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Tag: trump tweets

Texas Republican’s Complaint: Biden Doesn’t Tweet Enough

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) on Monday attacked President Joe Biden for his restraint on social media, suggesting Biden isn't "in control" because he's not tweeting all day long.

Cornyn tweeted a quote from a Politico article that pointed out the difference between Biden and Donald Trump's communication strategies:

"The president is not doing cable news interviews. Tweets from his account are limited and, when they come, unimaginably conventional. The public comments are largely scripted. Biden has opted for fewer sit down interviews with mainstream outlets and reporters," Cornyn tweeted, a word-for-word paragraph from the Politico article.

But Cornyn then added that the strategy, "Invites the question: is he really in charge?"

However, it's not accurate to say that Biden is "not doing cable news interviews."

Since he was elected in November, Biden has done a number of interviews with mainstream media outlets, including with CNN's Jake Tapper, CBS News' Norah O'Donnell, and ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.

Biden has also answered questions from reporters numerous times either while leaving the White House to travel for White House events, as well as at an official news conference.

Ultimately, appears like Cornyn was trying to compare Biden's measured approach to communication to that of Donald Trump, who would often go off-script, much to his own staff's dismay.

Over his four-year tenure, Trump blindsided numerous aides by firing them by tweet. He would also tweet policy announcements that surprised his own staff and sent the West Wing into a tailspin. Trump's bigoted ban on transgender people serving in the military, for example, blindsided his joint chiefs of staff, who were unaware of the policy change. (Biden has since reversed the ban.)

Trump also spent hours calling into Fox & Friends — Fox News' morning program — where he'd be lobbed softball questions by the hosts, who sometimes had to coach him into taking back offensive comments that could hurt him politically.

And, of course, Trump infamously spent many of his days tweeting baseless conspiracy theories, childish insults, and media critiques as he watched hours of cable news shows.

In fact, Trump's Twitter use was criticized even by his own supporters, with polls and focus group panels over his four years in office showing that even his supporters wished he would stop tweeting.

Now, Trump can no longer tweet because he was permanently banned from the platform after the social media outlet said he violated the company's policy against inciting violence following the deadly January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

Cornyn's criticism of Biden drew scorn on social media.

"Making meandering calls into Fox and Friends and rage tweeting at all hours is how you demonstrate you're truly running the country, per John Cornyn," Sarah Longwell, a GOP strategist who founded the group Republican Voters Against Trump in 2020, tweeted.

Trump’s Impeachment Lawyer Made A Grave Error On Fox News

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Many cable news pundits, including conservatives like MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, have argued that Rep. Jamie Raskin, a House impeachment manager, performed much better than Donald Trump's attorneys during the first day of the former president's second impeachment trial. But Fox News' Sean Hannity insisted on Tuesday night that Trump's legal team had the better presentation — and he tried to make his point by interviewing Trump attorney David Schoen.

According to some legal experts, though, Schoen's comments gave legal ammunition to the pro-impeachment side.

Hannity declared, "[For] two Februaries in a row, Democrats are conducting a show trial in the U.S. Senate to impeach and convict Donald J. Trump, who's president-in-exile, according to Jim Acosta. And while the first unsuccessful charade was pretty terrible, the sequel is even worse….. The president's attorney, David Schoen, had a great day, in my opinion."

After bringing Schoen on, Hannity asked him, "If we apply the Democratic standards for how they define incitement and insurrection — if that same standard is applied, do they not all deserve impeachment too?" And the attorney responded, "Yeah, I would say, you know, listen, if they tried to impeach them, I would say that also is an abuse, was an abuse, of the impeachment process. But your point is: they're using rhetoric that is just as inflammatory or more so. The problem is, they don't really have followers, dedicated followers when they give speeches."

Law & Crime reporter Colin Kalmbacher noted that "Schoen's words were immediately interpreted as helpful for Democrats."

The Daily Beast's Justin Baragona tweeted:

According to Asha Rangappa — a former FBI special agent who is now a legal analyst for CNN — Schoen's comments on Hannity's show were helpful to the pro-impeachment side:


Steve Vladeck, a University of Texas law professor, tweeted:

Twitter To Trump: You Are Banned Forever, No Matter What

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Twitter executive Ned Segal on Wednesday said that even if Donald Trump ran for election in the future and was elected to the presidency, he would not be given back his Twitter account.

"When you're removed from the platform you're removed from the platform, whether you're a commentator, you're a CFO, or you are a former or current public official," Segal told CNBC.

Pressed to explain how the policy applies to Trump's specific case, Segal said, "He was removed when he was president and there'd be no difference for anybody who's a public official once they've been removed from the service."

