Misadventures of a minority-elect President 6

Still refusing to answer questions by deflecting and distracting, more Trump lies, anti-Semitic attacks on the rise since Trump’s popular vote losing victory, more on Trump’s Russian quagmire and the miscreant he “fired,” Trump’s delusional dipshittery continues – speaking volumes about his narcissistic insecurity, Trump’s growing desperation, a conspiracy to impeach Trump and more.

Abbreviated pundit roundup: Trump’s tantrum article from the Daily Kos. –

Trump and McConnell inadvertently make the rock solid case for NOT confirming Supreme Court nominee article from the Daily Kos. –

How could things get worse for Trump? article from the Washington Post. –

“President Trump is flailing like a man who fears he’s about to go under, and he hasn’t even been in office a full month. His instinct is to flee to the warmth and comfort of his political base — but he will learn that while presidents can run, they can’t hide.

Trump’s administration faces two acute, interlocking crises: serious questions about his campaign’s contacts with official and unofficial representatives of the Russian government, which U.S. intelligence agencies believe made concerted efforts to help Trump win the election; and appalling levels of dysfunction in the White House that make self-inflicted wounds the rule rather than the exception.

The president’s response has been to rant on Twitter and schedule a campaign-style rally Saturday in Florida — both of which may boost Trump’s morale but will do nothing to make his problems go away…”

Trump was asked repeatedly if his campaign was in contact with Russia. He wouldn’t answer article from Think Progress. –

“This week, two media organizations reported that the Trump campaign was in contact with Russian officials.

CNN, citing “multiple current and former intelligence, law enforcement and administration officials,” reported that “High-level advisers close to then-presidential nominee Donald Trump were in constant communication during the campaign with Russians known to US intelligence.”

The New York Times, citing “four current and former American officials,” reported that “members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials.”

Trump has derided both reports as “fake news.”

In a press conference this afternoon, Trump was asked directly if he “could say definitively that nobody on your campaign had any contact with the Russians during the campaign.”

Trump’s response lasted 3 minutes and 34 seconds, but he never answered the question…”

Exclusive: Classified Memo Tells Intelligence Analysts to Keep Trump’s Daily Brief Short article from Mother Jones. –

“Keep it short and free of nuance—that is the new guidance that has recently circulated to some intelligence analysts who compile materials for the President’s Daily Brief on security threats around the globe.

The classified guidance, which was reviewed by Mother Jones, suggests that President Donald Trump’s daily national security briefing contains far less information than the daily reports presented by the intelligence community to past presidents—and about a quarter of the information President Barack Obama received. The memo sent to certain analysts within the intelligence community notes that the commander in chief’s daily briefing book typically contains reports on only three topics, typically no more than one page each. According to the guidance, Trump’s PDB also includes space for a short update, presumably on matters brought up in previous briefs. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the process of producing the PDB, declined to comment on the memo. The White House did not respond to a request for comment…”

Why Trump Can’t Come Clean on Russia article from Mother Jones. –

“There is an old chestnut that gets tossed out whenever a scandal hits: It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up. The saying traces back to Watergate. Sen. Howard Baker, the top Republican on the Senate Watergate committee, once noted, “It is almost always the cover-up rather than the event that causes trouble.” This week, following the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn, NBC News’ Chuck Todd was one of many who quipped, “It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up.” And that was certainly a significant element of the Flynn imbroglio: Flynn had lied about his December conversation with the Russian ambassador, concealing the fact that they had discussed the sanctions President Barack Obama had just levied on Russia as punishment for its covert efforts to swing the 2016 election to Trump. But in this case the bigger scandal at hand is not a cover-up. It is the thing itself: the connections between the Trump camp and Moscow during the campaign, when Vladimir Putin was trying to subvert American democracy.

Certainly, the Trump campaign has strived mightily to smother this potentially explosive scandal. Here’s a partial account.

* Days after the election, Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview that “there were contacts” between the Trump team and the Kremlin. He noted, “Obviously, we know most of the people from his entourage.” Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks immediately said the campaign had “no contact with Russian officials” before the election.

* At Trump’s January 11 press conference, a reporter asked him, “Can you stand here today, once and for all, and say that no one connected to you or your campaign had any contact with Russia leading up to or during the presidential campaign?” Trump did not reply. But after the press conference ended and Trump was leaving, he did answer that query with a firm “no…”

Trump got caught in a lie. Instead of owning it, he blamed somebody else article from Think Progress. –

Our minority-elect liar-in-chief is incapable of telling the truth:

“Sometimes his petty lies are the most revealing.

