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Anthony Scaramucci Defends Trump's Constant Deception—Because It's Not 'Absolute Lying'

June 1, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

This is the new “alternative facts.”


President Donald Trump's former communications director Anthony Scaramucci on MSNBC Friday evening defended the president's frequent and excessive lying by saying he simply has a unique “communication style.” Trump's tendency to embellish, Scaramucci argued, is not the same as the “absolute lying” that the media accuses him of.

The topic came up on the show “The Beat,” when filmmaker Rob Reiner asked Scaramucci why Trump “lies all the time.” 

“There's different shades of that,” Scaramucci said. “He is an embellisher of stories, he is a macro-wave surfer, if you will. And so he will tell a big tale and a big story, and so now the media is conflating that with absolute lying.”

Scaramucci didn't explain what “absolute lying” is. But Trump does demonstrably lie all the time and has done so in public for years. He has even written about how lying is a strategy to get what he wants.

Scaramucci continued: “Sometimes you let a story get embellished and the facts go a little bit away from the story, that's what the president has done.”

But Trump doesn't just lie about the little things, or round up numbers to puff up arguments for his own views — though he does do that. He lied about knowing about a hush money payment to the porn star who says she slept with the president, which relates to a serious legal case against him. He lied when he said he was going to sue all the women who have made sexual misconduct claims against him. And when he was sued for defrauding the “students” of Trump University — a criminal form of lying — he eventually settled the case for $25 million.

These are just a few examples — there are countless others, of varying levels of seriousness, as outlets like the Washington Post have tirelessly documented. Scaramucci's defense of this unending torrent of deception as mere “embellishment” is as ridiculous as Kellyanne Conway's appeal to “alternative facts.”

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New York Times Deletes Tweet After Getting Slammed for Ridiculous False Equivalency Between Trump and Obama on Race

June 1, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

The backlash was swift and biting.


The New York Times posted a tweet to promote a new story comparing the different ways the presidencies of Barack Obama and Donald Trump as they relate to racism in the United States — and the paper quickly regretted it. 

In the since-deleted tweet, the Times wrote: “Obama offered balm. Trump drops verbal bombs. But both were accused, in a polarized country, of making racial tensions worse.”

The blowback was immediate, and the tweet, which linked to this article, was quickly removed. Twitter slammed the paper's egregious false equivalency in the tweet.

“Go home you are drunk,” was Twitter user Southpaw's response. Others parodied the tweet's equivocation between those who call out Trump's blatant racism and the racists who attacked the country's first black president for making “racial tensions” worse.

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Source: ALTERNET

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'Insulting And Unacceptable': Justin Trudeau Delivers Stunning Rebuke of Trump Labeling Canada a National Security Threat

June 1, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

“The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable.”


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is speaking is defiant terms about President Donald Trump's decision to levy tariffs against the United States' northern ally, a policy that requires invoking laws to essentially declare Canadian trade with the U.S. to be a national security threat.

This fact — and Trump's inability to communicate his fundamental objectives in the negotiations — have been frustrating and “insulting” to the prime minister. 

“The idea that our soldiers, who have fought and died together on the beaches of World War II, on the mountains of Afghanistan, and have stood shoulder to shoulder in some of the most difficult places in the world, that are always there for each other, somehow … this is insulting to them. The idea that the Canadian steel that's in military vehicles in the United States, the Canadian aluminum that makes your fighter jets, is somehow now a 'threat'…” he said in an interview with MSNBC's Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press.”

“Next week, we're hosting a summit of the G-7 of world leaders, and the airfield, the military base that Air Force One is going to land in was put there in World War II to protect an aluminum smelter that was providing to the military effort,” Trudeau added. “The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable.”

Asked what he thought Trump wanted with these heavy-handed tactics, Trudeau offered a surprising answer: “I don't know.”

He continued: “The reason I don't know is because he's talked about the fact of this, he's worried about trade surpluses, trade deficits around the world. Well, they have a $2 billion surplus on steel with us. So it's not like the trade is imbalanced against the U.S. favor on this.”

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GOP Senate Majority Leader Warns Trump Could Get 'Snookered' by North Korea

June 1, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

Trump announced that a summit is back on Friday — but members of his party still have concerns.


President Donald Trump is clearly eager to achieve a major deal in negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, but a top GOP senator is warning that his eagerness may give Kim the upper hand. If Trump is too quick to deal, the United States could end up giving away the store.

“If you fall in love with a deal, and it’s too important for you to get it, and the details become less significant, you could get snookered,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Friday.

Trump later announced that the summit with Kim scheduled for June 12 in Singapore is back on after he had canceled the meeting last week. 

McConnell is not the first to warn that Trump may agree too quickly to a deal with North Korea and that the United States and others may find themselves much worse off because of it. 

In his statement about the meeting, though, Trump signaled that he's willing to take his time with the negotiations, suggesting he views the summit as the beginning of a much longer process, rather than a quick win. This may give Trump and his advisers more time to work out the crucial details of the plan without giving too much away.

“We are going to start a process,” Trump said. “And I told them today: take your time. We can go fast, we can go slowly.”

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Lawyer Reveals Trump Could Already Be Under Sealed Indictment — And Not Even Know It

June 1, 2018 in Blogs

By Elizabeth Preza, AlterNet

A group of lawyers suggest special counsel Robert Mueller might already have the goods on Trump.


An attorney in Berkeley, California on Friday released a report suggesting Donald Trump is under sealed indictment—and doesn’t even know it.

According to RawStory, Alexander Stern compiled the report, which consisted ofopinions from eight leading criminal law professors regarding special cousnel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. Their conclusion: A sealed indictment would ameliorate concerns about a presidential indictment distracting Trump from his duties.

“The Department of Justice says prosecuting a sitting president can impermissibly distract him,” Stern wrote. “However, indictments under seal, remove this fear.” 

Stern told Raw Story a sealed indictment would “[set] the process in motion formally” and “[empower] the courts to have authority” over Trump.

“Perhaps if Mr. Mueller is fired or otherwise leaves his post, the judicial branch will have jurisdiction and they are not beholden to Mr. Trump,” Stern explained.

“An early indictment by Mr. Mueller does not relinquish any power or ability to investigate,” Stern wrote. “It merely empowers a different branch (the judiciary) with jurisdiction over the defendant. If the indictment is sealed, Mr. Mueller could proceed with the investigation as if there were no indictment at all. In the event he wishes to add new charges, he can simply seek a ‘superseding indictment.’ This is basically a second indictment that takes the place of the first once new information is found and prosecutors wish to change the scope of the prosecution.”

Read the full analysis at Attorney IO.

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Source: ALTERNET