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Trump Presidency


TRIBE Member
The fireworks! My dear, sweet baby Jesus. The bigliest - many people are saying, greatest - fireworks you’ve ever seen. Bigger than Chy-Nah.


TRIBE Member
Kanye VS Trump! A battle of half-wits. Look for the focus to shift from who’s less senile to who’s more bat-shit crazy.

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Trump's Tucker mind-meld

If you want to understand the rhetorical roots of Trump's Independence Day speech at Mount Rushmore, go back and watch Tucker Carlson's monologues for the past six weeks.

Between the lines: Trump — or rather his speechwriter Stephen Miller — framed the president's opposition to the Black Lives Matter protest movement using the same imagery Carlson has been laying out night after night on Fox.

Trump vs. Carlson: Below are grabs from Carlson monologues over the past month, followed by quotes from Trump's July 3 speech.

Carlson: "For more than a month, mobs of violent crazy people have roamed this country, terrorizing citizens and destroying things."
Trump: "Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our Founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities."
Carlson: "The education cartel, enforced on your children, enforces their demands."
Trump: "In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance."
Carlson: "Few people ever could have imagined that Teddy Roosevelt would be canceled. Roosevelt was the most popular president in American history."
Trump: "One of their political weapons is 'Cancel Culture.'" And in a separate part of the speech, "Theodore Roosevelt exemplified the unbridled confidence of our national culture and identity. ... The American people will never relinquish the bold, beautiful, and untamed spirit of Theodore Roosevelt."
Carlson: "For weeks we've asked, 'Who will stand up for this country?' And the answer we're learning is Americans. Americans will. It's up to them. Small groups of citizens are beginning to come forward to defend their laws, defend their history and their culture."
Trump: "They think the American people are weak and soft and submissive. But no, the American people are strong and proud, and they will not allow our country, and all of its values, history, and culture, to be taken from them."
Carlson: "The Cultural Revolution has come to the West."
Trump: "Make no mistake: This left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution."
I could go on, but you get the idea: The two are becoming indistinguishable.

Why it matters: Trump's Independence Day speech lays a marker for how he's going to campaign through to November, according to campaign advisers. Perhaps no TV host has ever had such an influential role — whether Trump's team admits it or not — in defining a president's re-election message.

Flashback: Trump has told people in recent days that he regrets following some of son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner's political advice — including supporting criminal justice reform — and will stick closer to his own instincts, three people with direct knowledge of the president's thinking tell Axios.
Carlson has become cable news' most-watched host ever, according to Nielsen data. He's also its most controversial. His show has lost numerous major advertisers in the wake of boycotts over his rhetoric about the Black Lives Matter movement.

"This may be a lot of things, this moment we are living through," Carlson said last month of the protests. "But it is definitely not about Black lives, and remember that when they come for you. And at this rate, they will."
The bottom line: If you want to know what Trump's going to say next, keep an eye on Carlson's monologues.

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Bolton's hidden aftershocks

The news media has largely moved on, but foreign government officials remain fixated on John Bolton's memoir, "The Room Where It Happened."

Why it matters: Bolton's detailed inside-the-Oval revelations have raised the blood pressure of allies who were already stressed about President Trump's unreliability.

What we're seeing: Bolton's account of Trump's disdain toward South Korea — as a freeloader whom the U.S. has no business protecting — was "met with consternation in Seoul," writes the well-sourced Sue Mi Terry in Foreign Affairs.

  • "After all, it is one thing to suspect that the president of the United States doesn’t care about your country and is simply pursuing diplomacy to get his picture in the newspaper; it is quite another to have the suspicion confirmed by one of the president's most senior advisers," she wrote.
Between the lines: South Korea is far from the only country grappling with Bolton's revelations.

  • European officials, who have spent three and a half years fretting that Trump would withdraw the U.S. from NATO, are treated to a hair-raising account of just how close Trump came to announcing he would do just that.
  • The behind-the-scenes maneuverings from Trump's team to stop that from happening suggest it's still a real possibility.
Associates of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó were also unsettled by the book, according to a source in close touch with his team. And the inner circle of Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro was ebullient about the account, according to a source briefed on their thinking.

