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"Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech," said Benjamin Franklin.
Everyone has an opinion and the right to speak that opinion our forefathers granted us that right it's called the First Amendment. Read it then discuss it in the Forums. Find out about Donald J. Trump’s time in the white house. Donald J. Trump is a crook, a con man and liar who uses alternative facts and projects himself on to other.

Donald J. Trump White House Page 58
By Igor Derysh
Hidden report shows white supremacists were responsible for every race-based domestic terror attack in 2018. The Justice Department suppressed a report showing that suspected white supremacists were responsible for all race-based domestic terror incidents last year. The report by New Jersey’s Office of Homeland Security Preparedness was distributed throughout DHS and to federal agencies like the FBI earlier this year before it was obtained by Yahoo News. The document includes data Congress has sought from the Trump administration but the Justice Department has been “unable or unwilling” to provide. The report shows that 25 of 46 suspects in 32 domestic terrorism incidents were identified as white supremacists. The 25 suspected white supremacist suspects were responsible for all “race-based” incidents while others were deemed “anti-government extremists” and “single-issue extremists.” “This map reflects 32 domestic terrorist attacks, disrupted plots, threats of violence, and weapons stockpiling by individuals with a radical political or social agenda who lack direction or influence from foreign terrorist organizations in 2018,” the report said. The map and data in the document were circulated through the DOJ and law enforcement agencies in April, which is around the time that the Senate Judiciary Committee requested the DOJ provide data showing the number of white supremacists involved in domestic terrorism. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., told Yahoo News that the committee still has not received the data. “I’m troubled by the lack of transparency, given that we haven’t received this critical information after several requests to the FBI and DOJ,” Booker said. “They cannot and should not remain silent in the face of such a dangerous threat.” - The DOJ under Trump is protecting white supremacists no wonder they like Trump.

by Spencer Kimball
President Donald Trump overruled the adamant objections of nearly his entire trade team when he ordered the imposition of 10% tariffs on China’s remaining $300 billion of imports, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter. Trump, in his decision announced Thursday on Twitter, said China has not made good on a promise to buy American agricultural goods in large quantities, and as a consequence the U.S. would impose the new tariffs starting Sept. 1. The announcement sent the Dow and Treasury yields sharply lower. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer were in Shanghai last week in an effort to restart stalled trade talks. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping had agreed to a truce in the trade war on the sidelines of the June G-20 summit in Japan. Trump wanted to give farmers, who have been hit hard by the trade war, guarantees that China was boosting its U.S. purchases as he prepared for a rally in Ohio. But Lighthizer and Mnuchin conveyed to the president in an Oval Office meeting that the Shanghai talks did not have the results that he wanted, according to the Journal’s sources. Trump ordered new tariffs in response. Virtually everyone present at the Oval Office meeting — including national security advisor John Bolton, economic advisor Larry Kudlow and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney — objected to his decision, according to the Journal. Only China hawk Peter Navarro did not object, it said.

By Caroline Kelly, CNN
Washington (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate and El Paso, Texas, native Beto O'Rourke said that President Donald Trump was a white nationalist after a mass shooting in El Paso on Saturday left 20 dead and a separate rampage hours later killed nine more in Dayton, Ohio. CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday asked O'Rourke, a former El Paso congressman: "Do you think President Trump is a white nationalist?" "Yes. I do," O'Rourke said on CNN's "State of the Union." The Democrat also referenced Trump's record of insulting Mexicans as "rapists" and describing asylum seeking migrants as an infestation. "The things that he has said both as a candidate and then as the President of the United States, this cannot be open for debate," he said. Early Sunday morning, a shooter opened fire in Dayton, Ohio, killing nine people in the city's Oregon District, a popular downtown area. The shooter, who has not yet been identified, was shot and killed by responding officers. Hours before on Saturday, a shooter opened fire at an El Paso, Texas, shopping center, killing at least 20 people. The shooting suspect, a 21-year-old man, is in custody.

