SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
CIA Director John Brennan on Wednesday criticized Congress for voting to override President Obama’s veto of a bill that would let families of 9/11 victims sue Saudi Arabia, calling them “misguided.”
“I find it hard to believe that they are supporting this override when I think many of them understand what the impact is going to be on U.S. national security issues,” Brennan said during the Aspen Ideas Festival in Washington.
His remarks came just hours after the Senate voted to override Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) and shortly before the House followed suit.
Brennan called the legislation “badly misguided,” noting that the 9/11 Commission report found no evidence linking the Saudi government to the terrorist attacks.
Other countries, Brennan argued, would be compelled to enact similar laws that would harm U.S. interests abroad.
“Foreign governments are going to start to pass similar types of legislation that is going to haul the United States into court overseas even for the most frivolous charges and allegations,” he said.
Brennan also said that the Saudis are now “among our best counterterrorism partners around the world” and that the legislation could cause them to pull their investments out of the U.S. for fear that they would be vulnerable to lawsuits under the law.
The CIA director said he had made a visit to Capitol Hill earlier in the day. He released a statementjust before the vote Wednesday, acknowledging the emotional baggage that the issue carried.
“The events of that September day will stay with us forever,” Brennan said in the statement. “I can only imagine the lasting anguish that the families of the victims must feel, and I sympathize with their devoted efforts to find justice,” he said in a statement.
“However, I believe that the ‘Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act’ (JASTA) will have grave implications for the national security of the United States. The most damaging consequence would be for those US Government officials who dutifully work overseas on behalf of our country.”
By Harper Neidig
Trump supporters are at it again.
Just a day after The Arizona Republic paper endorsed its first ever Democrat for President, the paper has received death threats and countless cancellations.
“The Arizona Republic says it has received death threats and countless subscription cancelations over its endorsement of Hillary Clinton — the first time in the paper’s 126 year history it has ever supported a Democrat for president,” local 12News reported.
Phil Boas, director of the Arizona Republic’s editorial page said it had been crazy around there but it should have been expected as the paper had been giving Trump scathing coverage. He added, “We’re getting a lot of reaction both locally and national. I don’t believe true readers of the editorial page are surprised by this at all, because over the past year we have been writing scathing, scalding articles about Donald Trump.”
Boas explained, “The things he has done, making fun of disabled people and rolling back press freedoms. You know a guy who would do that and crush our freedoms in one area will do it in others as well.”
The Arizona paper endorsed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for president on Tuesday, the first time in its 125-year history it has ever endorsed a Democrat. They wrote decisively, “The 2016 Republican candidate is not conservative and he is not qualified.”
Instead of rethinking the choice to support Donald Trump, his supporters took yet another cue from their leader and resorted to threats of violence.
This is just one more reason why Donald Trump is a menace to this country. If Donald Trump is elected, not only will we have a crush of our freedoms as Mr. Boas explained, but we will live with this kind of violence being condoned from the highest office in the land.
Donald Trump claims he’s running for “law and order”, but he does all that he can to incite violence and create chaos and disorder.
President Barack Obama said there are “dangers” to Donald Trump’s rhetoric on Muslims on Wednesday, saying it represented a “slippery slope.”
Actually, Obama denied that he was referring specifically to Trump during a CNN town hall for service members at Fort Lee, Virginia. But he spoke about the risks involved when people “aspiring to become president get loose with this language.”
Those dangers, Obama said, “you can see in some of the language that we use — in talking about Muslim-Americans here and the notion that somehow we’d start having religious tests in who can come in the country and who’s investigated and whether the Bill of Rights applies to them in the same way.”
Trump has at times proposed banning all Muslims from entering the United States, a notion that Obama has frequently attacked as anathema to American values. More recently, Trump has said he would impose “extreme vetting” and an ideological test for people who want to enter the United States, as well as ban entry for people from certain states affected by terrorism.
When asked by CNN host Jake Tapper whether he was referring to Trump, Obama demurred.
“It’s not unique to the Republican nominee,” Obama said. “And, again, I’m trying to be careful. We’re on a military base. I don’t want to insert partisan politics into this.”
Obama continued, “I think that there have been a number of public figures where you start hearing commentary that is dangerous because what it starts doing is it starts dividing us up as Americans.”
The president then noted that at Arlington National Cemetery, graves of fallen soldiers have crosses, Stars of David and crescents. That reference was reminiscent of the Khan family, who spoke about their Muslim son while excoriating Trump at the Democratic National Convention in July. Trump responded by going after the Gold Star family.
Obama’s comments were something of a pivot away from the central question of another Gold Star mother at the town hall meeting. Her 19-year-old son died in Baghdad in 2007, and she asked Obama why he refused to use the term “Islamic terrorist.” It’s a criticism Trump and other Republicans have lobbed at the president as well.
