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#EndorseThis: Gary Johnson Can’t Name Favorite Foreign Leader, Calls It Another ‘Aleppo Moment’

Third-party candidate Gary Johnson now has a stock term available that we guess he’ll use each time he is asked a perfectly reasonable question for a presidential candidate and can’t answer. He’ll call it another “Aleppo moment.”

In case you’ve managed to forget, in the middle of an interview a few weeks ago, Johnson asked the crew at Morning Joe “What is Aleppo?” In case you didn’t hear about that at the time, go ahead and digest it now: a man that wants to run for the highest office in the U.S. didn’t know what Aleppo was.

Johnson has just had another such moment at a town hall hosted by Chris Matthews. He was asked who his favorite leader is. Johnson couldn’t name, well, anyone. You read that right: Johnson couldn’t even name one foreign leader.

His explanation? “I guess I’m having an Aleppo moment.”

Even weirder? Johnson’s moment of sticking his tongue out at a reporter because…well, we have no idea why he did that.

Watch below, but be careful – it’s cringeworthy:


Photo and video via MSNBC/Twitter

 

#EndorseThis: Colbert Says Trump ‘Had Some Problems With The Truth’ At Debate

According to “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert, GOP nominee Donald Trump “had some problems with the truth” at the first presidential debate.

“Everyone’s trying to figure out who won,” Colbert said. “Which is kind of silly, because both sides are going to say they won.”

Colbert began by complimenting Trump for his handshakes with Hillary Clinton (“women”) and Lester Holt (“minorities”). He then began to hit The Donald for his obvious issues with truth-telling, pointing out that Trump had “made more than 34 comments that were either lies or misstatements, while Clinton was tagged with four.”

The host continued, using one of Trump’s favorite phrases: “A lot of people are saying Trump didn’t seem prepared—possibly because he was not. Apparently Trump’s advisers said it was a waste of time to try to fill his head with facts and figures.”

Colbert also noted that Clinton had an “obvious” plan to get under Trump’s skin and that it worked.

“She brought the orange peeler,” he said. “She got in there.”

Watch below:

Photo and video via The Late Show/YouTube

Early Polls Show Clinton Bump After First Debate

Early polls taken after the first presidential debate show democratic nominee Hillary Clinton with a lead over Donald Trump. A CNN poll of verified individuals showed that 62 percent believe Clinton won the debate, compared to just 27 percent for Trump. Another poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, showed 51 percent of debate watchers believing Clinton won, compared to 42 percent for Trump.

The PPC poll also found that 40 percent of viewers said the debate made them more likely to vote for Clinton. Only 35 percent of viewers said they were more likely to vote for Trump. In CNN’s poll, 34 percent were more likely to vote for Clinton as opposed to 18 percent for Trump.

Importantly, the media consensus for the winner of the debate also matters. Following the event, many media outlets deemed Clinton the winner and this coverage can shape voter expectations and interpretations to a great extent.

Further polls will continue to come out in the days following the event, but according to the early numbers, more likely voters believe Clinton trumped Trump in the first presidential debate.

Photo: U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S September 27, 2016.  REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Trump Supporters Rigged Online Polls After First Presidential Debate

That CNBC poll Donald Trump tweeted which showed him winning the debate over Hillary Clinton by a 61 percent to 39 percent margin? It was rigged.

Supporters of the GOP nominee rigged approximately 70 online polls in the wake of the first presidential debate to make it appear as though Trump won, according to a new report by The Daily Dot.

The idea to rig the polls likely came from Trump supporters on the forum sites 4chan and Reddit. There is a subreddit called “The_Donald” with over 200,000 subscribers. Together, the groups rigged multiple online polls, including those of Time, Fortune, CNBC, and BuzzFeed News.

After the polls initially came out showing Trump won, many suspected Russian hackers manipulated the results. Russia has been accused of interfering in this election previously, including possibly hacking the Democratic National Committee.

It appears, however, that the polls were instead the target of domestic rigging by Trump supporters. Online polls are known within media circles not to be immensely trustworthy, as they are easily manipulable. In fact, on 4chan’s board, users were able to share simple tips and tricks, like using a secret browser window or toggling a phone’s airplane mode, which were easy enough to rig the polls.

According to BuzzFeed News, 4chan users initially began discussing rigging the polls in the week leading up to the debate. Because online polls are so notoriously unreliable, it wouldn’t have been difficult for even Internet newbies to participate in the rigging activities.

