trump in tampa
July 31, 2018

President Trump's short-lived voter fraud commission may be defunct, but he clearly hasn't given up on the idea of requiring special photo ID cards to cast ballots in the U.S., as he told a rally in Tampa on Tuesday night. Also, Trump apparently hasn't set foot in a grocery store in a really long time, or ever — or perhaps at the rarified food markets he patronizes, you need to show photo ID to purchase groceries.

You don't need to show photo ID to buy groceries, unless maybe you are paying with a cashier's check or gold bars. "This kind of comment (unfairly) wrecked George H.W. Bush," whose apparent unfamiliarity with a grocery checkout scanner was front-page news in 1992, "and would have vaporized Mitt Romney," notes NBC News' Benjy Sarlin. "But 'authenticity' is a dumb artificial construct and Trump's version does not depend on him even pretending to live like a normal human." Or president. As Trump also said in his Tampa rally, his fans don't expect him to act "presidential," and that has its benefits. Peter Weber

July 31, 2018

CNN's Jim Acosta traveled down to Tampa to cover President Trump's rally on Tuesday, and he was greeted by chants of "CNN sucks!" coming from a sea of middle fingers.

Acosta shared a brief snippet of his welcome on Twitter, featuring a man wearing a shirt that read "F—k the media," a chorus of boos, and lots of glares. One man yelled "stop lying!" and another called Acosta a "traitor." As she walked by, one woman grinned and shouted, "You suck!" and used both middle fingers to flip Acosta off, while another booed and gave him two thumbs down.

Acosta attached a message to the video, writing: "Just a sample of the sad scene we faced at the Trump rally in Tampa. I'm very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in the conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt. We should not treat our fellow Americans this way. The press is not the enemy."

Trump's middle son, Eric, tweeted a different video of Acosta at the rally where he's getting yelled at and accused of spreading fake news; Eric Trump commented, "#truth." His father retweeted him, while Acosta admonished him. "No Eric," he replied. "Not the truth. And you know better." Catherine Garcia

July 31, 2018

President Trump went to Tampa on Tuesday to hold a rally for "two unbelievable people" running for office in Florida, but he spent a fair amount of time musing on the presidents that came before him.

Trump said he likes to "be a little wild, have a little fun" during rallies, and it's "a lot easier to act presidential than do what I do. Anybody can act presidential." To demonstrate this, he began speaking in a monotone voice, telling the crowd "you are tremendous people and I will leave now because I am boring you to death, thank you," before lurching away.

Trump then turned his attention to Abraham Lincoln, announcing that he's long said he "can be more presidential than any president in history, except for maybe Abe Lincoln with the big hat. Abe looked pretty presidential, right. What do you think? He's tough. He's tough. I admit it, Abe Lincoln is tough. But we love Abe Lincoln."

The rally lasted only an hour, but Trump packed a lot in, talking about tariffs, polls, and the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. He said he believes that shoppers show their ID cards "to buy groceries," so they should have to do the same thing to vote, and proclaimed that people are saying "Merry Christmas" — presumably when it's not July — "only because of our campaign." Catherine Garcia

July 31, 2018

In Tampa Tuesday evening, President Trump spoke on behalf of the American farmers, declaring that they can handle getting hit by tariffs.

Earlier this month, the U.S. imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese products, and China retaliated. Trump said China and other countries have "targeted our farmers. Not good. Not nice. And you know what our farmers are saying? 'It's okay. We can take it.'" Farmers, he added, "are true patriots."

Last week, the Trump administration announced a $12 billion farm aid package to offer assistance for farmers hurt by tariffs. This has been met with scorn by some GOP lawmakers and farmers who would rather make their money through trade. Catherine Garcia

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