Obama told her the issue is “sort of manufactured” because he has acknowleged that groups like Al Qaeda and ISIL have “perverted and distorted” Islam.
Obama has explained that he does not want to legitimize terrorists by saying they speak for the billions of peaceful Muslims around the world. However, he adopted a novel, more personal example to illustrate his point.
“If you had an organization that was going around killing and blowing people up and said we’re on the vanguard of Christianity,” Obama said, “as a Christian, I’m not going to let them claim my religion and say you’re killing for Christ. I would say that’s ridiculous. That’s not what my religion stands for. Call these folks what they are, which is killers and terrorists.”
Conservative media figures are responding to former Miss Universe Alicia Machado’s statements that Donald Trump called her “Miss Piggy” and publicly humiliated her for gaining weight by accusing her of being a “porn star.” It is unclear why Trump’s behavior would be mitigated by Machado later performing in adult films, but those claims nonetheless appear to be false.
During the first presidential debate, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton pointed to Trump’s record of mistreating women, specifically highlighting his attacks Machado. Trump, who owned the Miss Universe pageant from 1996 to 2015, doubled down the morning after the debate on the September 27 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, saying Machado had “gained a massive amount of weight and it was a real problem.” Trump supporters have sought to explain away Trump’s actions by seeking to undermine Machado’s character.
In a September 27 article headlined, “Porn Star Campaigns For Hillary Clinton,” the Daily Caller falsely reported that “Snippets of an adult film starring Machado are available on multiple free porn websites.” While the headline remains the same, that language has been removed from the article, which now states that she “is in a sextape” that was released in 2005.
The article features the correction, “The star of Apprentass 4 was Angel Dark, not Alicia Machado.” While the correction is nonspecific, it appears that the Caller based the entire premise of their claim that Machado is a “porn star” on the incorrect belief that she was featured in that film. According to The Daily Beast, whichreported on conservatives’ smear effort against Machado, “there does not appear to be any evidence suggesting the existence of professionally made pornography starring Machado.”
While the article no longer cites an example of her appearing in an adult film, it still baselessly claims that Machado made an “appearance in porn” and has a “background in pornography.”
The apparently unsubstantiated claim that Machado appeared in adult films rocketed through Trump’s supporters in the right-wing media. Rush Limbaugh opened his September 28 radio show by describing Machado as the “porn star Miss Piggy.” Fox News’ Sean Hannity claimed on his radio show “that she may have starred in an adult film, and available apparently on multiple free porn websites according to the Daily Caller.” He also said that Machado is “in all these porn videos” during an interview with Eric Trump. And CNN’s Jeffrey Lord repeatedly described Machado as a “porn star” in an American Spectator article headlined“Hillary’s Bad Judgement: Exploits Porn Star Surrogate.”
This effort to shame Machado into silence would be despicable even if it were true. But it appears that the entire smear campaign is also completely false.
NEW YORK ― The Arizona Republic’s editorial board didn’t struggle much with the decision to break with more than 120 years of tradition.
“In the end, it was an easy decision because of watching Donald Trump throughout this election,” said Nicole Carroll, the paper’s editor and vice president for news. Trump’s statements, actions, and “how he conducts himself,” she said, left the conservative editorial board “no choice but to endorse Hillary Clinton.”
Carroll stressed Wednesday that the paper’s endorsement of a Democratic nominee ― the first in its 126-year history ― was an affirmative recommendation of Clinton and not simply an anti-Trump stance. Indeed, editors touted Clinton’s “steady hand, a cool head and the ability to think carefully before acting.” Trump, they wrote, “is not conservative and he is not qualified.”
The Arizona Republic’s board is the latest in a string of conservative editorial boards who broke with precedent to back Clinton.
The Dallas Morning News endorsed Clinton earlier this month, making her the first Democratic nominee in more than 75 years to win the paper’s approval. “There is only one serious candidate on the presidential ballot in November,” the editors wrote. Last week, the Cincinnati Enquirer broke a nearly century-long streak. The paper, located in the critical swing state of Ohio, described Trump as “a clear and present danger to our country.”
The New Hampshire Union Leader and Richmond Times-Dispatch, which have endorsed Republicans for a century and more than three decades, respectively, chose Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. The Tulsa World, meanwhile, decided not to endorse anyone after more than 75 years supporting Republicans.
Trump struggled throughout the 2016 election to win over the more sober and intellectually rigorous columnists and commentators on the right. Most prominent conservative writers and pundits sided with Trump’s rivals during the Republican primary due to everything from his erratic temperament to racially insensitive views to his break with party orthodoxy. Some have continued waving the “Never Trump” banner into the general election.
During the primary race, Trump won only a couple significant newspaper endorsements. He received a lukewarm April endorsement from Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post, which noted the candidate’s “amateurish, divisive” and “downright coarse” language. The New York Observer, a weekly paper owned by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, endorsed him days later. (Trump also won the support of theNational Enquirer).