One editor whose organization was subject to the tampering told BuzzFeed News that media outlets continuing to use online polls is a “failing of journalism.”

“I spent all morning asking and no one knows if our poll was secure, how it was conducted, or if someone scammed it. Now people are pointing to our poll saying that it shows Trump won,” said the editor, anonymously to the outlet. “That’s not good journalism.”

The only poll in which verified individuals were able to vote was the CNN poll, which showed Clinton with a 62 percent lead over Trump’s 27 percent.

Photo: U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a Hispanic Town Hall meeting with supporters in Miami, Florida, U.S. September 27, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The Alt-Right Tries To Spin Trump Debate Performance And Fails

The alt-right, the fringe sect of conservatism that is marked by white nationalist allegiances, is struggling to make sense of the debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump last night. Despite attempts to shill for Trump, as usual, many in the alt-right are finding it difficult to reasonably deny that Clinton won, in every sense of the word.

Stormfront, the site founded by a Ku Klux Klan leader and seen as a premier website for alt-right neo-Nazis, had several posts from readers indicating their view that Hillary won the debate. Deadspin rounded up some of these posts, and they include at least one person saying, “I’m a hard core  [sic] Trump supporter – and was from the very beginning – but Hillary mopped the floor with Trump tonight.” Another added, “sorry but he got crushed tonight.”

Meanwhile Breitbart News, the Trump sock-puppet nationalist site run by Stephen Bannon, is pushing the idea that Trump won, and hard, but is flailing. The Breitbart front page is running headlines like “+5% Say Hilary Won – But Trump Picks Up Undecideds” and “Hillary’s Name Misspelled On The Debate Ticket.” Clinton’s name being misspelled, then, is clearly big news for the alt-right fan site.

Pat Caddell, of Fox News, however, spoke to Breitbart and said in a flash poll taken just after the debate, 48 percent said Clinton did better, compared to just 43 percent for Trump.

Prior to the debate, alt-right personality Milo Yiannopolous guessed that the media “will paint [Hillary] as a victim.” His prediction didn’t hold, however, as the consensus was widely that Clinton won the debate.

Even more traditional conservatives believe Clinton won the debate. Frank Luntz, conservative political commentator, asked a focus group consisting of undecided voters about the results of the debate and was told, among other things, when Trump was defending himself he came off like a “disaster” and that he “responded horribly” to Clinton baiting him. Focus group participants also felt, overwhelmingly, that Clinton won the debate, that Trump didn’t have “solutions” and was “frankly rude to Lester Holt.”

Trump supporter and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, for his part, said Trump should skip the next debate if he’s going to continue to be fact-checked. Because, of course, the American people shouldn’t expect a presidential candidate to tell the truth or humbly accept when his lies are called out.

Photo: Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump listens during the first debate with Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, U.S., September 26, 2016.   REUTERS/Brian Snyder

#EndorseThis: On Climate Change, Gary Johnson Says We ‘Have To Inhabit Other Planets’

Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson thinks that fleeing to other planets is the solution to man-made climate change on this planet — or so he suggested on ABC News’ This Week to host George Stephanopoulos on Sunday.

Asked about a comment he made in 2011, which seemed to dismiss the threat of climate change, Johnson said: “In billions of years, the sun is going to actually grow and encompass the Earth, right? So global warming is in our future.”

When pressed by the disbelieving ABC anchor, Johnson asked: “Can’t we have a little humor once in a while?”

He deflected any further discussion by changing the subject to space exploration. But his position on the threat of climate change was quite clear even before he went off on this tangent: Johnson opposes any government action to forestall global warming, which he acknowledges is “probably” caused by humans — and says we should “build more coal-fired power plants.”

Watch the clip, below:

Photo and video via ABC News/YouHotNews (YouTube)

Trump Isn’t Sure Whether His Foundation Followed Charity Laws

GOP nominee Donald Trump was asked by Full Measure host Sharyl Attkisson whether he was “confident that the Trump Foundation has followed all charitable rules and laws.”

In response, Trump said, essentially, that he didn’t really know.

“Well, I hope so, I mean, my lawyers do it. We give away money, I don’t make anything.”

Trump didn’t seem to know what was going on with his own foundation but was adamant that he did not receive any funds, personally.

“I take no salaries, I take no — any costs, I have zero costs, and a lot of money goes through the Trump Foundation into charities. Goes to charities, it doesn’t go to me, it goes to charities.”