By Rick Wilson
The resume-padding backbencher raved at Mueller on camera and found himself at the peak of Trump’s regard. But like a gram of pure coke, there are consequences when the fun stops. The rule holds: Everything Trump touches dies. From standing on the verge of one of Washington’s most powerful offices to a tweeted shrug of dismissal from the President, Congressman John Ratcliffe (R-Coffeeboy) is the latest, inevitable victim of the career-ending, reputation-shattering career curse that is Donald Trump. As the two-term Congressman’s flimsy resume hit the light of day, the petty, easily discovered lies and contractions in his record exploded in his face like Trump 20 seconds into a lapdance. Far from being the terrorist-fighting superstar federal prosecutor, Ratcliffe turned out to be a bog-standard U.S. attorney. His sins were little beyond the usual campaign resume fluffing, but it turned out he was about as qualified to be the Director of National Intelligence as Hope Hicks is to pilot the next SpaceX flight into orbit. If Ratcliffe walked off the street to apply for a job at the Office of National Intelligence and told the same lies about his record he told to his constituents, he’d be laughed out of the room. Extreme vetting, my ass.

By Matt Egan, CNN Business
New York (CNN Business) - President Donald Trump's escalating trade war against China threatens to inflict a powerful shock to the American economy that not even the Federal Reserve can fully absorb. The Fed cut interest rates this week for the first time in nearly 11 years, effectively lowering the odds of a recession in the United States. Just 24 hours later, Trump raised those odds by vowing to unleash tariffs on $300 billion of US imports from China, which will for the first time directly impact American shoppers. The new front in the trade war will only add to the downturn in manufacturing spanning the globe. It will further dent shaky business confidence and could even puncture the optimism among consumers. In short, little good can come from these new tariffs — and the ensuing retaliation from Beijing. "It could be incredibly damaging to the global economy. The risk of a recession has gone up because of the ratcheting up of the trade war," said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco. Trump blindsided investors on Thursday by announcing an abrupt end to the trade truce between the United States and China. Although talks will continue, Trump tweeted that he plans to impose a 10% tariff on the remaining US imports from China. US stocks plummeted on the tweet, a selloff that deepened on Friday. Cash rushed into ultra-save government bonds, sending Treasury yields to multiyear lows. "That's telling me there is a lot of concern we are headed toward a significant global slowdown," Hooper said. Trump has also kept open the possibility that tariffs on China will go up to 25%.

By Justin Baragona
“Just to be clarifying, China isn’t paying these tariffs. You are,” Cavuto told his audience. Immediately after President Donald Trump boasted to White House reporters that the United States rakes in billions of dollars from China because of his tariffs, Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto issued an on-air fact-check of the president’s remarks, directly telling his viewers that Trump is wrong. While taking questions on the White House lawn Friday afternoon, the president insisted Americans farmers are fully behind his trade war and support his latest tariffs on $300 billion worth of goods from China. “Remember this, our country is taking in billions and billions of dollars from China,” Trump exclaimed. “We never took in ten cents from China. Out of that many billions of dollars, we’re taking a part of it and giving it to the farmers because they’ve been targeted by China. The farmers, they come out totally whole.” Right away, Cavuto cut away from the president’s impromptu press gaggle to point out that, once again, Trump was not telling the truth when it came to who pays for tariffs. “I don’t know where to begin here,” the Fox News host said. “Just to be clarifying, China isn’t paying these tariffs. You are. You know, indirectly and sometimes directly.”

Erin Banco- National Security Reporter, Asawin Suebsaeng - White House Reporter
Trump blamed the media for his nominee’s withdrawal, but it may have to do with his proximity to a company accused of being instrumental in reprisal against a whistleblower. An email disclosing Rep. John Ratcliffe’s (R-TX) alleged involvement in a controversial whistleblowing case reached the White House prior to the announcement Friday that he was withdrawing his name from consideration for Director of National Intelligence, according to two sources with knowledge of the correspondence. The email, originally sent to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, laid out how Ratcliffe promoted a company accused of being instrumental in the reprisal against a whistleblower and their cybersecurity efforts, according to one of those sources. The Government Accountability Project, an organization that protects whistleblowers, is helping represent the unnamed government employee. Details about the case are being closely held in part because of security reasons. The organization sent information on its client’s disclosure to the committee Wednesday morning. The email then circulated among Republicans in Washington, including some White House officials, who did not think Ratcliffe was up to the job of DNI, according to two sources with direct knowledge. White House spokespeople did not provide comment for this story. Ratcliffe did not respond to a request for comment.

