At a meeting in June, President Trump reportedly encouraged Native American leaders to break federal law and bypass regulations that frustrated their ability to harness energy, a person present told Axios. "Chief, chief," Trump apparently told one leader in the room after encouraging the flagrant violations. "What are they going to do? Once you get it out of the ground, are they going to make you put it back in there? I mean, once it's out of the ground it can't go back in there. You've just got to do it."
An official in the room apparently spoke up to clarify that the administration was working on rolling back regulations, only for Trump to speak out again. "Guys, I feel like you're not hearing me right now," Trump reportedly said. "We've just got to do it. I feel like we've got no choice; other countries are just doing it. China is not asking questions about all of this stuff. They're just doing it. And guys, we've just got to do it."
The White House did not dispute Axios' account, although another person in the room said Trump did not encourage the violation of any standing laws and that the meeting was unremarkable. Still, Axios notes that the report is "increasingly the norm" for the president, who "considers himself above the traditions, limits and laws of the presidency — even when he's not, as in this case." Read more at Axios. Jeva Lange
Hold on to your tinfoil hats — Donald Trump just accused Ted Cruz's father of possibly having a hand in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
The comment was made during Trump's phone-in to Fox and Friends on Tuesday, when the Republican frontrunner was asked about Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz, who has been actively imploring evangelical voters to support his son.
"You look at so many of the ministers that are backing me, and they're backing me more so than they're backing Cruz, and I'm winning the evangelical vote. It's disgraceful that his father can go out and do that," Trump ranted.
Then things get weird. Trump goes on to claim that Rafael Cruz is an unidentified man in an August 1963 photograph with JFK-assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, where the pair is seen handing out pro-Castro pamphlets in New Orleans.
However, the theory that the mystery man in the photograph is Rafael Cruz was first floated by the dubious tabloid National Enquirer, and has since been dismissed as "another garbage story in a tabloid full of garbage" by Cruz's campaign. Experts on the JFK assassination also agree there is no evidence at all to corroborate Rafael Cruz's affiliation with Oswald in any way.
Not everyone is convinced, apparently. "Nobody talks about it...What [Rafael Castro] was doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death — before the shooting. It's horrible," Trump said.
Watch below, beginning at 5 minutes in. Jeva Lange