Trump: ‘People would revolt’ if I were impeached

President Donald Trump says in a new interview that he is not concerned about being impeached by Democrats, saying, “I think that the people would revolt if that happened.”

In a Reuters interview Tuesday, Trump spoke out for the first time about new documents filed by prosecutors detailing the alleged crimes of his former lawyer, Michael Cohen. Cohen has said he made hush payments to two women accusing Trump of infidelity in the waning days of the 2016 campaign.

Asked if he discussed campaign finance law with Cohen, Trump tells Reuters: “Michael Cohen is a lawyer. I assume he would know what he’s doing.”

He adds: “Number one, it wasn’t a campaign contribution. If it were, it’s only civil, and even if it’s only civil, there was no violation based on what we did. OK?”

[The Washington Post]

Trump defends use of tear gas at the border

President Trump on Monday defended the use of tear gas against asylum seekers at the border, telling reporters that it was a “very minor form of tear gas” and questioning why migrants were trying to cross the border.

“First of all, the tear gas is a very minor form of the tear gas itself. It’s very safe,” Trump told reporters Monday evening in Mississippi.

“But you really say, why is a parent running up into an area where they know the tear gas is forming? And it’s going to be formed and they’re running up with a child,” he added.

Photos circulated on Monday showing women and children at a port of entry near San Diego fleeing tear gas, which was fired by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents.

The CBP said in a statement Monday that agents fired the tear gas after migrants attempted crossing the border illegally, some of them throwing rocks at border agents.

Trump earlier Monday said that border agents were forced to fire the tear gas.

“They had to use because they were being rushed by some very tough people and they used tear gas. And here’s the bottom line: nobody’s coming into our country unless they come in legally,” he told reporters.

In his comments Monday evening, Trump also claimed without evidence that some asylum seekers trying to cross the border were only pretending to be parents because of “certain advantages” that come with having a child.

“In some cases, they’re not the parents. These are people — they call them grabbers. They grab a child because they think they’re going to have a certain status by having a child,” he said.

“You have certain advantages in terms of our crazy laws that, frankly, Congress should be changing. If you changed the laws, you wouldn’t be having this problem,” Trump added.

The president also repeated that “violence” from asylum seekers could lead him to closing off the southern border.

“If they do a charge. Because with a closed border, it’s very easy to stop,” he said. “With an open border it’s not. If they do a charge. As you know, we have a big caravan coming up, another one.”

Trump in recent days has threatened to close off the southern border as he has ramped up his claims that the caravan of migrants moving through Mexico present a national security threat to the U.S. and presses for border wall funding to be included in the spending bills under negotiation by Congress.

[The Hill]

Media

Trump Warns Antifa: The Opposition Can Be ‘Much More Violent’

President Donald Trump‘s interview with the Daily Caller has provided little in the way of news from what has been released so far, but more than enough weird comments from our very weird commander in chief. Among them, an ominous threat to Antifa, the group of radical left wing activists who protested outside Tucker Carlson‘s home last week.

“These people, like the Antifa — they better hope that the opposition to Antifa decides not to mobilize,” Trump told the Daily Caller when asked about the group. “Because if they do, they’re much tougher. Much stronger.”

“Potentially much more violent,” he continued. “And Antifa’s going to be in big trouble. But so far they haven’t done that and that’s a good thing.”

The website, which was founded by Carlson, asked Trump about the recent protests outside the Fox News host’s home, which police are investigating.

“I spoke to Tucker,” Trump replied. “I think Tucker’s a great guy — and I think it’s terrible. They were actually trying to break down [Tucker’s] door.”

The interview was conducted by the Caller’s star White House reporter Saagar Enjeti, as well as, inexplicably, Benny Johnson, Washington D.C.’s worst reporter. Johnson posted a tweet after the interview that sought to combat recent reports that Trump’s post-midterm mood is dour. The tweet also promised “BIG NEWS,” which we await with baited breath.

[Mediaite]

Trump says he wants to unite the country ‘eventually’

— President Trump said he “eventually” wants to unite the country during a raucous Monday campaign rally where he repeatedly attacked Democrats and the news media.

“I do eventually want to unite, but the fact is, we’re driving them crazy,” Trump said inside a packed Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. “They’re going loco.”

Trump’s rhetoric during his nearly two years as president has featured a constant, pointed onslaught against his opponents.

His approach has come under scrutiny in the aftermath of a string of bombing attempts against prominent Democrats and a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue by suspects who have echoed some of his rhetoric.

But Trump has refused to back down, saying his style fires up his core supporters.