It’s unclear what the White House will do with the list. People on it may be eligible to temporarily lead the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
By Betsy Woodruff, Erin Banco
The Trump administration is taking inventory of many of America’s top spies, The Daily Beast has learned. The White House recently asked the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) for a list of all its employees at the federal government’s top pay scale who have worked there for 90 days or more, according to two sources familiar with the request. The request appears to be part of the White House’s search for a temporary director of national intelligence—a prospect that raises concerns in some quarters about political influence over the intelligence community. The request, which specifically asks for people in ODNI at the GS-15 level (the pay grade for most top government employees, including supervisors) or higher, comes as ODNI’s leadership faces turmoil. Earlier this week, President Trump tweeted that Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats will step down on Aug. 15, and that he plans to nominate Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe for the post. But Ratcliffe faces a contentious confirmation process that’s all but certain to stretch past the 15th, and the White House needs someone to take the DNI role in the meantime. - We hope Trump does not give the names to Putin.

By Clare Foran and Ashley Killough, CNN
(CNN) - A majority of House Democrats are now on record publicly supporting an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, according to a CNN count -- a sign of momentum for pro-impeachment lawmakers that is likely to ramp up pressure on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democratic leaders. The current number of impeachment backers may not necessarily, or immediately, change the calculation for House Democratic leadership on how to proceed as Democrats continue their investigations into the President and his administration. But it nevertheless shows that support among Democrats on Capitol Hill for an inquiry is continuing to grow. Rep. Salud Carbajal of California became the 118th Democrat to publicly support the start of an impeachment inquiry in a statement on Friday, at least the 23rd lawmaker to do so since special counsel Robert Mueller testified on Capitol Hill last week. "I've read the full Mueller Report, the president knew the rules and he broke them—he cannot be above the law," Carbajal said in the statement. "That is why I believe it is time to open an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump." There has been a steady increase in the number of House Democrats who have announced they back an inquiry in the wake of Mueller's hearings, including Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, a member of House Democratic leadership. Mueller's uneven testimony did not immediately prompt a wave of Democrats to back an impeachment inquiry, and many congressional Republicans declared his appearance the official end of the House Democratic impeachment push. But since the House departed for its six-week recess at the end of last week, the number of Democrats backing an impeachment inquiry has steadily ticked upward, with more nearly two dozen Democrats publicly announcing their decision following Muller's appearance.

By Asher Stockler
Republican support for impeaching President Donald Trump has nearly doubled since the former special counsel investigating Russian election interference testified before Congress in late July, a new Hill-HarrisX poll has found. Moreover, Democratic support for impeachment proceedings has slipped slightly during the same period. In May, 71 percent of Democrats supported beginning impeachment proceedings against Trump, compared with just 67 percent in the poll conducted days after former special counsel Robert Mueller's testimony. This dip is well within the margin of error for Democratic voters of 5.1 percentage points, suggesting that Mueller's proclamations on Capitol Hill did little to move the needle for Democrats. On the other hand, while significantly lower, Republican support for impeachment surged from 9 percent in May to 17 percent at the end of July, well outside the margin of error of 5.5 percentage points. Many independents were similarly moved to the pro-impeachment camp, growing from about a quarter favoring impeachment to more than a third. Overall, voters are now evenly divided on whether to begin the constitutional process of impeachment, a trend away from the largely impeachment-skeptical U.S. public that surveys in previous months had measured.

By Shane Croucher
U.S. President Donald Trump has a lower approval rating than all four of The Squad, a group of progressive, Democratic congresswomen of color he told to "go back" to their ancestral homelands in a tweet, according to a new The Economist/YouGov poll. Trump's net approval rating, excluding don't knows, was -11. By comparison, The Squad—which includes Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley—who also all had negative approval ratings, were significantly better. New York's Ocasio-Cortez's was -3, Minnesota's Omar was -6, Michigan's Tlaib was -3, and Massachusetts' Pressley was -3. The four women had larger "don't know" answers than Trump, who has far greater name recognition among the wider American public. The poll of 1,500 adult American citizens was conducted between July 21 and 23, several days after Trump's controversial tweet targeting the freshwomen congressmembers, who are prominent campaigners against his administration, which they argue is racist. They have focused recently on the plight of undocumented migrants held in detention centers at the southern border, where there are allegations of human rights abuses, sexual assault, and the maltreatment of young children against border agents and officials. Ocasio-Cortez, who has visited the facilities, characterized them as concentration camps, and reported back that some detainees were told to drink from the toilet if they were thirsty because a water tap was broken. Trump's infamous "go back" tweet targeted the ethnic backgrounds of The Squad, all of whom are American citizens and three of whom were born in the U.S. Omar arrived in America as a child refugee in the early 1990s after fleeing the war in Somalia. He wrote on Twitter that they "originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe...Why don't they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."