Trump was permanently removed from Twitter in January. The service cited his support and praise of the rioters who attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, noting that inciting violence violates Twitter's terms.

From the Feb. 10 edition of CNBC's "Squawk Box":

BECKY QUICK, CNBC: One more question for you, President Trump was banned, former President Trump was banned, if he came back, ran for office again and was elected president, would you allow him back on the platform?
NED SEGAL: So the way our policies work, when you're removed from the platform you're removed from the platform, whether you're a commentator, you're a CFO, or you are a former or current public official.
And so, remember, our policies are designed to make sure that people are not inciting violence, and if anybody does that, we have to remove them from the service and our policies don't allow people to come back.
QUICK: So no?
SEGAL: He was removed when he was president and there'd be no difference for anybody who's a public official once they've been removed from the service.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Texas Trumpers' Assault On Biden Bus Previewed Capitol Riot

This article was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

Nine weeks before invaders violently took siege on the U.S. Capitol, President Donald Trump's zealous supporters swarmed a Joe Biden presidential campaign bus driving through Central Texas, waving "Make America Great Again" flags, shouting profanities and ultimately frightening those on board enough that Democrats canceled multiple campaign events that evening.

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Right-Wingers Insist They’re The Victims Of Trump Insurrection

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

In the days since a mob of Trump supporters waged an attack on the U.S. Capitol, I've been thinking a lot about the week in October 2018 when a supporter of President Donald Trump was caught mailing explosives to prominent Democrats and a right-wing gunman slaughtered 11 people at a Pennsylvania synagogue. Specifically, I've been thinking about Trump's reactions to the events, which were arguably inspired by his own rhetoric.

Trump opened his remarks during the 2018 Young Black Leadership Summit event at the White House with an update on the bombing story, which had dominated the news that week: An arrest had been made.

"These terrorizing acts are despicable and have no place in our country," he told the crowd, describing an actual attempt to murder his political rivals. But within minutes and without a trace of self-awareness, Trump asked the crowd, "Who gets attacked more than me?"

"I can do the greatest thing for our country, and on the networks and on different things, it will show bad," he sulked. At another point during his speech, he attacked "globalists" ("They like the globe. I like the globe too.") and grumbled that a White House announcement the day before "didn't get the kind of coverage it should have" because it was "competing with this story that took place," referring to the bombs being sent to Democrats.

That speech will forever stand out as not just a summation of the Trump presidency, but of the conservative movement and its victimhood complex, in general.

The man arrested for sending those bombs was Cesar Sayoc, a hardcore Trump supporter who pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The day after Trump's speech, a white nationalist named Robert Bowers murdered 11 people in a shooting spree at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Bowers' attack was driven by a belief that a migrant caravan was being secretly funded by billionaire George Soros. This was a popular narrative in right-wing media that continued on in the weeks following the attack.

Trump Holds A PIty Party

Trump's response to the synagogue shooting, like his response to Sayoc's bombing spree, omitted details about the motivations behind the attack. Rather than criticizing the absurd narrative that helped drive the attack, Trump instead condemned hate in a general sense before suggesting that the victims of the massacre should have protected themselves.

Even as the mob tore through the Capitol, Trump continued to position himself as the actual victim. Sure, five people died, members of Congress were terrorized, and the rioters chanted, "Hang Mike Pence," but Trump couldn't help but throw himself a pity party.

"Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!" tweeted Trump, continuing to push the lies that he was the true winner of the election and that Pence had betrayed him by refusing to single-handedly overturn the results.

Even in his tweet urging people to go home, he justified what had happened by portraying his supporters as the real victims, writing, "These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!"

The insurrection was hardly spontaneous. While it's no surprise that fringe social media sites like Gab, Parler, and the pro-Trump Reddit clone TheDonald.win were filled with calls for violence ahead of the January 6 certification of the Electoral College votes, mainstream platforms like Twitter and Facebook were also unwitting staging grounds for the violent uprising.

Although Twitter and Facebook have long had rules against inciting violence and have each pledged to crack down on accounts which support the QAnon conspiracy theory, enforcement has been spotty. That changed after the 6th. Trump, whose lies about the election being stolen from him have helped fuel the right-wing rage, has had his account banned or suspended by virtually every social media platform so as not to incite additional attacks. But these well-deserved bans simply gave the right another opportunity to play the victim.

As thousands of other accounts were suspended in the wake of the Capitol attack, conservatives working in media and government focused on what's really important: their follower counts.

Twitter explained what was happening in a statement to NBC News:

"The accounts have been suspended in line with our policy on Coordinated Harmful Activity," a Twitter spokesperson told NBC News. "We've been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm, and given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content."