That was on display during his final day of campaigning before the midterm elections, when he went after Democrats on immigration and the confirmation battle for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Trump accused Democrats, without evidence, of wooing migrant caravans to the U.S. “to overwhelm your schools, your hospitals and your communities.”

He also mocked Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calf.) as a “real genius” and dubbed Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) “Sleepin’ Joe.”

Trump repeatedly lambasted the “fake news media” for turning the cameras toward demonstrators in the crowds instead of Trump supporters.

“The cameras turned like a pretzel, did you see that? But they won’t show these huge crowds,” he said. “They don’t turn because they’re fake news. They’re fake news.”

The president appeared to revel in the energetic crowd, which booed the interruptions of protesters and tried to drown them out with chants of “USA.”

“And by the way, is there anything like a Trump rally?” Trump asked.

[The Hill]

Trump Says He Told U.S. Military at Border to ‘Consider it a Rifle’ if Migrants Throw Rocks

During an address on immigration from the White House on Thursday, President Donald Trump took questions from the press.

At one point, in response to a question from a reporter about if he would foresee a situation where the military may fire on the Central American migrants making their way to the border, he said that the United States military will consider a rock held in the hands of migrants the same as a firearm.

“I will tell you this, anybody throwing stones, rocks, like they did to Mexico and the Mexican military, Mexican police, where they badly hurt police and soldiers of Mexico, we will consider that a firearm,” Trump said. “Because there’s not much difference. When you get hit in the face with a rock, which as you know, that was very violent a few days ago. Very, very violent.”

Then a little while later he doubled down, saying that he considers a rock like a rifle: “They’re throwing rocks, viciously, and violently. You saw that three days ago. Really hurting the military. We’re not going to put up with that. They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back. We’re gonna consider, and I told them consider it a rifle. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexico military and police, I say consider it a rifle.”

Just one week ago, in an interview with Fox News, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen downplayed the possibility of the US military opening fire on the migrants, saying, “We do not have any intention right now to shoot at people…They will be apprehended, however.”

[Mediaite]

Trump Warns: ‘I Could Really Tone Up’ Rhetoric Against the Media

On his way to yet another rally Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump suggested that he has toned down his rhetoric and, if anything, he could “tone it up.”

When asked by a reporter on the White House lawn if he saw his face plastered all over suspect Cesar Sayoc‘s alleged van, Trump said he did not but admitted he heard that the suspect was “a person that preferred me over others.”

Then when asked about toning down his rhetoric, Trump said this: “Well, I think I’ve been toned down, if you want to know the truth. I could really tone it up. Because, as you know, the media has been extremely unfair to me and to the Republican Party.”

Then continuing on his media grievances he added, “I think the media has been very, very unfair. In terms of the Republican Party. And the way it’s been covered. And they understand that.”

[Mediaite]

Media

Trump admits he was wrong to compare ‘political opponents to villains’ — then accuses the media of inciting violence

President Donald Trump admitted that he was wrong to have spent the past several years demonizing his political opponents. Or, at the very least he confessed it was wrong to do so, though it’s unclear if he realizes he’s attacking himself.

“I want to begin tonight by addressing the suspicious devices and packages that were mailed to current and former high-ranking government officials,” he began taking the stage. “My highest duty as president is to keep America safe, that is what we talked about. That is what we do. The federal government is conducting in an aggressive investigation and we will find those responsible and we will bring them to justice, hopefully very soon.

He went on to say, “acts or threats of political violence are in an attack on our democracy itself. No nation can succeed the tolerance while it — not tolerate violence as the threat of violence as a method of political intimidation, coercion or control. We all know that.”

As a fact-check, the president has spent many of his rallies attacking his political opponents and threatening them with being “locked up” and other things.

Such conduct must be fiercely opposed and firmly prosecuted,” he continued. “We want all sides to come together in peace and harmony. We can do it. We can do it. We can do it. It will happen. More broadly there is much we can do to bring our nation together.”

Then, as if he was sending himself a message, Trump said everyone in politics needs to stop treating each other as “morally defective.”

“The language of moral condemnation and destructive routine, these are arguments and disagreements that have to stop, no one should carelessly compare political opponents to historical villains,” he said. “Which is done often, it is done all the time, it has got to stop. We should not mob people in public spaces or destroying public property. There is one way to settle the disagreements, it is called peacefully at the ballot box. That is what we want. As part of a larger national effort to bridge the divide and bring people together, the media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative in and often times false attacks and stories. They have to do it. They have to do it. They have got to stop. Bring people together. We are just 13 days away from a very, very important election, it is an election of monumental.”

At no point did Trump mention the names of anyone who had bombs sent to them. He called them nothing more than “former high-ranking officials. In an earlier statement, the president condemned the attacks but refused to call it terrorism.