By Zachary Cohen, Pamela Brown, Allie Malloy and Kaitlan Collins, CNN
(CNN) - President Donald Trump said Friday that Rep. John Ratcliffe will no longer be nominated as director of national intelligence to replace Dan Coats. Ratcliffe was announced as Trump's choice for the job less than a week ago but it became more apparent with each passing day that his nomination was in serious trouble even as the President continued to defend him publicly. Even after the fact, Trump blamed the press for Ratcliffe's downfall even though he nominated a lawmaker with minimal national security experience to one of the most sensitive jobs in government. "Our great Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe is being treated very unfairly by the LameStream Media," Trump wrote on Twitter. "Rather than going through months of slander and libel, I explained to John how miserable it would be for him and his family to deal with these people John has therefore decided to stay in Congress where he has done such an outstanding job representing the people of Texas, and our Country. I will be announcing my nomination for DNI shortly." Trump has privately voiced concern in recent days about Ratcliffe's ability to be confirmed as the next director of national intelligence, according to two people who spoke with him. The President had been assured by allies before selecting Ratcliffe that he would be an easy pick and was surprised when Ratcliffe started facing issues from senators who had their own concerns. A Republican Senate source told CNN that they "not know anyone who was enthusiastic about his appointment with the exception of a couple of friends whom he served with in the House." "The intelligence community was truly up in arms and very worried," and a couple even broke traditional protocol to call and express that concern, the source said.

By Rajesh Kumar Singh
CHICAGO (Reuters) - With U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement on Thursday of tariffs on another $300 billion of Chinese imports, nearly all goods from China will be subject to import taxes, and Trump says they generate billions of dollars in revenues for the U.S. Treasury from China. But that is not how tariffs work. China’s government and companies in China do not pay U.S. tariffs directly. Tariffs are a tax on imported products and are paid by U.S.-registered firms to U.S. customs when goods enter the United States. Importers often pass the costs of tariffs on to customers - manufacturers and consumers in the United States - by raising their prices. U.S. business executives and economists say U.S. consumers foot much of the tariff bill. That was why, immediately after Trump announced his decision, U.S. retailers blasted the move as “another tax increase on American businesses and consumers,” which they warned would threaten U.S. jobs and raise costs for American families. The new levies will hit a wide swath of consumer goods from cell phones and laptop computers to toys and footwear.

By Anneken Tappe, CNN Business
New York (CNN Business) - When President Donald Trump announced a new round of tariffs on Chinese imports on Thursday, the Dow was up 311 points. Then it was down nearly 300 points. That was the biggest swing since early January. The market had been strong for investors; stocks had bounced back from the day before. The S&P 500 was on pace for its best day in six weeks, after a poor manufacturing report gave investors hope that the Fed will once again cut rates later this year. But Trump said on Twitter that the United States would be "putting a small additional tariff of 10% on the remaining 300 billion dollars of goods and products coming from China into our country." That's on top of the $250 billion worth of goods that got hit with a 25% tariff. Trump said that China hadn't been buying the US agricultural products it had agreed to buy. He added that the United States was looking forward to "continuing our positive dialogue with China on a comprehensive trade deal," and called the trade talks earlier this week constructive. The Dow (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) all dropped into negative territory following the tweets. The Dow closed down 1.1%, or 280 points, while the S&P finished down 0.9% and the Nasdaq dropped 0.8%. Investors sold off well-known retail and tech stocks, because they would get hit hardest by the additional tariffs. Trump told reporters that he wasn't concerned about the selloff in stocks. "I think everyone loses in a trade war," Former Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn said during an interview with the BBC on Thursday.