Attkisson did not press Trump further on the issue.

Watch the video below:

Photo and video via Media Matters of America

WATCH: The Dalai Lama Mocks Trump In An Interview With Piers Morgan

The Dalai Lama has joined the ranks of world leaders with strong opinions on Donald Trump. Although the spiritual leader’s feelings on the GOP nominee weren’t exactly vocal, they were unambiguous.

Appearing on the “Good Morning Britain” with Piers Morgan Thursday, the Dalai Lama was asked what he thought of Trump. Although he at first responded “I don’t know,” he then clearly mocked not only Trump’s manner of speaking but also his infamous hairstyle.

Morgan and the Dalai Lama also discussed other serious and not-so-serious issues, such as ISIS and Kim Kardashian’s Twitter.

Watch the full interview below:

Photo and video via Good Morning Britain/YouTube

WATCH: Forceful New Clinton Ad Hits Trump On His Repugnant Comments About Women

Hillary Clinton’s campaign released a new ad this week, forcefully emphasizing the vile and repugnant comments Donald Trump has made about women over the years.

The ad shows scenes of young women looking in mirrors and at cell phone screens of themselves, as several of Trump’s prior statements on women are played in the background.

Within the ad, viewers hear Trump calling women “ugly” and describing them with words such as “fat slob” and “pig.”

The last clip viewers see of Trump in the ad is the most telling regarding his treatment of women. In 1993, Trump was on Howard Stern’s radio show and was asked by the host, “so you treat women with respect?”

 

“No, I can’t say that either,” Trump replies with a smirk.

The spot ends with a serious question to viewers: “Is this the president we want for our daughters?”

Watch the full ad, called “Mirrors” below:

Photo and video via Hillary Clinton/YouTube

Congressman: Charlotte Protesters ‘Hate White People Because White People Are Successful’

 

Representative Robert Pittenger (R-NC), a Congressman whose district includes parts of Charlotte, where Keith Lamont Scott was killed by police, told BBC Newsnight this week that protesters “hate white people, because white people are successful and they’re not.”

According to Pittenger, it’s this – and not the unjust killings of black Americans at the hands of police – that is driving the protests in Charlotte.

Pittenger continued his tone-deaf comments, adding, “It is a welfare state. We have spent trillions of dollars on welfare, and we’ve put people in bondage, so they can’t be all that they’re capable of being.”

North Carolina Democratic Party Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds called Pittenger’s comments “inexcusable.”

“At a time when we need calm and understanding while we learn more about the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, Congressman Pittenger is fanning the flames of hate with his racist rhetoric. This sort of bigotry has become all too common under the party of Donald Trump. Our great state should not be represented by someone who would make such hateful comments.”

After receiving criticism from all sides, Pittenger posted a response to the controversy on his website and apologized through a series of tweets.

He also appeared on CNN with host Don Lemon and tried to explain away his comments by stating they “weren’t meant in the context of how many viewed them.”

“Let’s walk through what you said,” Lemon pressed Pittenger. “You said, ‘They hate us — they hate us because we’re successful, they hate white people because we’re successful.’ How is that taken out of context, with all due respect?”

 

Pittenger responded, “I’ve come on the air to apologize in every way I can.”

Photo: Protesters walk in the streets downtown during another night of protests over the police shooting of Keith Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. September 22, 2016.  REUTERS/Mike Blake

Trump Jr. Interview Shut Down By Aide When Questioned About Trump Foundation

Donald Trump Jr. was participating in an interview with a local Pennsylvania television station when an aide abruptly ended a line of questioning about Trump Sr. spending money from the Trump Foundation to buy a $20,000 portrait of himself.

The Washington Post ran a story yesterday stating that Trump bought a 6-foot-tall portrait of himself with charity money. A reporter from local news station WTAE asked Trump Jr. about it: “You’re a director of the Trump Foundation charity, did you sign off on charity money for a portrait?”

Trump Jr. managed to respond that he didn’t know “anything about that,” before an off-camera voice abruptly shuts down the questions.

“Alright, that’s it –, ” the voice says. “We have to move on to the next one.”

Photo via Screengrab/WTAE

Colin Powell Calls Trump ‘National Disgrace’ In Leaked Emails

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell called Donald Trump a “national disgrace” and an “international pariah” in emails that were leaked online this week.

