NBC News journalist a “terrible reporter” for asking a legitimate question about what the president would say to Americans feeling scared about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has claimed the lives of at least 194 people in the country.

“What do you say to Americans who are scared?” NBC News’ Peter Alexander asked on Friday. “There’ll be 200 dead, 14,000 who are sick, millions — as you witnessed — who are scared right now. What do you say to Americans watching you right now who are scared?”

“I say that you’re a terrible reporter,” Trump responded. “I think that’s a very nasty question, and I think it’s a very bad signal that you’re putting out to the American people. The American people are looking for answers and they’re looking for hope. And you’re doing sensationalism, and the same with NBC. … That’s really bad reporting, and you ought to get back to reporting instead of sensationalism.”

[Yahoo News]

Media

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