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war of words
August 18, 2018

President Trump this week revoked security clearance for former CIA Director John Brennan, and Saturday morning he continued his feud with Brennan on Twitter:

The tweet may have been prompted by an interview Brennan gave on MSNBC Friday night. "The fact that [Trump is] using a security clearance of a former CIA director as a pawn in his public relations strategy I think is so reflective of somebody who is drunk on power," Brennan told host Rachel Maddow. "I think he's abusing the powers of that office."

Brennan argued Trump's decision "flies in the face of traditional practice, as well as common sense, as well as national security." The former CIA director's cause has been supported by a dozen former U.S. intelligence chiefs; Trump meanwhile, reportedly intends to revoke other people's security clearances, too. Bonnie Kristian

July 26, 2018

Iranian state media was unperturbed when President Trump tweeted an all-caps message to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, but Iran's Quds force chief was not happy.

War with Iran would "destroy all that you possess," said head of special forces Qassem Soleimani on Thursday. "You will start this war but we will be the ones to impose its end." Reuters reports that he also mocked Trump's "ethics of night clubs and gambling halls."

On Sunday, Rouhani warned that "peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars," which Trump did not take well. Trump took to Twitter to issue his own threat, writing "NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE."

Despite the all-caps aggression, Iranian media dismissed Trump's tweet as a "passive reaction" to Rouhani's statement. The odd series of outbursts seemed over, until Soleimani decided to send a message of his own during an impassioned speech on Thursday. "You have to be careful about insulting the Iranian people and the president of our Republic,” said Soleimani. "You know our power in the region and our capabilities in asymmetric war. We will act and we will work." He continued by telling Trump to threaten him, not Rouhani, and said that "Trump should know that we are nation of martyrdom and that we await him." Read more at Reuters. Summer Meza

January 17, 2018

After HLN's Ashleigh Banfield ripped apart an article published over the weekend accusing actor Aziz Ansari of sexual assault, the author fired back, calling Banfield a "burgundy lipstick bad highlights second-wave feminist has-been."

A woman using the pseudonym "Grace" spoke to the website babe.net, saying Ansari pressured her to engage in sexual acts, ignoring her cues that she was uncomfortable. Ansari said in a statement he was "surprised and concerned" because he thought they were both on the same page, and he had several defenders, including Banfield. On her show Monday, Banfield said it was "appalling" that Grace tried to frame what happened as a rape or sexual assault and "potentially destroyed this man's career over it, right after he received an award for which he was worthy." When Banfield's producer invited the article's author, Katie Way, to appear on the show, she responded with a scathing email that attacked Banfield's age and looks.

Banfield shared some of the comments on her show Tuesday, and on Wednesday, the entire email was sent to Business Insider from Way's editor, Amanda Ross. In the email, Way said she's "certain no one under the age of 45" has heard of Banfield, and said she "targeted a 23-year-old woman in one of the most vulnerable moments of her life, someone she's never f—g met before, for a little attention." Way called Grace "the bravest person I've ever met" and said she will never appear on HLN. "I will remember this for the rest of my career — I'm 22 and so far, not too shabby!" Read the harsh email in its entirety on Business Insider, and watch Banfield's reaction in the video below. Catherine Garcia

December 10, 2016

The Trump transition team forcibly repudiated reports late Friday evening that the CIA has concluded with "high confidence" Russia interfered with the U.S. election to help President-elect Donald Trump win.

"These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction," the Trump camp said in an unsigned statement slamming the CIA. "The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It's now time to move on and 'Make America Great Again.'"

Trump himself likewise rejected suggestions of Russian manipulation earlier this week in his "Person of the Year" interview with Time. "I don't believe it. I don't believe they interfered," he said, postulating that intelligence agents who say otherwise are politically motivated. Bonnie Kristian

February 20, 2016

Don't expect to see members of the Jackson family endorsing Donald Trump any time soon.

During CNN's Thursday night town hall, Trump said he was good friends with Michael Jackson, and saw him lose "tremendous confidence" after having "bad, bad, bad surgery." He added: "Believe it or not, when you lose your confidence in something, you can even lose your talent."

On Twitter Friday, Jackson's brother, Jermaine, blasted Trump, saying, "'Friends' don't pay tribute by peddling b.s. theories about Michael's 'loss in confidence.' This fool Trump needs to sit down. Michael's confidence was affected by the pressures, injustice, and vitriol of external circumstances. Period." Trump was friends with his brother, Jackson said, but the presidential candidate was using "botched facts" in an attempt to bolster his campaign. "Name-dropping Michael don't make you cool and won't win you votes," he tweeted. Catherine Garcia

December 22, 2015

Without naming names, Hillary Clinton made a jab at Donald Trump on Tuesday, saying, "We shouldn't let anybody bully his way to the presidency."

The Democratic frontrunner made her comments at a campaign event in Iowa, after a girl in the audience told her she had been bullied. "You're looking at someone who has had a lot of really terrible things said about me," Clinton responded. She said that she's old enough now that it "doesn't really bother me," and added that "we are not treating each other with the respect and the care that we should show to each other. And that's why it's important to stand up to bullies, wherever they are."

On Monday, Trump used a vulgar term to describe what happened to Clinton during the 2008 election, and said her bathroom break during Saturday's Democratic debate was "disgusting." Clinton's communications director, Jen Palmieri, tweeted that the campaign would not respond to Trump, but "everyone who understands the humiliation this degrading language inflicts on all women should." Catherine Garcia

November 30, 2015

In Paris on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Turkey of shooting down a Russian warplane near its border with Syria because the country is involved in oil trade with the Islamic State.

"We have every reason to think that the decision to shoot down our plane was dictated by the desire to protect the oil supply lines to Turkish territory," Putin said. ISIS brings in millions of dollars a month by selling oil illegally, and Putin said he had information that shows ISIS oil is passing through Turkish territory, the BBC reports. Turkey, which is part of the U.S.-led coalition carrying out airstrikes against ISIS, denies having ties to the group.

Turkey says the Russian jet entered its airspace Nov. 24, while Russia insists it didn't; one pilot was killed and the other rescued. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called the incident "unfortunate," but said because the country was defending itself, Turkey has no reason to apologize to Russia. On Monday, Russia said it planned to ban imports of fruits, vegetables, and agricultural products from Turkey, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded by saying his country would act "patiently, not emotionally" before addressing the sanctions. Catherine Garcia

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