Trump unleashes bizarre stream of gobbledygook when reporter asks him to describe his health care plan

President Donald Trump has vowed multiple times over the past two-and-a-half years to unveil his own replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act, but so far no actual plan has come to light.

As noted by CNN fact checker Daniel Dale, Trump was asked by a reporter in New Hampshire this week to describe his health care plan, and the president responded with a stream of gobbledygook.

“So, we have a great plan coming out,” the president began when asked about his plan. “It’s going to be — if we can take back the House because we’re not going to get the Democrats to vote for it, because they’re doing Medicare for all, which is going to take away your freedom, take away your doctors, take away everything that you should be able to have, and most importantly, it’s going to take away — we have 180 million people right now that have private insurance and they love it, and all of that’s going to be taken away. It’s absolute craziness.”

Instead of talking about his own health care plan, the president then proceeded to make false statements about Medicare for All.

“On top of everything else, they’re looking at 80, 90, 95 percent tax, because there’s no — there’s no way they can afford it,” he said. “But people don’t want to go to a hospital, to go to a doctor. They don’t want to go. They want to have their own doctor, number one, and we went through this with Obamacare, which we got rid of the individual mandate, by the way, which is very important.”

After all this, the president finally pivoted back to talking about his own health care plan, but he offered zero details about what it would contain.

“But we have a great health care plan,” he said. “If we get the House, we hold the Senate, we keep the presidency, we’re going to have great health care, much better than Obamacare, at much less cost.”

[Raw Story]

Trump administration labels China a currency manipulator

The Trump administration on Monday designated China a “currency manipulator,” after the country’s central bank allowed its currency to weaken amid the ongoing trade dispute.

The move comes hours after Trump accused Beijing of depreciating its currency on Twitter, adding later that such measures have been used to “steal our business and factories, hurt our jobs, depress our workers’ wages and harm our farmers’ prices. Not anymore!”

The People’s Bank of China allowed its currency to fall below 7 yuan to the American dollar, which is considered to be a psychologically important marker, for the first time in a decade. The move was seen as a retaliatory measure following Trump’s threat to slap a 10% tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods.

The yuan’s depreciation comes amid a longstanding trade war between Washington and Beijing as each side has slapped economic penalties alongside on-again, off-again negotiations.

Presidents have often used the twice-a-year currency report as a diplomatic tools while engaging with countries that are seen as having exchange rates that harm US jobs and economic growth.

The United States hasn’t labeled a country a currency manipulator since it tagged China in the early 1990s, under President Bill Clinton. Designating a country doesn’t immediately trigger penalties, but it is seen by other governments as a provocation.

Treasury has repeatedly declined to label China a currency manipulator, despite Trump’s pledge to do so during his 2016 campaign. Instead, the country was placed on Treasury’s “monitoring list” in its review of US trading partners along with eight other countries.

Treasury’s report highlighted “significant concerns” over the meaningful depreciation of China’s currency against the US dollar, a critical component of ongoing trade talks, and urged China to take steps to avoid “a persistently weak currency.”

But on Monday Treasury said China’s central bank openly acknowledged that it has “extensive experience manipulating its currency and remains prepared to do so on an ongoing basis,” pointing to an earlier statement released by the People’s Bank of China.

The PBOC’s statement noted that it “has accumulated rich experience and policy tools, and will continue to innovate and enrich the control toolbox, and take necessary and targeted measures against the positive feedback behavior that may occur in the foreign exchange market.”

Trump has repeatedly argued that the Chinese have depreciated their currency slowly in the last year to help offset tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese goods amid an ongoing trade war between the two major economic superpowers.

[CNN]

Reality

Donald Trump knows nothing about economics and it’s again abundantly clear after he labeled China a currency manipulator after the yuan dropped 1.7 percent, claiming China purposefully forced the yuan down.

The reality is the yuan’s decrease was from three different forces, first trade wars can cause a country’s currency to plunge. For example this happened to Mexico during Trump’s trade war for NAFTA 2.0.
(See: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/31/peso-plunges-vs-the-us-dollar-after-trump-announces-mexican-import-tariffs.html)

Second, a stronger dollar causes other countries currencies to devalue in relation. This is basic economics. As a side note Donald Trump doesn’t want a stronger dollar and has tried to get the Fed to artificially weaken the dollar. You know… manipulate currency.
(See: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/devaluation.asp)

Finally China had actually been propping up the yuan during Trump’s trade wars, the action China took was to just stop and accepting current market forces. Again, China most likely stopped fighting market headwinds as retaliation to Trump’s escalation of his trade wars, so the correct assessment is they were artificially manipulating the currency before by propping it up, but Trump is saying they are manipulating the currency now, which is just plain incorrect.
(See: https://www.ft.com/content/9d24c1ca-b7cd-11e9-96bd-8e884d3ea203)

Trump is speeding us into a Smoot-Hawley scenario, which exacerbated the Great Depression, and will make the next recession worse than it normally will be with his backwards understanding of basic economics.