  • Though Trump's official position is that he backs Guaidó as the legitimate leader of Venezuela, Bolton reveals that Trump has called him weak. Bolton wrote that only a few months after Trump endorsed Guaidó, he had branded him "the Beto O'Rourke of Venezuela."
  • When I spoke to Trump a few weeks ago, he told me he could have gone either way on Bolton's advice to endorse Guaidó, that he was originally inclined not to, and thought that doing so was a fairly meaningless gesture.
  • Trump also told me he would be willing to meet with Maduro. The statement sent shockwaves through Guaidó's inner circle, and Trump walked it back the day after our story published.
The big picture: We may never see another book like Bolton's. It's hard to imagine a future author who has Bolton's access, his pedantry about note-taking, and his willingness to undermine the commander in chief he served.

  • The Russian bounty story will extend Bolton's relevance. Now he's a primary player in an unfolding crisis.
  • And if Trump wins a second term, Bolton's book will have an even longer shelf life. Bolton goes further than anyone has in describing the tactics that foreign leaders and Trump's own aides use to manipulate him.
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Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Quote du jour

"The commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Sunday declined to defend President Donald Trump's unfounded claim that 99% of coronavirus cases are 'totally harmless' and repeatedly refused to say whether Trump's remark is true or false," per CNN.

  • "I'm not going to get into who is right and who is wrong," Stephen Hahn, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union."
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Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
A text from Roger

Roger Stone flashes a Nixon impression as he walks out of the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale yesterday. (Lynne Sladky/AP)
Roger Stone texted me before going to bed: "I will prevail."

Stone had hit the cable news circuit after being released on bond from a Florida courthouse, telling Fox News' Tucker Carlson:

"No matter how much pressure they put on me, no matter what they say, I will not bear false witness against Donald Trump. I will not do what Michael Cohen has done and make up lies to ease the pressure on myself."
On CNN, Chris Cuomo asked Stone if he was making the unusual move of going on the air to defend himself because he thinks Trump will pardon him.

  • Stone said: "I've never had any discussion with him or communication with him regarding that."
  • Asked if he would accept one, Stone said: "I don't expect to be convicted, so I'm not going to address it. I don't address hypothetical questions, as you know."
  • Asked if he would cut a deal to avoid a trial: "I know that I am innocent. My intention is to plead not guilty and to fight the charges, and I have had no discussion with anyone regarding a pardon."
"I believe in God. I know what I have and have not done."

  • "I have to raise $2 million through stonedefensefund.com because I’m not a wealthy man, and the legal expenses so far have been very damaging, very devastating."
What's next: Stone will be arraigned Tuesday in D.C.
Trump commutes Stone's sentence. Will serve no jail time.

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Public and private polling shows President Trump "not only trailing badly in swing states like Michigan and Wisconsin, but running closely with Mr. Biden in traditionally conservative bastions like Kansas and Montana," the N.Y. Times' Jonathan Martin reports.

  • Why it matters: Trump won each of those states by 20 points. If he's in dogfights there, his map is on fire.
Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign communications director, replied: "That’s nonsense. In our data, President Trump is strong against Joe Biden in all the states we track and which will decide the election."

  • "Our plan has always been, and remains, to retain the states the President won in 2016 and add some more to his column. We will be playing on Biden’s field in states like New Hampshire, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Nevada."
Murtaugh said the campaign’s polling shows openings based on the defunding police issue, which is “why you see us on offense in states we didn’t win in 2016."
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Staff member
That campaign speech from the rose garden was completely insane. I am really surprised they haven't removed him from office for medical reasons.
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I'm so glad he deleted his account - he'd never be able to handle the ridicule of having been quoted the day before and now this.

Apart from a reference in a Beastie Boys song, he's useless.

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Trump refuses to publicly commit to accepting election results if he loses

President Donald Trump is refusing to publicly commit to accepting the results of the upcoming White House election, recalling a similar threat he made weeks before the 2016 vote, as he scoffs at polls showing him lagging behind Democrat Joe Biden. Trump says it’s too early to make such an ironclad guarantee.

“I have to see. Look … I have to see,” Trump told moderator Chris Wallace during a wide-ranging interview on “Fox News Sunday.” “No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say no, and I didn’t last time either.” The Biden campaign responded: “The American people will decide this election. And the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.”

Trump also hammered the Pentagon brass for favouring renaming bases that honour Confederate military leaders – a drive for change spurred by the national debate about race after George Floyd’s death. “I don’t care what the military says,” the commander in chief said.