Those three publications will likely remain in Trump’s corner and it’s possible he’ll pick up a few other endorsements, such as the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. But Clinton will surely win the overwhelming majority of newspaper endorsements, not only because more lean left, but because it’s becoming clear many conservative boards won’t stand behind Trump.
Newspaper endorsements have arguably have less clout with each passing presidential cycle, especially as the media landscape becomes increasingly fragmented. And Trump was clearly successful in winning votes during the Republican primary without them, even as Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio racked up endorsements.
“Editorial boards do not pick presidents,” former top Rubio adviser Alex Conant told The Huffington Post. “At the most local level, they have a fair amount of influence. At the state level, they have some influence. At the presidential level, I think it’s minimal.”
Still, Conant said he believed some endorsements were beneficial in the primary. “For the Des Moines Register to endorse [Rubio], and say he was experienced enough to be president of the United States, was helpful,” he said. Whether or not the endorsement swayed Iowa voters, Conant said it “resulted in a lot of really good publicity at a point in the race where we needed all the good publicity we could get.”
Similarly, Conant suggested the trend of center-right editorial boards endorsing Clinton could bring positive coverage, even if it doesn’t necessarily translate to votes.
John Weaver, a top Kasich strategist, told HuffPost that winning all the important New Hampshire endorsements ― except the Union Leader ― and the nearby Boston Globe helped boost his candidate’s name recognition and visibility. Kasich finished second in the state’s primary.
Weaver doesn’t believe newspapers endorsements have the same sway as they did even four years ago ― and certainly not four decades back ― but he suggested support from Republican-backing newspapers may help Clinton in swing states.
“I believe those do matter,” he said, “especially in a tight race when there are thoughtful Republicans [and] particularly suburban, college-educated Republicans struggling with their choice.”
CREDIT: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
Weeks after Hillary Clinton notoriously said that half of opponent Donald Trump’s supporters could be placed into a “basket of deplorables,” a new poll reinforces the point she was making.
According to a Langer Research Associates survey, 38 percent of Trump supporters think minorities have too much influence in American society. Despite the fact that white men constitute 80 percent of Congress while only comprising 31 percent of the country’s population, the survey found that 21 percent of Trump supporters actually think white people don’t have enough influence.
On the other hand, 67 percent of Clinton supporters think minorities have too little influence, and just seven percent think whites don’t have enough.
Trump and Clinton supporters also diverge in their views on how much power women currently have in America. Twenty-one percent of Trump supporters think women have too little power, compared to 58 percent of Clinton supporters.
“Controlling for demographics, partisanship, ideology and presidential approval, seeing too little influence for whites and men and too much influence for minorities and women independently predicts support for Trump,” a summary of the poll says. “Other than disapproval of Barack Obama, which is by far the best predictor of support for Trump, views of group influence have a similar effect as partisanship, ideology and race.”
Polls conducted earlier this year found that 65 percent of Trump supporters believe Obama is a Muslim; 59 percent believe Obama wasn’t born in the United States; 40 percent believe blacks are more “lazy” than whites; 31 percent support banning homosexuals from the country; 16 percent believe whites are a superior race; and 20 percent disagree with Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed Southern slaves.
For context, Clinton’s comment about “the basket of deplorables” — those with “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, [and] Islamophobic ” views — was directed toward 50 percent of Trump supporters. That’s a greater percentage than those who believe minorities currently have too much power according to the new poll, but a lesser percentage than those who believe Obama is a Muslim — a quickly discredited conspiracy theory that nonetheless brought Trump to national political prominence.
Donald Trump campaign spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway walked into a buzzsaw Wednesday night on the normally welcome Fox News network, only to have Megyn Kelly blitz her with a rundown on Trump’s lifelong history of demeaning and smearing women.
As Conway attempted to reframe Monday night’s debate, the Fox News host cut her off and took issue when the Trump campaign manager complained about Clinton running “not nice” ads against Trump.
“Kellyanne, come on,” Kelly said to her as she were a child. “It’s not nice? They are running for president! Of course she going to hit him with negative ads. The ads that she is running about him, when it comes to his comments about women, use his words, Kellyanne.”
When Conway tried to change the subject and ask why Clinton wasn’t running ads detailing her vision instead of picking on Trump, the Fox host jumped all over her.
“Because there are two facets of a campaign!” Kelly shot back. “You know that better than anybody. You hit your opponent and disqualify him or her and then you sell your own vision. I mean, she’s allowed to hit him with negative ads and he should be hitting her right back, should he not?”
The Fox host also smacked down Conway’s assertion that Trump has made a “few comments about women over the years.”