Trump offers to guarantee ASAP Rocky’s bail in Sweden

President Trump said he spoke with Sweden’s prime minister Saturday about jailed rapper ASAP Rocky and “offered to personally vouch for his bail.”

Trump tweeted that during a “a very good call” with Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, he also “assured him that A$AP was not a flight risk.” The platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated artist has been in custody since early this month over an alleged fight.

Urged on by the first lady and celebrities including Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West, the president had said in a Friday tweet that he would intervene to try to free Rocky, whose real name is Rakim May.

“Our teams will be talking further, and we agreed to speak again in the next 48 hours!” Trump wrote Saturday after speaking with Lofven.

Lofven said in a statement earlier Saturday that he would be glad to speak with Trump about ASAP Rocky’s detention but that his government “cannot and will not attempt to influence prosecutors or courts.”

“I understand that President Trump has a personal interest in the case …. He has expressed the desire for a conversation with me, which is certainly positive,” Lofven said. “I will explain that the Swedish judicial system is independent. In Sweden, everyone is equal before the law, and this includes visitors from other countries.”

Rocky has been behind bars while Swedish police investigate the fight in Stockholm he was allegedly involved in before appearing at a music festival. Videos published on social media appear to show a person being violently thrown onto the ground by Rocky. A defense lawyer has said Rocky acted in self-defense.

Other recording artists have also spoken out on his behalf, including Sean “Diddy” Combs, Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, Nicki Minaj and Post Malone.

[Los Angeles Times]

Trump defends Putin’s claim that democracy is dead with bizarre, confused rant about California

Ahead of the G20 summit in Osaka, Vladimir Putin told the Financial Times that “the liberal idea has become obsolete,” a line that drew sharp rebuke from the democratic world.

But when President Donald Trump was asked about the line by Peter Baker of The New York Times, he didn’t even appear to understand what Putin was talking about, responding with a confused rant about how terrible California is.

Los Angeles and San Francisco, Trump said, are “sad to look at” because they are run by “liberal people”:

Putin, of course, was not talking about “liberal” in the sense of California or the Democratic Party. He was talking about the whole concept of Western, pluralistic, multicultural democracy, and arguing that giving marginalized groups like refugees and LGBTQ persons human rights is dying off.

Even if Trump had understood Putin, it is not clear he wouldn’t agree, given that his administration is rolling back LGBTQ protections, holding asylum seekers in camps with no soap and toothpaste, and broadly pushing to remove federal protections for the democratic process.

[Raw Story]

Trump Stuns Maria Bartiromo By Accusing Mueller of Crimes in Wild Rant: ‘That’s Illegal! That’s a Crime!’

President Donald Trump railed against Robert Mueller’s upcoming testimonythroughout his interview with Fox Business on Wednesday, but towards the end, he cranked it up to 11 and went off on a tangent accusing the special counsel of numerous crimes.

Trump once again accused the FBI of improperly spying on his campaign before lashing into “the two pathetic lovers” Lisa Page and Peter Strzok.

“Well, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page wrote everything down, so we’ve got all the texts,” Bartiromo said.

That’s when Trump went wild and claimed there were more exchanges between the Strzok and Page that Mueller concealed. Bartiromo tried multiple times to interject with a question, but the president charged along:

“Wait till you see the rest of their – here’s the problem, Robert Mueller, they worked for him, and two lovers were together and they had texts back-and-forth, e-mail back-and-forth…Mueller terminated them illegally. He terminated the emails, he terminated all stuff between Strzok and Page, you know, they sung like you’ve never seen. Robert Mueller terminated their text messages together, he terminated them. They’re gone! And that’s illegal! That is a crime!”

Bartiromo nodded along, a little perplexed, before asking why the alleged crimes had not been discussed in courts. Trump responded “I guess it will be, and the Republicans know it.”

“Can you imagine what they said – how stupid they are – can you imagine what they said, these stupid lovers,” Trump continued. “He’s trying to show what a big man he is making statements, and she is back to him ‘oh yes darling, yes darling.’ How stupid they were, this was a love serenade going on.”