Before he took questions during his Thursday news conference, President Trump revisited one of his favorite topics — his electoral college victory over Hillary Clinton.

As he’s done in the past, Trump exaggerated.

“I’m here following through on what I pledged to do — that’s all I’m doing,” Trump said. “I put it out before the American people, got 306 electoral college votes. I wasn’t supposed to get 222.” (Trump actually received 304.)

“I guess it was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan,” he added…”

(It wasn’t)

Trump Was Asked About the Rise in Anti-Semitic Attacks Since His Election—His Answer Was Horrifying article from AlterNet. –

“Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric has mired his administration in scandal and legal turmoil. But on Wednesday, it was what he didn’t say that left the media and liberal Americans aghast.

During a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the president was asked the following:

“Mr. President, since your election campaign and even after your victory, we’ve seen a sharp rise in the anti-Semitic incidents across the United States, and I wonder, what do you say to those among the Jewish community in the states and Israel, and maybe around the world, who believe and feel that your administration is playing with xenophobia and maybe racist tones?”

Rather than answer the question or address the anxieties of the American Jewish community, Trump chose instead to talk about his Electoral College victory…”

Remember Nixon? There’s history behind Trump’s press attacks article from Yahoo! News. –

“WASHINGTON (AP) — Thomas Jefferson railed against newspapers as “polluted vehicles” of falsehood and error. Richard Nixon tangled with reporters in the toxic atmosphere of Watergate, considering them the “enemy.” Bill Clinton publicly condemned “purveyors of hatred and division” on the public air waves.

Historians can point to plenty of past presidents who have sparred with the press. But they’re hard-pressed to find anything that approaches the all-out attack on the media that President Donald Trump seems intent on escalating at every turn.

“There has never been a kind of holistic jihad against the news media like Trump is executing,” said Rice University historian Douglas Brinkley. “Trump is determined to beat and bloody the press whenever he finds himself in a hole, and that’s unique.”

Trump, who has long had an adversarial relationship with the media, opened a 77-minute East Room news conference Thursday by saying he hoped to “get along a little bit better” with the press going forward — “if that’s possible…”

What Happens When A President Doesn’t Like To Read? We’re Already Finding Out article from the Huffington Post. –

Maybe it’s because he can’t read?

“Back what seems like years ago, when former President of the United States Barack Obama surprised Joe Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he invited the Vice President to step up to the podium and give an off-the-cuff acceptance speech. Biden proceeded to, from memory, quote a line from Harry Truman, a lyric from Irish poet Seamus Heaney, and a passage from the Talmud. In the moment, it was a brief but stark reminder of what was about to leave the White House – an administration that valued literature, led by one of the biggest book worms the Oval Office has ever seen – and what was about to hurl itself in. The new occupant, to say the least, does not share the same passion.

Donald Trump doesn’t read books, and it’s not something he’s embarrassed about. When Megyn Kelly asked him during the campaign what the last book he read was, Trump responded “I read passages, I read areas, chapters, I don’t have the time.” The fact is, the words of other people don’t matter too much to him. In his 70-minute convention speech, Trump did not quote a single person other than himself, not even an out-of-context Bible verse or Reagan quip…”

In Flynn’s Fall, Signs Of Potentially Deeper Problem In Trump’s White House article from NPR. –

“President Trump and his inner circle have reached their first crisis with the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn, but the crisis extends well beyond one empty chair in one critical moment.

Everything that has happened surrounding Flynn’s abrupt departure illustrates the larger troubles of the nascent administration. The president has made a great show of energy and excitement with a flurry of executive orders and meetings with foreign leaders. Yet the front pages were dominated by the backstory about the intense competition among the president’s top aides for his favor and attention.

Press secretary Sean Spicer said Flynn had lost the president’s confidence because of an “erosion of trust.” But an atmosphere of distrust pervades in the 2017 White House, bred in part by the personal rivalries and competing visions at the level just below the president…”

Their brand is crisis article from the Boston Globe. –

Trump’s media bias survey sparks online battle between fans and critics article from Yahoo! News. –

The Trump cabal’s dubious attempts to rig a survey for his supporters went wrong.

