October 15, 2020

President Trump has one thing in common with Ava DuVernay, Aaron Sorkin, and Mandy Moore right now — none of them are pleased with NBC's Thursday night programming.

Speaking to supporters on Thursday afternoon, Trump launched into a typical meandering rant accusing media outlets of bias against him, despite the hourslong town hall granted to him by NBC after he refused to participate in a virtual presidential debate. Calling NBC, the home of his former show The Apprentice, "the worst," Trump insulted the network at length, as well as anchor Savannah Guthrie, who will moderate his Thursday night town hall event.

Confusingly, Trump also claimed "I'm being set up tonight" by the apparent haters at NBC. As The New York Times Wajahat Ali noted, Trump is only having the town hall by choice after bailing on the official debate.

However, in a prime example of Trump's "saying the quiet part out loud," the president wrapped up his tirade against NBC by remarking, "I figured, what the hell, we get a free hour on television." He promised the rallygoers in Greenville, North Carolina, plenty of "entertainment" if they tune in.

In addition to his comments on the town hall, Trump made some false claims about Dr. Anthony Fauci, asserted the coronavirus is "going to peter out" soon even without a vaccine, and seemingly boasted about ordering the U.S. Marshals to carry out an alleged extrajudicial killing. Just another day on the campaign trail. Summer Meza

August 6, 2020

As millions of Americans remain unemployed and protests against racial injustice continue, Geraldo Rivera wants to know all about President Trump's feelings.

Rivera interviewed Trump on his radio show Thursday, asking him all sorts of tough questions about where he'll give his Republican National Convention Speech, how first lady Melania Trump feels about Trump being bullied, and his legions of boating supporters. And in the end, Trump made a very big Election Day promise that he has no say in fulfilling.

Rivera's interview spun from topic from topic, during which Trump promised him DACA, the program protecting immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, was "gonna work out." Trump then accused former Vice President Joe Biden of being "against the Bible," (which even Rivera called "a little harsh,") and rambled on about he "didn't know" John Lewis "at all" when asked why he didn't go to Lewis' funeral. Still, Trump repeated that he's done more for Black people than anyone, giving Abraham Lincoln a "possible" exception. That prompted Rivera to call Trump a "civil rights activist."

In perhaps his most outlandish assertion, Trump said he was expecting there to be a coronavirus vaccine by Election Day. "If you had another president, other than me, you wouldn't be talking vaccines for two years," he said. Experts say it's unlikely there will be a vaccine this year, while Dr. Anthony Fauci has said he's cautiously optimistic about it. And when it comes to his actions on the coronavirus so far, Trump said he doesn't really have any regrets. Kathryn Krawczyk

August 4, 2020

Ah, Florida, land of sunshine, beaches, and notoriously competent elections.

That's the picture President Trump painted Tuesday in a tweet where he finally acknowledged absentee voting and voting by mail are the same thing. "Whether you call it vote by mail or absentee voting, in Florida the election system is safe and secure, tried and true," Trump tweeted, despite falsely claiming the two terms were different and also wracked with fraud several times in the past. "Florida's election system has been cleaned up," Trump went on to claim, in an apparent attempt to overlook the hanging chads of past presidential elections.

Trump has explicitly and falsely claimed in the past that absentee voting and voting by mail are different, and that the latter is ripe for fraud; neither of these things are true. His attacks have ramped up as it becomes clear absentee voting will dominate the November election and make it safe for more people to vote during the COVID-19 pandemic. But it's unclear just what sets Florida's election system apart in Trump's mind — perhaps it's because Florida is a swing state that Trump will need a high turnout from elderly voters to win, or the fact that Trump has voted there by mail several times in the past. Kathryn Krawczyk

June 3, 2020

President Trump would like you to know he was never hiding, just doing some routine maintenance.

On Friday, reports indicated that Trump was herded to the White House's underground bunker while police cracked down on protesters on Washington, D.C.'s streets. But as Trump told Fox News radio on Wednesday, he was actually only down there to "inspect" the bunker.

"I was there for a tiny, short little period of time," Trump claimed, saying it was "more for an inspection." This is apparently something Trump has done before, specifically "two and a half times." Trump did not clarify what a half visit entails.

On Monday, Trump, reportedly upset by the spreading idea that he was hiding in the bunker, directed law enforcement to use tear gas to clear peaceful protesters outside the White House so he could walk across the street for a photo op at St. John's Church. Kathryn Krawczyk

August 21, 2018

Lawyer and academic Alan Dershowitz appeared on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show Tuesday night, where he scoffed at those who are "playing funeral music for Trump" in the wake of his former campaign chairman being convicted of eight counts of financial fraud and his former personal lawyer pleading guilty to eight felony charges.