By Max Londberg, Cincinnati Enquirer
One man was detained Thursday after he punched another man outside U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati as President Donald Trump held a rally inside. Video of the altercation on the corner of East Pete Rose Way and Broadway was posted to Facebook and shared with The Cincinnati Enquirer. Scott Fantozzi witnessed the incident and captured the video, saying it appeared the two men were arguing about politics.

By Gregory Wallace
Washington (CNN) - A federal judge on Thursday issued an order blocking New York state from turning over President Donald Trump's tax returns to congressional Democrats for now, should the House Ways and Means Committee request them through a newly passed New York law. The limitation will be in place, Judge Carl Nichols wrote, while allowing New York to challenge whether Nichols' courtroom in Washington is the proper place for this case, brought by Trump, to move forward, and in what form it could proceed. In a court hearing on Wednesday ahead of the order, Nichols said that his intention was to ensure "Mr. Trump cannot suffer any harm" while arguments play out.
The order is based on a compromise proposal developed by New York that Trump's attorneys told the judge on Wednesday that they could live with. Nichols is a Trump nominee confirmed by the Senate earlier this year. The House committee, which is a defendant in the lawsuit, objected strenuously to a different proposal from Trump that the committee be required to notify the court when making a request for the records. Blocking New York from producing the records was a way around that. The Democratic-led Ways and Means panel escalated the fight for the President's personal financial information last month by filing a separate lawsuit to enforce subpoenas and obtain Trump's tax returns. Andrew Amer, the attorney representing New York, told the judge on Wednesday that his clients believe the DC court does not have jurisdiction, and it would seek to have the case moved or dismissed. The judge gave New York until next Friday to file its motion outlining why the case should not be heard in DC.

By Dave Levinthal - Federal Politics Editor and Senior Reporter
Ten city governments from Arizona to Pennsylvania say the president’s political committee has stiffed them out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. “Do we love law enforcement or what?” President Donald Trump asked a cheering crowd during his “Make America Great Again” political rally Oct. 12 in Lebanon, Ohio. “Thank you, law enforcement!” the president later told officers, who he called “heroes.” But when Lebanon City Hall sent Trump’s campaign a $16,191 invoice for police and other public safety costs associated with his event, Trump didn’t respond. Trump’s campaign likewise ignored Lebanon officials’ follow-up reminders to cover the sum — one rich enough to fund the entire police force for nearly two days in this modest city of 21,000, between Dayton and Cincinnati. The bill remains unpaid. “There’s a lot of benefit when a president comes here: economic benefits, more visibility for our community,” Lebanon Mayor Amy Brewer said. “But I would hope and believe the Trump campaign would pay its bills. It’s our taxpayer dollars.” The red ink Trump poured on Lebanon’s thin blue line is no anomaly.

Bloomberg Politics
Aug.01 -- President Donald Trump abruptly escalated his trade war with China, announcing that he would impose a 10% tariff on $300 billion in Chinese imports that aren’t yet subject to U.S. duties after setbacks in negotiations with Beijing. Bloomberg's Shawn Donnan reports on "Bloomberg Markets: The Close."

By Mike Lillis
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday fiercely defended Rep. Elijah Cummings in the wake of President Trump's attacks on the Maryland Democrat and the Baltimore-area district he represents. Pelosi, who was born in Baltimore and whose father and brother were both mayors of the city, accused the president of projecting his own "insecurity" on Cummings. She also hammered Jared Kushner — Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, whose family operates a real estate empire — as a "slumlord." "To see the president demean a great leader like Elijah Cummings shows his own insecurity and his own lack of understanding about what progress really is," Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. "You really have to consider the source," she continued. "The president without — and this comes as no surprise — really doesn't know what he's talking about. But maybe he could ask his son-in-law, who's a slumlord." The biting remarks come several days after Trump lashed out at Cummings, the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, with a series of tweets suggesting the 13-term Democrat is corrupt and his district unlivable. The region, Trump said, is “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.” “No human being would want to live there,” Trump tweeted over the weekend. Since then, a number of reports have emerged noting that the company operated by Kushner's family owns thousands of apartments and other properties in and around Baltimore. Some of them, the reports reveal, have their own problems with rodent infestations.

