Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

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

Running Useless TV Ads, Trump Campaign ’Sets Money On Fire’

Donald Trump's reelection campaign is continuing to spend money on ads in states he has almost no shot at winning in November, raising questions about the campaign's strategy exactly three months out from Election Day.

The Trump campaign on Monday purchased $38,000 on ads just on Fox News in Washington, D.C., that will run from Monday through Aug. 16, according to Medium Buying, which tracks political ad buys.

Read Now Show less

Trump Says Schools Must Reopen To Serve Free Lunch — Which He Tried To Cut

Donald Trump and his administration have been demanding that schools reopen in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic as it ravages large swaths of the country — often using the argument that millions of children rely on schools to provide them with the nutrition they otherwise do not get at home.

"Thirty million American students rely on schools for free and reduced meals," Trump said at a July 23 news conference, listing off one of the reasons he wants kids to go back to school even as schools struggle with finding the space and the resources to safely reopen for full-time in-person learning.

Read Now Show less

Congressional Republicans Reject Trump’s Call For Election Delay

Republicans on Capitol Hill took the rare step of speaking out against Donald Trump on Thursday, after he questioned whether the November election should be delayed over false claims about mail-in ballot fraud.

A handful of GOP lawmakers condemned Trump's tweet, saying the election would not be moved.

Read Now Show less

Rep.Gohmert Endangered Colleagues And Staff After Testing Positive For Covid-19

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) came under fire on Wednesday for traversing the U.S. Capitol after learning he tested positive for the coronavirus.

According to Politico, Gohmert went back to his office on Capitol Hill to tell his staff in person that he had the virus, potentially exposing his aides further.

Read Now Show less

Trump Promotes Quack Who Warned Against 'Alien DNA' And Sex With 'Demons'

Donald Trump on Tuesday praised a crackpot doctor whose videos containing false information on the coronavirus have been removed from social media platforms — another reminder of how attempts by Trump to moderate his tone and project an air of seriousness tend to be short-lived.

In a daily coronavirus briefing, Trump promoted a video by Stella Immanuel, whose viral video saying masks don't work to stop the spread of coronavirus and falsely stating hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment for COVID-19 have been removed from multiple social media platforms.

Public health experts say masks are a very effective tool to prevent transmission of the virus — and that hydroxychloroquine is not only ineffective at treating COVID-19 but can also cause dangerous adverse side effects."There was a — a woman who was spectacular in her statements about it, that she's had tremendous success with it," Trump said, referencing Immanuel. "And they took her — they took her voice off. I don't know why they took her off, but they took her off. Maybe they had a good reason, maybe they didn't. I don't know."

Both Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., shared the now-removed video in which Immanuel spread false coronavirus information.

Trump Jr. was even suspended from Twitter for 12 hours for sharing the video, as it violated the social media platform's policy against spreading misinformation on the virus.

After Trump praised Immanuel, CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins pointed out that not only was Immanuel's information on the virus wrong, but she's also shared bizarre medical information in the past — including that doctors are treating people with space alien DNA and that some gynecological issues are caused by women having sex with demons.

"The woman that you said is a great doctor in that video that you retweeted last night said masks don't work and there is a cure for COVID-19, both of which health experts say is not true. She's also made videos saying that doctors make medicine using DNA from aliens, and that they're trying to create a vaccine to make you immune from becoming religious," Collins said to Trump.

She went on to ask Trump what the "logic" was behind spreading false information from someone like Immanuel.

"I don't know which country she comes from, but she said that she's had tremendous success with hundreds of different patients," Trump said of Immanuel, who is Black and apparently studied medicine in Nigeria. "And I thought her voice was an important voice, but I know nothing about her." (Their exchange about Immanuel begins at 25:13 in the press conference video below.) A few moments later, Trump left the press podium.

Trump's pushing of false information and praise of Immanuel comes as his aides urged Trump to restart daily coronavirus briefings in an effort to project what some in the media described as a "new tone" and help with his flailing reelection bid.