Bartiromo tried once more to ask why no one has seen this after Trump gave Attorney General William Barr clearance to declassify, but the president switched gears — grumbling about his approval ratings getting bogged down by “phony charges.”

[Mediaite]

Trump Says U.S. Was ‘Cocked And Loaded’ Before He Called Off Strike On Iran

President Trump confirmed that he approved a strike on Iran on Thursday after it shot down a U.S. drone but called off the operation after the initial moves were underway. Trump said he canceled the attack after being told 150 people would likely be killed.

“We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die,” Trump said in a series of tweets Friday.

Upon hearing the projected toll, Trump said, he decided that the strike was not “proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone.” The president said he put a halt to the operation 10 minutes before the strike was set to begin.

Trump’s pullback was first reported by The New York Times, which described how — even as late as as last as 7 p.m. ET Thursday — military and diplomatic officials were still expecting an attack to proceed.

“Planes were in the air and ships were in position, but no missiles had been fired when word came to stand down,” the Times reported, citing multiple senior Trump administration officials.

Trump tries to defend foreign dirt comments by noting he meets with world leaders all the time

President Trump is out with a defense of his foreign dirt comments, and it’s a real doozy.

Trump took to Twitter on Thursday after coming under fire for saying in an interview with ABC that he would accept dirt on an election opponent offered by a foreign government and wouldn’t necessarily alert the FBI.

Amid this firestorm, the president on Twitter suggested that taking dirt from a foreign government and holding meetings with heads of state are basically the same thing, sarcastically asking if he should call the FBI after meeting with Queen Elizabeth II or the Prince of Wales. Trump deleted and reposted the tweet after originally writing “Prince of Whales.”

Trump also complained about his “full answer” not being played on the news while not explaining what context or nuance is supposedly missing. In the interview, George Stephanopoulos specifically asked Trump whether 2020 candidates should accept information on their opponents from foreign governments, and he said that “I think I’d take it” and would only “maybe” go to the FBI if he “thought there was something wrong” while defending this as not being “interference.” ABC’s Meridith McGraw noted on Twitter that the network “did not edit” his answer.

[The Week]

Trump likens Irish border to wall between US and Mexico

Donald Trump has started his visit to Ireland by comparing its post-Brexit border with Northern Ireland to the US border with Mexico, along which he wants to build a permanent wall.

Trump, sitting next to a visibly uncomfortable taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, waded into the Brexit debate minutes after Air Force One touched down at Shannon airport on Wednesday afternoon.

“I think it will all work out very well, and also for you with your wall, your border,” he said at a joint press conference. “I mean, we have a border situation in the United States, and you have one over here. But I hear it’s going to work out very well here.”

Varadkar interjected that Ireland wished to avoid a border or a wall, a keystone of Irish government policy.

“I think you do, I think you do,” Trump said. “The way it works now is good, you want to try and to keep it that way. I know that’s a big point of contention with respect to Brexit. I’m sure it’s going to work out very well. I know they’re focused very heavily on it.”

In London on Tuesday Trump met the Brexiter politicians Nigel Farage, Iain Duncan Smith and Owen Paterson, all of whom have played down the idea that the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland will be a problem after the UK leaves the EU.

Trump echoed their confidence in Shannon. “There are a lot of good minds thinking about how to do it and it’s going to be just fine. It ultimately could even be very, very good for Ireland. The border will work out.”

The Irish government has mounted an intense, three-year diplomatic effort arguing the opposite, that Brexit threatens peace and prosperity on the island of Ireland.

The US president’s comments were an awkward start to what is expected to be a low-key end to his visit to Europe, with much of his time spent at his golf and hotel resort in Doonbeg, County Clare. From Shannon airport he took a short helicopter ride to his resort on the Atlantic coast.

Addressing the media after Trump’s departure, Varadkar said he explained the history of the border and the Troubles in their private meeting. “We talked Brexit. President Trump shares our objective to keep the border open.” He said Trump had not elaborated on why he thought Brexit could benefit Ireland.

The two leaders also discussed trade, visas and taxes paid by US corporations with operations in Ireland.

The Irish president, Michael D Higgins, made an unexpected intervention on the eve of the visit by calling Trump’s policy on the climate emergency “regressive and pernicious”, a critique protesters will echo at rallies in Shannon and Dublin.

Trump told reporters he was unaware of Higgins’ comments and reiterated that the US had enjoyed cleaner air and water since he became president, a claim he also made in London.

After three days of pomp, pageantry and politics during his state visit to Britain, Trump and his entourage, which includes his wife, Melania, and his four adult children, will be mostly out of the public gaze in the remote, windswept landscape of Loop Head peninsula.