By Fred Imbert
Stocks slashed gains on Thursday after President Donald Trump said the U.S. would impose an additional 10% tariff on Chinese imports to the U.S. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 250 points lower after rallying as much as 311 points earlier in the day. The S&P 500 was down 0.7%. The Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.6% after jumping more than 1.6%. Trump said in a series of tweets the tariffs will be imposed on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods. Trump’s tweets came after a U.S. delegation met with Chinese trade officials earlier this week.

By Yun Li
President Donald Trump said Thursday the U.S. is putting 10% tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, effective Sept. 1. “Trade talks are continuing, and during the talks the U.S. will start, on September 1st, putting a small additional Tariff of 10% on the remaining 300 Billion Dollars of goods and products coming from China into our Country...We look forward to continuing our positive dialogue with China on a comprehensive Trade Deal, and feel that the future between our two countries will be a very bright one!” Trump said in a tweet on Thursday. The surprise tariff announcement came after the U.S. and China restarted trade talks in Shanghai this week, the first in-person trade talks since a G-20 truce. The White House said on Wednesday before this Trump tweet the meetings were “constructive,” adding that China confirmed their commitment to increase purchases of U.S. agricultural exports. Trade negotiations will continue in Washington in early September, according to the White House statement. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 200 points following the news, erasing the 300-point gains earlier in the day.

Analysis by Harry Enten, CNN
(CNN) - A Quinnipiac University poll out this week shows that a majority (51%) of voters believe that President Donald Trump is a racist. Forty-five percent say that he is not. To opponents of the President, this poll may not be surprising. But think about it for a second. This isn't just the normal opposition you'd expect to a president. This is a majority of voters saying their president is a racist. Compare these numbers to a Harris poll from September 1968. Former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, a segregationist, was running for president as an opponent to the Civil Rights movement. As he campaigned, 41% agreed when asked whether Wallace was a racist. That was basically even with the 40% who disagreed with the statement. There are a few ways to look at these numbers, and none are complementary to Trump. You can say that more voters believe Trump is racist than believed a segregationist running for president in 1968 was. You could be generous to Trump and say that the spread between racist and not a racist (5 points in Trump's case and 1 point in Wallace's case) is closer because more voters were undecided on Wallace. Even so, the net margin for Trump being a racist is wider than it was in Wallace's case. Perhaps, the one bit of decent news for Trump in these numbers is that they are fairly stable. Even before Trump's most recent comments, many voters thought he was racist. In the summer of 2018, 49% of voters said Trump was racist in a Quinnipiac poll. This was slightly higher than the 47% who said he wasn't racist.

By Daniel Dale, CNN
(CNN) - President Donald Trump claimed Tuesday that African Americans are so delighted with his attacks on the city of Baltimore and US congressman Elijah Cummings, an African American, that they are calling him at the White House in large numbers to thank him. He also claimed that African Americans are generally happy with his performance as president. "What I've done for African Americans, no president, I would say, has done. Now, I'll say this: they are so happy, because I get the calls," he told reporters as he left for a speech in Virginia that was boycotted by black state lawmakers. "They are so happy at what I've been able to do in Baltimore and other Democratic-run, corrupt cities." He continued later: "The African American people have been calling the White House. They have never been so happy as what a president has done. Not only the lowest unemployment in history for African Americans, not only opportunity zones for, really, the biggest beneficiary the inner city, and not only criminal justice reform. But they're so happy that I pointed out the corrupt politics of Baltimore. It's filthy dirty. It's so horrible. And they are happy as hell." Since the controversy over Trump's comments about Baltimore and Cummings is too new to be captured by most of the available polling data, we can't definitively fact-check Trump's claim about African Americans' views on these remarks -- though it's worth noting that Trump has a history of inventing nonexistent phone calls and making dubious claims about people expressing gratitude him in private conversations. We can, however, definitively fact-check his claim that African Americans are generally pleased with his performance. They are not. Facts First: African Americans are overwhelmingly unhappy with Trump's job performance, polls have consistently shown.