The emails were obtained by the website DCLeaks.com and were first reported by BuzzFeed News. Initially, Powell said that he had “no further comment” but was that he was not “denying it.” Later, however, Powell confirmed to NBC News that the emails were real and mentioned “the hackers have a lot more.”

DCLeaks is suspected of having ties to Russian intelligence services, but those links have not yet been confirmed. The FBI previously stated they believed Russia was behind the internal email hack of the Democratic National Committee.

The email in question was dated June 17 and was from Powell to his former aide and current journalist, Emily Miller. He also said Trump “is in the process of destroying himself” so there is “no need for Dems to attack him.”

In another email from Powell to Miller, dated August 21, he discussed that Trump’s birther movement was “racist.”

“That’s what the 99% believe,” Powell wrote. “When Trump couldn’t keep that up he said he also wanted to see if the certificate noted that he was a Muslim.”

“As I have said before, ‘What if he was?’ Muslims are born as Americans everyday,” Powell continued.

In an email from December of last year to CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria, Powell blasted the press for their Trump coverage: “You guys are playing his game, you are his oxygen. He outraged us again today with his comments on Paris no-go for police districts. I will watch and pick the timing, not respond to the latest outrage.”

He followed that up with another email along the same lines, stating that desired not to give Trump any more media attention: “To go on and call him an idiot just emboldens him.”

Photo: Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell (R) takes part in an onstage interview with Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson (L) at the Washington Ideas Forum in Washington, September 30, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

Trump Revs Up The Clinton Health Conspiracy Machine

Via telephone on Fox News Monday, Donald Trump ostensibly wished presidential rival Hillary Clinton well a day after it was revealed she was battling pneumonia. Immediately after his well wishes, however, Trump managed to imply that her campaign might have something to hide, saying that “something’s going on, but I just hope she gets well and gets back on the trail.”

Trump was asked by the Fox & Friends co-hosts whether he felt she might be replaced and if so, whether he had plans of how to defeat her replacement. “No, I don’t think they’ll replace her,” he told the co-hosts. He then immediately reverted back to suggesting a greater cover-up, saying “We have to see what’s wrong.”

“Whatever it is, I’m ready.” Though the Clinton campaign didn’t help by keeping the Democratic nominee’s Friday diagnosis a secret for two days, “it” is pneumonia. Trump knows that — why say otherwise?

The Republican nominee also announced that he had just taken a physical, the results of which would be released shortly — though we’ll believe that when we see them. His first physician’s note, barely a few sentences long, used bogus phrases like “his blood pressure […] and laboratory test results were astonishingly excellent.”

Trump also appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box Monday and once again repeated his suggestion that Clinton may be battling more than pneumonia.

“You know it’s interesting because they say pneumonia on Friday, but she was coughing very, very badly a week ago, and even before that if you remember. This wasn’t the first time,” Trump stated. “It’s very interesting to see what’s going on.”

On Sunday, Bloomberg reported that the Trump campaign’s plan “is for him and his campaign aides to refrain from commenting” on Clinton passing out. So much for that. Then again, it would be pretty inconsistent with Trump’s history of repeatedly commenting on Clinton’s health, and saying that she doesn’t “look presidential,” whatever that means:

Screengrab via Fox News

Trump: Debate System Is ‘Rigged’ So There Should Be No Moderator

According to GOP nominee Donald Trump, the debate system is “being rigged,” and therefore, Trump and presidential rival Hillary Clinton should have no moderator for their four scheduled debates.

“The fact is,” Trump said, “that they’re gaming the system, and I think, maybe, we should have no moderator. Let Hillary and I sit there and just debate because I think the system is being rigged so it’s gonna be a very unfair debate, and I can see it happening right now because everyone’s saying that he was soft on Trump. Well now the new person’s gonna try to be really hard on Trump just to show, you know, the establishment what he can do. So I think it’s very unfair what they’re doing. So I think we should have a debate with no moderators — just Hillary and I sitting there talking.”

The “he” Trump was referring to was NBCs Matt Lauer. Trump’s comments come after last week’s Commander-in-Chief forum on the network, after which many criticized Lauer for going soft on the Republican candidate for, among other things, lying about his support of the invasion of Iraq, while aggressively pursuing Clinton for her use of a private email server.

According to Trump, however, Lauer wasn’t soft on him at all.