On Thursday, Trump will travel to France for D-day commemorations before returning to Doonbeg, where he is due to play a round of golf on Friday before flying home.

The Irish police deployed 1,500 uniformed officers plus 500 members of specialised units, including divers and armed and air support, to secure Shannon airport and Doonbeg.

Trump’s 162-hectare (400 acre) resort was in lockdown and closed to the public. Newly installed surveillance cameras with night-vision capability fed images to a police control room.

Roads to the adjacent village of Doonbeg remained open. Locals have erected US flags and expressed hope Trump would visit one of their pubs, despite him being teetotal.

The resort employs more than 300 people during summer and is an economic lifeline for the region. Fr Joe Haugh, the parish priest, said: “The people are 99.9% behind him.”

Elsewhere, there were protests by individuals and groups opposed to the US president’s record on the environment and the rights of women, immigrants, ethnic minorities and LGBT people.

Demonstrators set up a “peace camp” outside Shannon airport, and the Trump blimp used by protesters in London was due to appear at a rally in Dublin on Thursday.

The visit has created a political and diplomatic challenge for the Irish government. Trump is not popular in Ireland. Varadkar reportedly asked to have the meeting at Shannon airport, a neutral venue, rather than in Trump’s resort.

The hosts, however, are keen to lobby the US president over trade, visas for Irish workers and support for the peace process. They also want to explain the potential impact of Brexit on the border and try to placate Trump over Ireland’s low-tax regime and use of Huawei technology in the new 5G network.

Simon Coveney, the Irish foreign minister, sought a delicate balance when asked about Higgins’ criticism of Trump’s climate policies. The Irish president caught the mood of the Irish people quite well, he told RTÉ, but regressive was “a better adjective” than pernicious.

The hosts will be hoping Trump does not broach a source of personal irritation. Environmental objections have stalled a sea barrier he wishes to build to protect his resort from erosion. The US president has described the battle as an “unpleasant experience”.

[The Guardian]

Trump doubles down on China tariffs, saying there is ‘no reason’ for US consumers to pay them

President Trump on Monday argued in a series of tweets that China will bear the brunt of the new tariffs his administration is imposing on the country, a day after one of his top economic advisers said both the U.S. and China would be hurt by the economic fight.

Trump wrote in the tweets that there was no “reason” for U.S. consumers to pay the tariffs, arguing in part that people in the United States could avoid paying the tariffs by buying products produced in other countries or in the United States.

“Their is no reason for the U.S. Consumer to pay the Tariffs, which take effect on China today,” Trump wrote in one of the posts on Twitter.

In a second tweet, he said a consumer could “buy the product inside the USA (the best idea).”

He said companies would leave China for other countries, such as Vietnam, to avoid the tariffs.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1127886307118678016?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1127886307995336705?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Trump’s comments come just a day after his top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, in an interview on “Fox News Sunday” said both China and U.S. consumers would be hurt by the tariffs.

“In fact, both sides will pay in these things, and of course it depends,” Kudlow responded after host Chris Wallace pressed him on how importers of Chinese products hit by tariffs will pay those tariffs.

Most economists agree that the costs of the tariffs will be paid by U.S. consumers in the form of higher prices on imported products from China.

Kudlow did say that China would suffer, too, from the fight, saying they would be hit by gross domestic product losses and a diminishing export market.

The Trump administration announced it would hike tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese products on Friday. Tariffs that were 10 percent are jumping to 25 percent. 

It’s unclear how easy it would be for U.S. consumers to avoid higher prices coming because of the tariffs. It’s also not clear yet how prices will be effected, since the tariffs only went into effect on Chinese products leaving China on Friday.

[The Hill]

Trump Twitter rages at ‘BAD DEMOCRAT Disaster Bill” that he claims will hurt farmers

President Donald Trump on Thursday urged Capitol Hill Republicans to vote against a bill proving disaster assistance.

The commander-in-chief referred to the legislation as a “BAD DEMOCRAT” bill, writing in all capital letters.

Trump claimed the bill would harm states, farmers, and border security.

“We want to do much better than this. All sides keep working and send a good bill for immediate signing,” Trump demanded.

[Raw Story]

Reality

The major sticking point for Trump is the additional funding Democrats included to help Puerto Rico rebuild after Hurricane Maria severely damaged the island and killed 3,000 people. It amounts to more than $3 billion, including $600 million for nutrition assistance.

Trump has pushed back against giving more money to Puerto Rico, incorrectly stating that the federal government has already allocated $91 billion to help Puerto Rico. It’s actually promised about half of that amount and spent only $11 billion.

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