By Matthew Rozsa
As Trump again doubled down, Democrats vying to unseat the president in 2020 shined a light on race at their debate. President Donald Trump doubled down once again Tuesday on his attacks on Baltimore, this time claiming that violent crime in the majority-black city is worse than it is in Honduras, a Latin American country grappling with deadly gang violence. "Baltimore happens to be about the worst case. If you look at it statistically, it’s like, the number of shootings, the number of crimes, the number of everything — this morning, I heard a statistic: Baltimore is worse than Honduras," Trump said. The president appears to have been echoing a conservative talking point, which has become popular since his initial racist onslaught against Baltimore. As the Post pointed out, Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA tweeted Monday that Honduran asylum seekers "would be more safe staying home than they would be in Democrat-controlled, American cities." However, Kirk based this on the U.N. statistic stating that the homicide rate is 42.8 per 100,000 people in Honduras and 56 per 100,000 people in Baltimore. That statistic ignores that Honduras is a nation of 9 million people, while Baltimore is a city with 620,000 people.

by Brian Naylor
Tuesday morning highlighted the disconnect between President Trump, the political pugilist who's never afraid to punch back at his critics, and President Trump, the head of state of a large, diverse country. As he departed the White House on his way to celebrate the 400th anniversary of representative democracy in what is now the United States, Trump continued his disparaging of Rep. Elijah Cummings, who is black, and said of Cummings' mostly-black constituents, "Those people are living in hell in Baltimore." Two hours later, Trump delivered a speech praising African-American contributions to the U.S. Cummings, the Maryland Democrat who chairs the House Oversight Committee that's taken the lead in investigating the Trump Administration, has drawn Trump's ire for demanding reams of records from the White House, most recently, messages from Trump's daughter, Ivanka, and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who serve as presidential advisers. On Tuesday morning, Trump alleged without evidence that Cummings is corrupt and that the long-serving member of Congress was responsible for Baltimore's high crime rate and poverty, saying that Cummings rules the city "with a very iron hand" (as a member of Congress, Cummings represents a portion of Baltimore but has no hand in its governance).

By Peter Irons, author of "A People’s History of the Supreme Court"
Presidents are free to oppose and criticize laws passed by Congress but not to block their execution for reasons of racial animus. He attempted “to bring into disgrace, ridicule, hatred, contempt and reproach the Congress of the United States.” He delivered “with a loud voice, intemperate, inflammatory, and scandalous harangues, and has uttered loud threats and bitter menaces, against Congress [and] the laws of the United States, amid the cries, jeers and laughter of the multitudes.” He has brought the “high office of the President of the United States into contempt, ridicule and disgrace.” Sound like someone we all know? These charges certainly describe President Donald Trump’s deplorable behavior and its effects on Congress, the presidency, and — most importantly — the divisions he has exploited and widened among the American people, as well as the damage he has caused to America’s standing and role in the world community. But they aren’t an imaginary list of offenses compiled by Congress to hold Trump accountable for his transgressions; they are actual excerpts from Article 10, the most important of the 11 impeachment articles brought by Congress against an earlier president: Andrew Johnson. Johnson’s deep-rooted racism, along with his verbal excoriation of his congressional foes as “treasonous” — something our current president has also done — led to his impeachment in 1868. Article 10 of his impeachment indictment provides a legal basis and historical precedent for making a president’s racist speech an impeachable offense, by itself, as evidence of unfitness to hold the highest and most powerful office in the land.

The president wants intelligence that will hurt his enemies, not challenge his opinions.
By Fred Kaplan
It was only a matter of time before President Donald Trump started going after the intelligence agencies. When it comes to analyzing global politics, facts tend to have an anti-Trump bias, and the sin of Dan Coats—the just-ousted director of national intelligence—is that he told Trump too many unsettling facts. The nominee to replace Coats, Trump announced on Sunday, is John Ratcliffe, a two-term Republican congressman from Texas, whose only remote qualification for the job is his service on the House Intelligence Committee for the past six months. More to the point, Ratcliffe’s spirited criticism of special counsel Robert Mueller in last week’s hearing—including the recital of one of the more preposterous conspiracy theories ever unreeled on the subject—demonstrated that he would embody everything this president wants in a Cabinet secretary: total loyalty to Trump. And that is the problem. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence was created shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, with the idea that foreign threats could be more swiftly detected, analyzed, and reported if some supra-entity coordinated the findings of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, which, until then, had often worked with little common purpose.