In a phone interview on CNBC, Trump said, “[T]hey all said I won and that Matt Lauer was easy on me. Well he wasn’t. He was — I thought he was very professional, I have to be honest. I think he’s been treated very unfairly, but they all said that I won, and what they’re doing is they’re gaming the system so that when I go into the debate, I’m gonna get — be treated very, very unfairly by the moderators.”

According to Trump, he simply answered questions “better” than Clinton did.

The moderators for the presidential debates have already been announced, and they span across multiple networks: NBC’s Lester Holt, ABC’s Martha Raddatz, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Fox News’ Chris Wallace.

Photo: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is illuminated by a spotlight as he points to supporters in the crowd after speaking at a campaign rally in Pensacola, Florida, U.S., September 9, 2016.  REUTERS/Mike Segar

Trump Cannot Be President While Praising Putin: Former CIA Director

Michael Morrell, former acting CIA director, along with Michael Vickers, former undersecretary of defense, wrote in an open letter to Donald Trump in The Washington Post Saturday, asserting the Republican nominee cannot “credibly credibly serve as commander in chief” if he embraces Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In the letter, Morrell and Vickers wrote: “Putin, during his long tenure, has repeatedly pursued policies that undermine U.S. interests and those of our allies and partners. He has steadily but systematically moved Russia from a fledgling democratic state to an authoritarian one. He is the last foreign leader you should be praising.”

They called on Trump to cease his praise of Putin and instead demand change.

“Demand that Putin stop his aggressive behavior overseas. Demand that he stop his dictatorial moves at home. Tell him that you will live up to our NATO commitments and defend the Baltics, if need be. Tell him that you want to work with him on solving the problems in the world — but that he must behave in order to do so. That is what a true commander in chief would do.”

A day after publishing the open letter, Morell appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” and told host Jake Tapper that he believes Putin wants Trump to win the election.

“Putin does not believe that Hillary Clinton will be easy on Russia. He believes that she will be tough on Russia,” Morell said.

Morrell also stated he believed Putin was behind the DNC email hack, but that he didn’t think Putin would ultimately be able to affect the presidential election.

Photo: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Pensacola, Florida, U.S., September 9, 2016.  REUTERS/Mike Segar

Hillary Clinton Goes Viral On ‘Humans Of New York’

Hillary Clinton recently spoke to Brandon Stanton, the photographer behind Humans of New York, and recounted an experience where she was taking an admissions test for law school and was heckled by several men.

She described the scene on the Humans of New York Facebook page: “And while we’re waiting for the exam to start, a group of men began to yell things like: ‘You don’t need to be here.’ And ‘There’s plenty else you can do.’ It turned into a real ‘pile on.’ One of them even said: ‘If you take my spot, I’ll get drafted, and I’ll go to Vietnam, and I’ll die.’”

“It was intense,” she continued. “It got very personal. But I couldn’t respond. I couldn’t afford to get distracted because I didn’t want to mess up the test. So I just kept looking down, hoping that the proctor would walk in the room.”

Clinton, who has been the target of much sexist commentary during this election cycle, explained how this scene impacted her future poise: “I know that I can be perceived as aloof or cold or unemotional. But I had to learn as a young woman to control my emotions.”

Check out the full Humans of New York post, below:

Photo: Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during her California primary night rally held in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., June 7, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson 

 

Co-Founder Of Facebook Donates $20 Million To Help Beat Trump

Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz has donated $20 million to help Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in the presidential election. By contrast, the official Clinton campaign fund — not counting allied political action committees — raised a total of $52.2 million in August, which would have been a staggering sum in any other election year.

Moskovitz, who is also a founder of Asana, wrote about his donation in a post on Medium, entitled “Compelled to Act.”

In it, he calls the election “a referendum on who we want to be — as individuals, as a nation, and as a society,” and says it has become bigger than policies and ideas.

The money will not go to only one organization, but will be divided between a few political power PACs, such as the Hillary Victory Fund, The League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund, and For Our Future PAC.

Moskovitz called Trump’s campaign “a zero-sum vision, stressing a false contest between their constituency and the rest of the world.”

“So, for the first time, we are endorsing a candidate and donating,” he wrote. “We hope these efforts make it a little more likely that Secretary Clinton is able to pursue the agenda she’s outlined, and serve as a signal to the Republican Party that by running this kind of campaign—one built on fear and hostility—ad supporting this kind of candidate, they compel people to act in response. We are not the only ones being activated so strongly during this election.”

Photo via Flickr/Ken Yueng