Being suspended for violating a social media platform's rules is not evidence of bias, but even if it was, it takes a really outsized sense of victimhood to respond to a violent insurrection whipped up as the result of a blatant lie about the election results by turning yourself into the real victim -- even more so when many of the people complaining about their lost followers were the same people who promoted the lie in the first place.

TheBlaze's Glenn Beck appeared on the January 12 episode of Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight, where he argued that social media platforms taking steps to avoid being places where terrorist attacks are planned is just like what the Nazis did in the 1930s.

"You can't have freedom of speech if you can't have -- if you can't express yourself in a meaningful place," he said. "This is -- this is like the Germans with the Jews behind the wall. They would put them in the ghetto. Well, this is the digital ghetto. 'You can talk all you want. Jews, you do whatever you want behind the wall.'"

And Beck wasn't the only right-wing media figure to make this obscene comparison of Trump supporters to victims of Nazi persecution:


Embracing The (False) Role Of Victim

Every mean-spirited thing conservatives do seems to come from a place of self-victimization or, at the very least, is often justified by self-victimization. And in the case of the Capitol attack, these narratives of conservative victimhood were building for two months following Trump's electoral defeat, as right-wing media figures worked overtime to falsely claim that he had really won the election which Democrats were trying to steal through overwhelming fraud.

In a December interview with Charlie Kirk, right-wing radio host Eric Metaxas said he needed "to fight to the death, to the last drop of blood" to overturn the election, an explicit endorsement of violence. Rather than admit that it was an election that Trump lost, Metaxas and Kirk both agreed that Trump was the rightful winner and that the election was stolen from him. Metaxas compared Biden's win to "stealing the heart and soul of America. It's like holding a rusty knife to the throat of Lady Liberty."

Metaxas couldn't just come out and say that Trump should remain in power despite losing the election. Instead, he framed his proposition as simply trying to right a wrong that was done to him and to the country.

Acts of bullying, whether taking the form of verbal abuse, physical altercations, or just a general disregard for others, are framed in conservative victimhood narratives as justifiable responses to imagined attacks from their political enemies. Metaxas justified his bloodlust by portraying any actions he may have to take as being retaliation for an election that was stolen. Conservatives regularly fight to oppress and curtail the rights of already marginalized groups under the guise of defending themselves in the culture war. Anything can be justified in the fight to "stand up to woke America," as the school newspaper of the far-right Hillsdale College framed legislation and court decisions targeting transgender people.

No matter the subject, the message of right-wing media to conservatives is always the same: You are the real victim here. And when you are the victim, you can justify just about anything -- even inciting a terrorist attack.

Alibi For Insurrection? ’Trump Invited Us’ To Capitol

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

A lawyer for one of the insurrectionists arrested for his role in the storming of the U.S. Capitol last week is directly blaming Donald Trump for the violence, saying Trump invited the rioters to the building and deserves blame for the attack the world watched unfold on Jan. 6.

Albert Watkins, a lawyer for Jacob A. Chansley — the man who was photographed wearing a fur headdress with horns inside the Capitol building during the rioting — says Trump's rhetoric since the election amounted to an "invitation" to come to Washington, D.C., to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Chansley, also known as Jake Angeli and the "QAnon shaman," has been charged with six federal crimes for his role in the rioting.

"He felt like he was answering the call of our president," Watkins told CNN. "My client wasn't violent. He didn't cross over any police lines. He didn't assault anyone. He was there at the invitation of our president, who was going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue with him."

Watkins told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Christ, you've got a president who has been rabble-rousing for six or seven months. ... Given the peaceful and compliant fashion in which Mr. Chansley comported himself, it would be appropriate and honorable for the president to pardon Mr. Chansley and other like-minded, peaceful individuals who accepted the president's invitation with honorable intentions."

It's not only Chansley who felt he was invited by Trump to the Capitol.

Video taken during the attack shows others invading the Capitol insisting they were there on Trump's invitation as well. A man can be seen shouting to police officers trying to keep the insurrectionists out, "We were invited here. We were invited by the president of the United States."

Meanwhile, Trump and his allies claim that he never intended there to be a violent attack on the Capitol and that he only wanted peace.

During the session of the House of Representatives on Wednesday convened to vote on impeachingTrump on a single count of engaging in "high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States," Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) asked, "Has any one of those individuals who brought violence on this Capitol been brought here to answer whether they did that because of our president?" After 30 seconds of silence, Mast continued, "It appears I will receive no answer," and yielded back his time.

At least four rioters said they had.

Trump was impeached for the second time on Wednesday by a vote of 232 to 197, with 10 Republicansjoining the Democrats in voting yes.