[Raw Story]

Trump Says He Doesn’t Regret Remarks About Gianforte Assaulting Reporter: The Congressman is a ‘Tough Cookie’

President Donald Trump, to perhaps no one’s surprise, is completely standing by his jovial comments about a Republican congressman’s assault of a reporter.

Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-MT) attacking Ben Jacobs became the subject of a Trump riff last night during a rally, in which the President actually said, “Any guy that can do a body slam, he’s my kind of guy.”

The White House Correspondents Association condemned Trump’s remarks, and today, as the President answered questions about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, one reporter asked, “Do you regret bringing up last night at your rally the assault on a reporter by a congressman?”

Trump said he doesn’t, adding, “That was a different world. That was a different league, a different world, no. He’s just a great guy.”

He talked about his “tremendous success” last night and said, “Greg is a tremendous person and he’s a tough cookie and I’ll stay with that.”

[Mediaite]

Trump Praises Rep. Gianforte For Assaulting Reporter: Anyone Who Can Body Slam is ‘My Kind of Guy’

 President Donald Trump praised a Republican congressman who body slammed a reporter last year, saying the lawmaker was “my guy.”

Trump, speaking at a rally in Montana, said Rep. Greg Gianforte, who pleaded guilty to assaulting a reporter who asked him a question, was a good guy.

“Greg is smart and, by the way, never wrestle him,” the president said, motioning as though he was slamming someone to the ground. “Any guy that can do a body slam — he’s my guy.”

He added Gianforte was a “great guy” and a “tough cookie.”

In May 2017, Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs said Gianforte “body slammed” him for asking a question during an event. Gianforte went on to win Montana’s only U.S. House seat despite the misdemeanor charge and two Montana papers — the Missoulian and the Billings Gazette — rescinding their endorsements.

Gianforte’s campaign initially released a statement claiming Jacobs had “aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg’s face” and instigated the attack. Gianforte later pleaded guilty to an assault charge and apologized for the incident, pledging a $50,000 donation to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Gianforte is in a battle against Democrat and former state legislator Kathleen Williams in next month’s election.

Guardian Editor John Mulholland denounced the president’s praise for the assault as an attack on the First Amendment.

“The President of the United States tonight applauded the assault on an American journalist who works for the Guardian,” he said in a statement given to CNN. “To celebrate an attack on a journalist who was simply doing his job is an attack on the First Amendment by someone who has taken an oath to defend it.”

Mulholland continued, saying the rhetoric was dangerous, especially given the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who is believed to have been killed in the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

Mulholland said this “runs the risk of inviting other assaults on journalists both here and across the world where they often face far greater threats. We hope decent people will denounce these comments and that the president will see fit to apologize for them.”

During the rally, Trump talked about learning of the assault and said he initially worried Gianforte would lose his election last year.

“I said, ‘Oh, this is terrible. He’s going to lose the election,”‘ Trump told the crowd. “Then I said, ‘Well, wait a minute. I know Montana pretty well. I think it might help him and it did.'”

Throughout his rally, the president made several remarks about Gianforte’s attack on Jacobs. He cited the incident when he mentioned comments by former Vice President Joe Biden, who said that if he’d known Trump in high school he would have “beat the hell out of” him.

The president challenged Biden during the rally, saying “He’d be down faster than Greg would take him down. He’d be down so fast. Faster than Greg. I’d have to go very fast. I’d have to immediately connect.”

[USA Today]

Media

Trump Talks Fighting Joe Biden: ‘He’d Be Down Faster’ Than Greg Gianforte Could ‘Take Him Down’

President Donald Trump fired off tough words at Joe Biden at a rally on Thursday night, boasting he would knock him down faster than Rep. Greg Gianforte could, the Montana Republican who attacked a reporter during his campaign for Congress.

After praising Gianforte for body slamming Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs, a crime for which the lawmaker was just sentenced, Trump brought up his feud with former Vice President Biden.

“How about Sleepy Joe Biden,” Trump said, while listing off his potential 2020 competitors. “Remember he challenged me to a fight.”

“And when I said he wouldn’t last long, he’d be down faster than Greg would take him down,” Trump continued. “He’d be down so fast. Remember? Faster than Greg. I’d have to go very fast. I’d have to immediately connect.”

During the 2016 campaign, Biden criticized Trump’s “disgusting assertion” about groping women on the access Hollywood Tape.

“The press always asks me: don’t I wish I were debating him,” Biden said in a speech. “No, I wish we were in high school—I could take him behind the gym. That’s what I wish.”

Those comments prompted a war of words between the two, with Trump saying Biden would “go down fast and hard, crying all the way.” Biden eventually said he regretted his comments.

[Mediaite]

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