President Donald Trump Praises Himself on Twitter for His ‘Unhinged” Press Conference article from Yahoo! News. –

And the delusional dipshittery continues:

“President Donald Trump took to Twitter to congratulate himself for his Thursday press conference, citing conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

Trump called his first solo press conference as president to announce his new pick for labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, after his first pick, embattled fast-food executive Andrew Puzder, withdrew on Wednesday. It turned into a sparring match between Trump and members of the media, lasting over an hour.

“Thank you for all of the nice statements on the Press Conference yesterday,” the president wrote on Twitter Friday morning. “Rush Limbaugh said one of greatest ever. Fake media not happy!”

Limbaugh praised Trump’s performance on his nationally syndicated radio show, saying it was exactly what the president’s supporters wanted to hear…”

Trump’s confusion about the ‘mess’ he inherited matters article by Rachel Maddow from MSNBC. –

“In 2009, President Obama took office under the worst circumstances of any modern president, but he wasn’t supposed to mention it. Any references to his predecessor or the crises he found waiting for him in the Oval Office were met with swift rebukes from Republicans and much of the media: Obama was to look forward and solve problems, not point at George W. Bush.

Eight years later, Donald Trump shared a message with reporters.

“To be honest, I inherited a mess – it’s a mess – at home and abroad. A mess. Jobs are pouring out of the country. You see what’s going on with all of the companies leaving our country, going to Mexico and other places – low-pay, low-wages. Mass instability overseas, no matter where you look. The Middle East, a disaster. North Korea – we’ll take care of it, folks. We’re going to take care of it all. I just want to let you know I inherited a mess.”

Stephen Colbert joked last night, in a message to the president, “No, you inherited a fortune. We elected a mess.”

To be sure, there’s no point in fact-checking every individual detail Trump struggles to understand, but it’s worth emphasizing a simple truth: the president doesn’t know how good he has it. Trump took office at a time of low unemployment, steady economic growth, the lowest uninsured rate on record, low crime, low inflation, a modest deficit, a rising stock market, and a country that’s broadly respected around the world…”

The Conspiracy To Impeach Trump article from the Huffington Post. –

“In the cascade of Trumpish news, one story stands out. The withdrawal under fire by Labor Secretary nominee Andy Puzder is a canary in the coal mine. The indications are not good news for Trump. It’s not the lefty Dems who are taking aim, it’s traditional conservatives. With an agenda and the power to make him disappear.

There have been missteps aplenty: Flynn, Putin, the immigration exec order, junking the two-state solution, the Ivanka/Nordstrom’s hoohah, Bannon and the alt-right. It’s a target rich environment. As much as Trump wants to blame lefty politics, questions of competence and integrity keep flaring up, and Republicans are edging away from him.

In a traditional political analysis, Trump can’t sustain the current trend. But traditional political analyses failed miserably when applied to Trump last year and there’s no evidence they’re still valid now. There’s no evidence that all the missteps have cost him support from the folks who voted for him. It’s stirred up the same people who never liked him, but the base seems intact.

Comes the Puzder debacle. He was a bad choice to lead a department committed to protecting workers rights. And there was a spate of personal and political vulnerabilities that kept growing. But his demise was caused by a strange set of conservative defections from the Trump coalition…”

Donald Trump’s unpopularity runs into ‘Limbaugh Standard’ article from Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. –

Trump’s popularity hits a new low.

Republicans in Congress gambled on Trump and won. Here’s why they’re worried now article from the Los Angeles Times. –

“The relationship between President Trump and GOP leaders in Congress started as a marriage of convenience, thrown together by necessity and sustained on the promise of pushing a Republican agenda into law.

Until recently, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tolerated Trump’s turbulent debut because they agreed with the direction the White House was heading — or were confident they could nudge it in the desired one.

Many Republicans backed Trump’s travel ban, despite the rocky rollout. They support upending Obama-era regulations and raved about Trump’s Supreme Court nominee…”

Besieged Trump lashes out at mainstream media: ‘The enemy of the American People!’ article from Yahoo! News. –

Poor Donnie is confused as to who the real enemy of the American people really is:

“President Trump posted an inflammatory tweet Friday calling the news media “the enemy of the American People.”

“The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” he declared from South Florida, where he is staying for the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate…”

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