Cohen pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws and making an "excessive campaign contribution," and said in 2016, he made payments to two women who claimed they had affairs with President Trump, in order to keep them quiet. Cohen said the payments were made "in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office" for the "purpose of influencing the election."

Carlson said it's a "common scenario among famous people" to make secret payments to keep people quiet about possible wrongdoing, and wondered, "How is that a crime?" Dershowitz explained that the "allegation here is it was Cohen who paid it and made a campaign contribution, which he didn't report, at the direction of the president." When Carlson said he still didn't understand, Dershowitz again said if "somebody else pays the money in order to influence the outcome of the election, it is technically, perhaps, a violation of the election laws."

Dershowitz then declared that the violation of election laws is no big deal, and "regarded as kind of jaywalking in the realm of things about elections. Every administration violates the election laws, every candidate violates the election laws when they run for president, usually they pay a fine or something like that. Here, they're trying to elevate this to an impeachable offense or a felony against the president." Sure, it was a "negative day," Dershowitz admitted, but "we're a long way from tolling the bells for this administration." Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

July 24, 2018

President Trump on Tuesday appeared to acknowledge Russia's continuing efforts to interfere in U.S. elections — but claimed against evidence that Moscow would be "pushing very hard for the Democrats" in the midterms this fall. "I'm very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact in the upcoming election," Trump wrote.

Trump has been vacillating on Russian cyberattacks since his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, when he appeared to believe Putin's denials over the conclusions of U.S. intelligence. Putin was "extremely strong and powerful in his denial" that Russian hackers targeted the 2016 election, Trump said at the two leaders' joint press conference following their closed-door meeting. He also said "I don't see why it would be" Russia that interfered in the election, though he later backtracked, claiming he meant to say that he didn't see why it "wouldn't" be Russia that meddled.

U.S. intelligence agencies are unanimous in their conclusion that Moscow interfered in the 2016 election with intent to swing things in Trump's favor; they have not definitively said that the Russian efforts affected the election's outcome. At the press conference last week, Putin acknowledged that he wanted Trump to win the 2016 election. "Yes, I did," Putin said. "Because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal." Kimberly Alters

June 21, 2018

First lady Melania Trump is getting a lot of flak for a Zara jacket she wore going to and from a center holding detained immigrant children that read "I REALLY DON'T CARE, DO U?"

Trump's communications director, Stephanie Grisham, took umbrage at the idea that anyone would find the message inappropriate. "It's a jacket," she said. "There was no hidden message. After today's important visit to Texas, I hope the media isn't going to choose to focus on her wardrobe." Well, everyone is focusing on it, including President Trump.

On Thursday evening, Trump tweeted: "'I REALLY DON'T CARE, DO U?' written on the back of Melania's jacket, refers to the Fake News Media. Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares!" As anyone who was ever a teenager knows, when you go around saying you don't really care about something, it means you actually do, and that goes double when you have it emblazoned on the back of your jacket.

So, what is it? Was there "no hidden message," as Grisham claims, or was this a blatant commentary on the "Fake News Media?" I REALLY DON'T CARE, DO U? Catherine Garcia

March 8, 2018

If one thing is clear in the Stormy Daniels scandal that has engulfed the last few days of President Trump's administration, it's this: Everything is Sarah Huckabee Sanders' fault.

CNN reports that Trump is "very unhappy" with Sanders, his press secretary, after she mentioned in her briefing remarks Wednesday that a legal battle with Daniels had been "won in arbitration." Daniels, an adult film actress who alleges she and Trump carried on an affair in 2006 and 2007 and that she was compelled by Trump's personal lawyer in the waning days of the 2016 campaign to sign a non-disclosure agreement about their relationship, filed a lawsuit against the president Tuesday alleging the agreement was invalid because Trump himself never signed it.

Trump has, of course, steadfastly denied all Daniels-related allegations against him: that they had an affair; that he was aware of his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, transferring $130,000 to Daniels as "hush money"; that any non-disclosure agreement was arranged or signed. But Sanders' acknowledgment of arbitration proceedings raised eyebrows Wednesday; as The Guardian's Ben Jacobs noted, "If there was an arbitration between the two, that means there has to have been a contract."

A source close to the White House told CNN that Trump believes Sanders "gave the Stormy Daniels storyline steroids yesterday" with her mention of arbitration. For their part, Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti dismissed Sanders' claim that the case had already been decided in Trump's favor, telling The New York Times' Jim Rutenberg: "Yeah, and he also won the popular vote." Kimberly Alters

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