“You know that’s not true,” Kelly lectured her. “You know he has repeatedly made comments about women. About their looks, about their size, their weight. Even in this campaign, about Carly Fiorina’s face, retweeting a negative picture about Heidi Cruz’s face, criticizing Hillary Clinton and her ‘look.’ And, Kellyanne, this is an issue for him.”
Watch the video below via Mediaite on YouTube:
Credit: Getty Image
Donald Trump uttered a lot of nonsense last night — and according to Jeremy Peters of The New York Times, the person we should blame is Hillary Clinton:
Time after time, Mrs. Clinton passed up the opportunity to correct Mr. Trump on his misstatements and his frequent stretching of the truth.
In a typical exchange, Mrs. Clinton tried to refute Mr. Trump as he boasted of how he would have the greatest tax plan since Ronald Reagan. “That can’t be left to stand,” she said. “I kind of assumed there would be a lot of these charges and claims.”
But Mr. Trump quickly cut her off. “Facts,” he said. The conversation quickly moved on.
You’d never know from Peters’s description that Clinton actually did refute Trump, or that any haste or lack of completeness in her refutation resulted not only from Trump’s hectoring but from Lester Holt making one of his rare efforts to actually play moderator.
Trump evoked Reagan, said his plan would be full of tax cuts and deregulation, and asserted that Clinton’s plan would raise taxes and increase regulations. Here’s what happened after that:
HOLT: Let me get you to pause right there, because we’re going to move into — we’re going to move into the next segment. We’re going to talk taxes…
CLINTON: That can’t — that can’t be left to stand.
HOLT: Please just take 30 seconds and then we’re going to go on.
CLINTON: I kind of assumed that there would be a lot of these charges and claims, and so…
CLINTON: So we have taken the home page of my website, HillaryClinton.com, and we’ve turned it into a fact-checker. So if you want to see in real-time what the facts are, please go and take a look. Because what I have proposed…
TRUMP: And take a look at mine, also, and you’ll see.
CLINTON: … would not add a penny to the debt, and your plans would add $5 trillion to the debt. What I have proposed would cut regulations and streamline them for small businesses. What I have proposed would be paid for by raising taxes on the wealthy, because they have made all the gains in the economy. And I think it’s time that the wealthy and corporations paid their fair share to support this country.
So she did refute him — just not hard enough to satisfy Peters.
Oh, but this is my favorite Peters assertion:
There were times he made up his own facts. And Mrs. Clinton did not take the opportunities she had to prove him wrong.
She could have corrected Mr. Trump after he interrupted her to falsely claim that she was inaccurate in saying that murders in New York City were down.
Did you follow that? Peters is chastising Clinton because she didn’t rebut Trump’s assertions about crime in New York City after she’d already rebutted them. In other words, as far as Peters was concerned, it wasn’t enough that Clinton asserted that the murder rate in New York City is down — it didn’t count as a rebuttal because she didn’t say ittwice.
Here’s the exchange:
TRUMP: … in New York City, stop-and-frisk, we had 2,200 murders, and stop-and-frisk brought it down to 500 murders. Five hundred murders is a lot of murders. It’s hard to believe, 500 is like supposed to be good?
But we went from 2,200 to 500. And it was continued on by Mayor Bloomberg. And it was terminated by current mayor. But stop-and- frisk had a tremendous impact on the safety of New York City. Tremendous beyond belief. So when you say it has no impact, it really did. It had a very, very big impact.
CLINTON: Well, it’s also fair to say, if we’re going to talk about mayors, that under the current mayor, crime has continued to drop, including murders. So there is…
TRUMP: No, you’re wrong. You’re wrong.
CLINTON: No, I’m not.
TRUMP: Murders are up. All right. You check it.
She said it. He said she was wrong. She said, “No, I’m not.” What else was she supposed to do after that?Recite all the incident-level data from memory? I’m not clear on where she fell short.
Incidentally, this was fact-checked in real time by the NYPD:
But Clinton failed, as far as Peters is concerned, because she didn’t hector Trump into a state of abject submission. Sorry, but that wasn’t her job. She did more than enough.
By Steve M.
From the September 28 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show:
RUSH LIMBAUGH: This fact-check technique is the latest. Let me tell you what it really is. There is no fact-checking. The fact that The New York Times, and The Washington Post, and USA Today, and all these other papers and networks now have fact-checkers is for one reason. It allows them to fool you into thinking they have an objective, nonpartisan staff or person analyzing everything the candidates are saying, and telling you what they’re saying is true, or what they’re saying is false. When in fact the fact-checkers are no different than the biased left-leaning reporters and columnists at these papers and on networks. But the fact-check, the idea that it is a fact-check story is designed to say to you that it is objective and analytically fair, and all it is is a vehicle for them to do opinion journalism under the guise of fairness. Which, if you fall for it, gives it even more power, because if you think that the fact-checkers like PolitiFact or Snopes, or whoever else, if you quote them constantly as the Bible, well then you’ve fallen for it.