Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Tag:

Trump Denies Secret Service Meeting Over 2A Comments: Another Lie?

Yesterday, after an onslaught of criticism directed towards GOP nominee Donald Trump for his comments that “Second Amendment people” might be able to “do” something about Hillary Clinton, CNN began reporting that the Secret Service had met with the Trump campaign. According to the CNN website, a “U.S Secret Service official confirm[ed] to CNN that the the USSS has spoken to the Trump campaign regarding his Second Amendment comments.”

CNN claimed the official stated that there had been “more than one conversation” about the comments and that the campaign had responded that Trump had not intended to incite violence.

This came a day after the Secret Service itself Tweeted about its knowledge of the Trump comments:

Shortly after CNN’s piece was published, Trump himself jumped back into the controversy and Tweeted out the following:

CNN, for its part, did state, “the Secret Service’s communications director Cathy Milhoan has not confirmed the conversations between the campaign and the Secret Service, but said in a statement Tuesday that ‘the U.S. Secret Service is aware of Mr. Trump’s comments.'”

Shortly after Trump’s comment, Reuters released a report which seemed to contradict CNN: “A federal official on Wednesday said the U.S. Secret Service had not formally spoken with Republican Donald Trump’s presidential campaign regarding his suggestion a day earlier that gun rights activists could stop Democratic rival Hillary Clinton from curtailing their access to firearms.”

Trump then hit back at CNN again on Twitter, but mis-characterized the text of the Reuters article:

However, the Reuters article does not directly contradict CNN, nor was it written as characterized by Trump: It doesn’t state that no conversations ever happened, just that there had not been “formal” talks.

Interestingly, CNN added a clarifying line to their initial article about the events. An archive.org shot of the CNN piece shows it as it was first written. The current version of the article, however, includes the line, “But it’s unclear at what level in the campaign structure the conversations occurred.”

So did the Secret Service discuss the violent comments with Trump’s campaign? By all accounts, except Trump’s own, it seems likely that they did. Reuters only indicated that no formal discussions had taken place, not that no discussions had taken place at all. Further, CNN appears to be standing by their story with only a clarification that the structure of the communications and campaign was unclear.

This is also not the first time the GOP nominee would have lied about something critical to his public persona. Trump recently lied to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos about his relationship with Vladimir Putin. Despite acknowledging on numerous occasions they knew each other and had spoken, Trump claimed he had “no relationship” with the Russian leader, except that Putin had “said very nice things” about him. Politifact rated the claim to Stephanopoulos a “full flop.”

Trump also claimed at one time that he received a letter from the NFL complaining about the presidential debate schedule. The NFL completely denied Trump’s claim.

Trump’s lies are so famous that they have even been exhaustively cataloged, so it does not seem unlikely that he is lying about this, as well.

Photo: Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to the media during a news conference at the construction site of the Trump International Hotel at the Old Post Office Building in Washington, March 21, 2016.   REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Trump Says ‘Second Amendment People’ ‘Can Do’ Something About Hillary Clinton

WILMINGTON, N.C. (Reuters) – Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump suggested on Tuesday that gun rights activists could act to stop his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton from nominating liberal U.S. Supreme Court justices, igniting yet another firestorm of criticism just as he sought to steer clear of controversy.

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks,” Trump said at a rally. “Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know,” he continued. The U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment guarantees a right to bear firearms.

Until Trump made the remark, he had been trying to rally Republican voters behind him and against Clinton, who is leading in national opinion polls in the race for the Nov. 8 election. Some in the audience who were seated behind Trump could be seen wincing when he made the comment.

Clinton’s campaign called the remark “dangerous.”

“A person seeking to be the president of the United States should not suggest violence in any way,” it said.

When asked to clarify what Trump meant, his campaign said Trump was referring to getting supporters of the Second Amendment to rally votes for Trump in the election.

“It’s called the power of unification – 2nd Amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power,” the Trump campaign statement said.

Introducing Trump at a later rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani accused the news media of taking the remark out of context to help Clinton, a former U.S. secretary of state, get elected.

“What he meant by that (remark) was you have the power to vote against her,” he said to cheers. “You have the power to speak against her. You know why? Because you’re Americans.”

“It proves that most of the press is in the tank for Hillary Clinton,” he added. “They are doing everything they can to destroy Donald Trump.”

The U.S. Secret Service, which provides security details for both Trump and Clinton and rarely comments on political matters, said when asked for a response to Trump: “The Secret Service is aware of the comment.”

By day’s end, Trump was drawing criticism on several fronts, another chapter in a campaign marked by bitterness and partisanship.

Michael Hayden, a former CIA director who on Monday was among 50 Republican national security experts to denounce Trump in a letter, said on CNN, “You’re not just responsible for what you say. You are responsible for what people hear.”

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a liberal firebrand who loves tweaking Trump, tweeted that Trump “makes death threats because he’s a pathetic coward who can’t handle the fact that he’s losing to a girl.”

Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway fought back in a tweet of her own, calling Warren a “disgrace.”