However, his behavior on Tuesday showed the risk of that strategy, as Trump has a history of pushing conspiracy theories and making questionable comments — such as the time he mused about injecting disinfectant as a treatment for the coronavirus. Injecting disinfectant is not a cure for the virus, and in fact is extremely dangerous.



Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Twitter Suspends Don Jr. For Spreading Wacky Coronavirus Lies

Donald Trump Jr. has been temporarily suspended from Twitter, after he shared a video from Stella Immanuel, a Texas doctor who said masks aren't necessary to stop the spread of the coronavirus, and that hydroxychloroquine — which the FDA now says is not an effective COVID-19 treatment — is a "cure" for the virus.

Twitter has since deleted the video, in which Immanuel also said there are "fake doctors" who "sound like a computer." Facebook also removed Immanuel's video, causing her to issue a bizarre threat in which she said "if my page is not back up face book will be down in Jesus name."

Read Now Show less

GOP ‘Relief’ Bill Slashes Jobless Benefits But Spends Billions On Military And FBI

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released the GOP's coronavirus relief bill, which would slash unemployment benefits to millions of laid-off workers by two-thirds but adds billions in unrelated spending, including nearly $30 billion in additional military spending.

The bill would cut weekly unemployment insurance to the more than 30 million laid-off workers from $600 per week to $200 per week — which economists say could lead to more hardship for tens of millions of jobless Americans.

Read Now Show less

Senate Adjourns Without Extending $600 Jobless Benefit

UPDATE: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Friday that he doesn't expect to pass a new coronavirus relief bill before the end of July when expanded unemployment benefits expire. "Hopefully we can come together behind some package we can agree on in the next few weeks," he said at an event in Ashland, KY, according to the Washington Post.

The Republican-controlled Senate left Washington, D.C. without releasing a plan for the next round of coronavirus relief — a move that all but ensures a $600 weekly unemployment insurance benefit millions of Americans have been receiving for months will now expire.

Republicans spent the week fighting among themselves about what should be in the next package of coronavirus relief — and ultimately punted releasing their plan until next week.

Read Now Show less

Trump Used Presidency To Steer British Open To His Scottish Resort

Donald Trump asked the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom to push the British government to hold the British Open golf tournament at the Trump Turnberry golf resort in Scotland, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.

According to the Times, Ambassador Robert Wood Johnson — an heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune as well as owner of the New York Jets football team — followed Trump's orders and broached the subject with David Mundell, the secretary of state for Scotland.

Read Now Show less

Civil War Erupts Over Trump Inside House GOP Conference

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) demanded that Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) resign from her role as chair of the House Republican Conference, accusing her of not being loyal enough to Donald Trump.

"Liz Cheney has worked behind the scenes (and now in public) against @realDonaldTrump and his agenda. House Republicans deserve better as our Conference Chair. Liz Cheney should step down or be removed," Gaetz tweeted on Tuesday.

Read Now Show less

Graham Backs Masked Federal Agents Sent By Trump To Arrest And Assault Protesters

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) praised Donald Trump for sending federal law enforcement agents in full tactical military gear into Portland, Oregon, saying Trump "is right to demand that law and order be restored in American cities."

"These protests and riots are getting out of hand, jeopardizing public safety and economic recovery," Graham tweeted Monday afternoon. "If federal law enforcement officials are necessary to do the job and President Trump chooses to go down this path, I completely support him."

Read Now Show less

Teachers Union Warns A Million Education Jobs May Be Lost Without New Federal Aid

If federal relief funding is not provided to cities and states facing coronavirus budget shortfalls, nearly 1 million jobs in public K-12 education could be lost, according to a report released on Monday by the American Federation of Teachers, the second-largest U.S. teachers union.