The single article of impeachment says that Trump "willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — lawless action at the Capitol, such as: 'if you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore.'"

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Boss Trump, America's Biggest Crybaby, And His Whining Imitators

Last week was a bad one for right-wing crybaby culture. Scarcely had Boss Trump's paranoid mob retreated from the U.S. Capitol than the whining began. My favorite thing on Facebook was a photo of two guilty-looking dogs welcoming their master at the front door: "We're so glad you're home," the caption reads. "Antifa have done a s**t in the hallway."

This even before news reports documented that members of the mob had done exactly that in the halls of Congress — urinated and smeared feces on the walls. A junior high school rebellion if ever one was.

Several members of the GOP Clown Caucus — Matt Gaetz of Florida, Mo Brooks of Alabama, and Paul Gosar of Arizona —nevertheless argued, as Gaetz put it, that the rioters were "masquerading as Trump supporters and in fact, were members of the violent terrorist group antifa."

Over on Fox News, Laura Ingraham took up the cry.

The mythical antifa, that is, which has never been shown to exist as an actual organization outside the metaphysical netherworld of Trump's tweets. It's at worst a campus debating society, otherwise a hoodoo; a haint; a boogeyman signifying his followers' fears.

See, that's the thing about Boss Trump: even before he's an epic liar and blowhard, he's also a world-class crybaby. Everybody's always picking on him, and nothing has ever been his fault.

OK, so he urged a mob to march down Pennsylvania Avenue and "fight like hell" to prevent Congress from certifying his electoral defeat. "These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long," he said in a soon-deleted tweet.

Deleted by Trump himself, that is, just before Twitter deleted him altogether, something the company ought to have done two months ago when he began his post-election whine-fest.

"Sacred," no less. Boo hoo hoo.

They allowed him to lie, but Twitter's terms of service do forbid threats of violence.

On cue, certain of Trump's most reckless enablers declared that they too had been victimized. Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican last seen raising a clenched fist to the rioters, denounced publishing giant Simon & Schuster for cancelling a book contract with him.

Downright "Orwellian" he claimed. "It's a direct assault on the First Amendment," he wrote. "Only approved speech can now be published. This is the Left looking to cancel everyone they don't approve of. I will fight this cancel culture with everything I have. We'll see you in court."

Now you'd think that a privileged character like Hawley — a banker's son who attended Stanford and Yale Law School before becoming a Mizzou law professor and state attorney general before ascending to the U.S. Senate — would know perfectly well that the First Amendment does not entitle him (or anybody else) to a book deal.

In reality, I'm confident he does know it. There will be no lawsuit. But Hawley thinks that benighted Trump supporters whose votes he hopes to inherit do not.

Similar First Amendment hokum was vended by former White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Writing on Twitter, ironically enough, Sanders complained that "I've lost 50k+ followers this week. The radical Left and their big tech allies cannot marginalise, censor, or silence the American people. This is not China, this is the United States of America, and we are a free country."

Yes, and we remain free to ignore Sanders' whining, as her high school civics teacher took to Twitter to remind her.

Any newspaper that doesn't like this column is free not to print it. Nobody can make them.

And I remain free to write that she and Hawley sound like big babies. Government can't stop me. That's what the First Amendment is all about.

But back to the biggest whiner of them all. For as long as he's been in public life, Boss Trump has urged boycotts and threatened reprisals against individuals and organizations that criticize or otherwise offend him.

It's one of the disappointments of my life that my scribblings remain too obscure to attract the great man's ire. However, a list of all the columnists and TV journalists that he's demanded be fired could fill this entire column. He's called for boycotts of Apple, CNN and Amazon—the last to put pressure upon the Washington Post.

Trump threatened to revoke NBC's broadcast license, demanded the immediate sacking of the "failing" Wall Street Journal editorial board, and denounced the "failing" New York Times. (Both, in reality, thriving.)

Nary a peep, of course, from the born-again civil libertarian Josh Hawley, and certainly not Sanders, who often endorsed Trump's threats.

But you know what? Next week's planned uprisings will fail too. Forewarned, real soldiers will be guarding the Capitol this time and the renegade crybabies will soil their pants and go home.

Trump And Allies Enraged As Social Media Ban Expands

Steve Cortes, a senior adviser with Donald Trump's election campaign, took to Twitter to complain that Trump and his "movement" were being censored by "Big Tech" as a number of social media platforms suspended the accounts of the White House occupant and his supporters after Wednesday's deadly attack on the Capitol.

"I'm on Bannon's War Room soon discussing Big Tech/Big Brother suppressing the speech of the president and our movement - including Michelle Obama's shameful call for a permanent de-platforming," tweeted Cortes.

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