GUN RIGHTS AN ISSUE

Gun rights have been a potent issue in a 2016 campaign being waged amid violence that has convulsed many American cities.

Trump has planted himself firmly on the side of gun owners with a “law and order” campaign. Before his remark about Clinton, he had said Islamic State militants who killed 130 people in France last year could have been stopped if some of the victims had been armed.

The Clinton campaign has challenged Trump when in the past he has accused her of planning to abolish the Second Amendment if elected president. A senior Clinton policy adviser said in May that she favors taking steps at the federal level to keep guns out of the hands of criminals while protecting the Second Amendment.

Tuesday’s speech came on the heels of a discordant week on the campaign trail for Trump, a businessman seeking his first public office. He came under fire from within his party for belatedly endorsing fellow Republicans in re-election races and a prolonged clash with the parents of fallen Muslim American Army captain Humayun Khan.

On Monday, Trump had seemed to be heeding Republican advice to stick to a message of criticizing Clinton and other Democrats while putting forward economic policy proposals in a speech in Detroit.

Trump’s vice presidential running mate Mike Pence, asked if he believed Trump was inciting violence toward Clinton, told NBC’s Philadelphia affiliate: “Of course not. No.”

But Democrats called Trump’s remarks another sign of a candidate unfit for the White House.

“Don’t treat this as a political misstep. It’s an assassination threat, seriously upping the possibility of a national tragedy & crisis,” U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat, said in a tweet.

Immediately after Trump made his comment, many on social media accused him of effectively calling for Clinton’s assassination. In just three hours, 2nd amendment became the top trending topic on Twitter, with more than 60,000 posts mentioning the term.

Overall sentiment on the posts was more negative than positive, at a ratio of 2.5 to 1, according to the social media analytics firm Zoomph. #ProtectHillary was also one of the top trending hashtags on Twitter.

The 50 prominent national security officials said in their letter on Monday that Trump would be “the most reckless president in American history.”

“He appears to lack basic knowledge about and belief in the U.S. Constitution, U.S. laws and U.S. institutions, including religious tolerance, freedom of the press, and an independent judiciary,” their statement said.

(Additional reporting and writing by Alana Wise in Washington and Angela Moon in New York; Editing by Howard Goller)

Secret Service Investigating Trump Delegate Who Called For Clinton To Be Shot For Treason

Published with permission from Alternet. 

When you build an entire campaign on hyperbole and regularly incite violence against your detractors, it’s only a matter of time before someone takes you seriously. Such is the reality currently facing Donald Trump adviser and New Hampshire House of Representatives member Al Baldasaro, who is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service after telling multiple news outlets that frontrunner Hillary Clinton should be shot for “treason.”

“Anyone that commits treason should be shot,” Baldasaro told the Daily BeastWednesday. “I believe Hillary Clinton committed treason. She put people in danger. When people take confidential material off a server, you’re sharing information with the enemy. That’s treason.”

Baldasaro was expanding on comments he made Tuesday in an appearance on the Boston radio station WRKO. “This whole thing disgusts me,” Baldasaro said, referring to the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, Libya. “Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason.”

Throughout much of the next day, Baldasaro continued to suggest Clinton should face capital punishment for her role in Benghazi, despite eight congressional investigations that have concluded she has no culpability for the attack that claimed four American lives.

“I’m a military man first, and anyone who takes information about our CIA or Secret Service and people at our embassy and puts it out on a server where anyone can grab it, putting Americans in danger to be killed, should be held accountable,” Baldasaro said.

“As far as I’m concerned, it is treason and the penalty for treason is the firing squad—or maybe it’s the electric chair now,” he added.

According to multiple reports, the Secret Service has taken issue with Baldasaro’s repeated declarations. “The U.S. Secret Service is aware of this matter and will conduct the appropriate investigation,” spokesman Robert Hoback told the Daily Beast.

The Clinton campaign has repeatedly denied accusations that her email server was hacked; in his testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, FBI director James Comey bolstered Clinton’s assurances, noting the FBI “did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal email domain, in its various configurations since 2009, was successfully hacked.” An investigation by the State Department Inspector General came to the same conclusion.

Baldasaro is not the only Trump delegate who has called for Clinton’s execution. Susan Reneau, an alternate delegate from Montana, said Clinton should be“swinging from the rafters.” And last week, West Virginia’s House of Delegates member Michael Folk tweeted Clinton should be “hung” on the National Mall.

For his part, Trump doesn’t necessarily share Baldasaro’s sentiments. According to Buzzfeed, Trump campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks told NH1 News, “we’re incredibly grateful for his support, but we don’t agree with his comments.”

 

Photo: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses the Planned Parenthood Action Fund in Washington, U.S. June 10, 2016.   REUTERS/Gary Cameron

WATCH: Activists Rush Sanders On Stage, Secret Service Steps In

Agents tasked with protecting Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders rushed to the stage at a campaign rally in Oakland, California Monday after people in the crowd crossed a security barricade.