The report, titled, "A Time to Act: The Importance of Investment in Public Education and Other State and Local Services in the Time of COVID-19," found that K-12 public schools across the country are facing a $93.5 billion budget gap going into the next school year due to decreases in tax revenues received by state and local governments. Public schools receive the majority of their funding from tax revenues.

Read Now Show less

Oregon Governor: Trump Seeking To Provoke Violence With Portland Arrests

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is up in arms after camouflaged federal agents were discovered to be patrolling the streets of Portland, inciting violence and abducting protesters in what she described as a naked attempt by the Trump administration to provoke violence for political gain.

"Trump is looking for a confrontation in Oregon in the hopes of winning political points in Ohio or Iowa," Brown, a Democrat, tweeted Thursday night. She accused Donald Trump and his administration of seeking to portray racial justice protests as dangerous uprisings to help get his base out to the polls.

Read Now Show less

Ivanka's Goya Foods Promo May Violate Ethical Standards Law

First daughter Ivanka Trump could find herself in legal hot water after she posted a photo of herself holding up a can of Goya beans under the text of the food company's motto.

Ivanka Trump posted the photo to her Twitter account in support of the company, which has come under fire since Goya's CEO Bob Unanue praised Donald Trump at a White House event last week.

"Mr. President, what can I tell you? I'm so blessed to be here in the most prosperous country in the world, the greatest country in the world. And we're so blessed to have you as our leader, as we continue to build this country and make it — continue to make it the most prosperous nation in the world," Unanue said at the event, a so-called roundtable with Hispanic leaders on July 9.





According to the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch:

An employee shall not use his public office for his own private gain, for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise, or for the private gain of friends, relatives, or persons with whom the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity, including nonprofit organizations of which the employee is an officer or member, and persons with whom the employee has or seeks employment or business relations.

Ivanka Trump wouldn't be the first Trump administration official to violate this law.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway was accused of violating the same law in 2017, when she promoted Ivanka Trump's fashion brand during an interview with Fox News in the White House briefing room.

"Go buy Ivanka's stuff is what I would say," Conway said. "I'm going to give a free commercial here: Go buy it today, everybody; you can find it online."

Conway was never punished for the ethical breach, but then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Conway had been "counseled on the subject."

Conway has also violated the Hatch Act — a law barring federal employees from engaging in partisan politics in their official capacity — at least 50 times, according to a report issued by the good government group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington last October.

But the Office of Special Counsel has refused to punish Conway for the violations, about which the House Committee on Oversight and Reform held a hearing in June 2019.

"Since OSC's decision in June, it has been very obvious from Conway's continuing violations that she considers herself to be above the law. The White House will not hold Conway accountable for her violations, and instead seems to be encouraging them," Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington executive director Noah Bookbinder said in an October 2019 news release. "It is long past time for the abuses to stop."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Giuliani Contradicts Trump Claim That IRS Is Auditing His Taxes

Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said on Sunday that his client's tax returns are not being audited, exposing a lie Trump has used for years to keep his tax records secret. Trump has long said that he would release his tax returns publicly once the audits he claimed were being conducted were completed, beginning as far back as the start of his campaign for president in 2015.

Giuliani made the statement during an appearance on Fox News when he was asked about the Supreme Court ruling last week that Trump is not immune from subpoenas demanding that he turn over financial documents to Cyrus Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney.

Read Now Show less

Internal Polls Show Trump Jeopardizing Safe GOP House Seats

Republicans entered the 2020 cycle as longshots to win control of the House back after the party was unceremoniously swept out of power in the midterm elections.

But the GOP hoped to at least chip away at the Democrats' majority in November, when Democrats will be defending 31 seats Donald Trump carried in 2016.

Read Now Show less

Berman Testifies That Barr Fired Him — And Then Lied

A former top prosecutor testified under oath on Thursday that Attorney General William Barr lied about the events surrounding his departure from his job last month.

Barr had announced on June 19 that Geoffrey Berman would be resigning from his role as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Read Now Show less