The president described the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, as a “a little bit of an alarmist” about the coronavirus pandemic, and Trump stuck to what he had said back in February – that the virus is “going to disappear.” On Fox, he said, “I’ll be right eventually.” The United States tops the global death toll list with over 140,000 and confirmed infections, with 3.7 million.

It is remarkable that a sitting president would express less than complete confidence in the American democracy’s electoral process. But for Trump, it comes from his insurgent playbook of four years ago, when in the closing stages of his race against Hillary Clinton, he said he would not commit to honouring the election results if the Democrat won.

Pressed during an October 2016 debate about whether he would abide by the voters’ will, Trump responded that he would “keep you in suspense.” The president’s remarks to Fox are certain to fuel conversation on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers had already been airing concerns in private about a scenario in which Trump disputes the election results.

Trump has seen his presidential popularity erode over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and in the aftermath of nationwide protests centred on racial injustice that erupted after Floyd’s death in Minneapolis nearly two months.

Trump contends that a series of polls that show his popularity eroding and Biden holding an advantage are faulty. He believes Republican voters are under-represented in such surveys.

“First of all, I’m not losing, because those are fake polls,” Trump said in the taped interview, which aired Sunday. “They were fake in 2016 and now they’re even more fake. The polls were much worse in 2016.”

Trump was frequently combative with Wallace in defending his administration’s response to the pandemic, weighing in on the Black Lives Matter movement and trying to portray Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, as lacking the mental prowess to serve as president.

Among the issues discussed was the push for wholesale changes in policing that has swept across the nation. Trump said he could understand why Black Americans are upset about how police use force disproportionately against them.

“Of course I do. Of course I do,” the president said, adding his usual refrain that “whites are also killed, too.”

He said he was “not offended either by Black Lives Matter,” but at the same time defended the Confederate flag, a symbol of the racism of the past, and said those who “proudly have their Confederate flags, they’re not talking about racism.”

“They love their flag, it represents the South, they like the South. That’s freedom of speech. And you know, the whole thing with `cancel culture,' we can’t cancel our whole history. We can’t forget that the North and the South fought. We have to remember that, otherwise we’ll end up fighting again. You can’t just cancel all,” Trump said.

Wallace challenged Trump on some of his claims and called out the president at time, such as when Trump falsely asserted that “Biden wants to defund the police.” The former vice-president has not joined with activists rallying behind that banner. He has proposed more money for police, conditioned to improvements in their practices.

Trump continues to insist that Biden “signed a charter” with one of his primary rivals on the left, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. At one point in the interview, Trump calls on aides to bring him documentation to support his assertion. Trump, however, is unable to point to language from a Biden-Sanders task force policy document released this month by the Biden campaign.

Trump stood behind his pledge to veto a $740-billion defence bill over a requirement that the Defence Department change the names of bases named for Confederate military leaders. That list includes Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Hood in Texas and Fort Benning in Georgia.

The president argued there were no viable alternatives if the government ever tried. “We’re going to name it after the Reverend Al Sharpton?” Trump asked, referring to a prominent civil rights leader. “What are you going to name it?”

Trump, 74, stuck to a campaign charge that Biden, 77, is unable to handle the rigours of the White House because of his age. As for polls showing the incumbent is trailing, Trump noted he was thought to be behind for much of the 2016 contest. “I won’t lose,” he predicted.

The president and top advisers have long accused Biden of using the pandemic as an excuse to stay in “his basement” in his Delaware home. Biden has indeed shifted much of his campaign online, but frequently travels in Delaware and Pennsylvania, organizing speeches and small gatherings with voters and community leaders that are within driving distance of his home. Biden’s campaign says it will begin resuming normal travel and campaign activities, but only when health officials and state and local authorities say it is safe.

Questioned about the coronavirus, Trump chided Fauci, the National Institutes of Health expert, and repeated false claims that anybody could get a test and that increased testing was the only reason that the U.S. was seeing more cases. When Wallace cited criticism about the lack of a national plan to confront the virus, Trump said, “I take responsibility always for everything because it’s ultimately my job, too,” and claimed, “I supplied everybody.”

Cases are rising because people are infecting each other more than they were when most everyone was hunkered down. The percentage of tests coming back positive for the virus has been on the rise across nearly the entire country.
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