President Donald Trump is exaggerating his role in bringing economic gains to black Americans. Brushing off criticism that his tweets against nonwhite lawmakers are racist, Mr. Trump asserts that he's done plenty to improve the fortunes of African Americans as seen by their low unemployment rate, while Democrats have done nothing. That's not the case. Mr. Trump also tweeted on Sunday that he unemployment for African Americans "is the lowest (best) in the history of the United States. No President has come close to doing this before!" But that's an exaggeration, given that the most dramatic drop in black unemployment came under President Barack Obama, when it fell from a recession high of 16.8 percent in March 2010 to 7.8 percent in January 2017.

By Gregory Wallace
Washington (CNN) - A federal judge on Monday dodged a decision for now over whether congressional Democrats can request and receive the President's New York state tax returns by asking the parties to figure out a solution themselves. US District Court Judge Carl Nichols acknowledged President Donald Trump's concerns that his New York state tax returns could be requested and provided before the courts have time to consider constitutional and other legal issues with the request. But he also gave a nod to arguments from the House Ways and Means Committee, and the state of New York, about what type of review from the courts is even appropriate in the circumstances. So Nichols ordered attorneys for the three parties to meet and propose a solution by 6 p.m. on Tuesday. He was particularly critical of the committee's insistence that it had an absolute right to make the requests. "Defendants are unwilling to do anything other than to squeeze this into a very narrow aperture," he said. Rather than issue an order himself, Nichols directed the parties to use their "creativity" to reach an agreement that would delay the returns from being requested or provided. He suggested the parties could remove him from an "awkward" situation -- being asked to consider the consequences of a potential House request, which has not yet been made. Douglas Letter, an attorney for the House committee, argued the House has an absolute right to request the tax records that cannot be challenged in court -- particularly given that there are "conceivable" justifications for requesting the records. For example, he said, the committee could use them to review federal tax auditing law.

By Kevin Liptak, CNN
Washington (CNN) - President Donald Trump's attacks on Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings haven't gained as much internal support at the White House as his earlier attacks on the "Squad," according to administration officials. But there are no signs Trump believes his strategy is wrong or is planning to pull back his attacks on the African American lawmaker from Baltimore. One official confirmed that some aides express discomfort at the attacks, which do not appear to have been part of a larger strategy, during a Monday staff meeting first reported by The New York Times. Instead, aides said Trump has long expressed annoyance at Cummings' attempts to investigate members of the administration and identified Baltimore as a target over the weekend. Trump was particularly irked at the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which Cummings chairs, moving to obtain information related to Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. Trump has told people he believes his children, who are also government employees, are being unfairly targeted.

By Jeff Cox
President Donald Trump ripped into China in a series of tweets Tuesday just as the two sides are set to resume stalled negotiations toward a much-anticipated trade agreement. The president claimed that China is not buying more U.S. agricultural products as it promised to do and may be slow-walking the talks as it awaits the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. “China is doing very badly, worst year in 27 - was supposed to start buying our agricultural product now - no signs that they are doing so. That is the problem with China, they just don’t come through,” Trump wrote. The criticism comes as an entourage led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are in Shanghai to meet with their Chinese counterparts. While U.S. officials have tamped down expectations for a major deal this week, there is hope that at least some progress can be made in the tit-for-tat tariff battle that began about a year and a half ago. The stock market struggled at the open in the wake of Trump’s trade comments, with the Dow industrials off by about 100 points in early trading.

By NATASHA BERTRAND
GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe, the president’s nominee for director of national intelligence, once worked with a leading Putin critic on the Magnitsky Act — which Russians have been pushing to overturn. President Donald Trump’s new pick to lead the country’s vast intelligence apparatus fell into favor with the White House as a longtime, vocal critic of the Russia investigation and the officials who launched it. But John Ratcliffe, the congressman Trump has tapped to fight the “deep state” from within, has worked closely with one of the men Russian President Vladimir Putin wants most to see in prison: Bill Browder, an American-born businessman who has been on a decade-long campaign to expose Russian corruption. Ratcliffe, a third-term congressman, was chief of Anti-Terrorism and National Security for the Eastern District of Texas and served as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas from 2007 to 2009. But he has no other intelligence experience aside from a recent appointment to the House Intelligence Committee. Intelligence community sources have therefore been skeptical of Ratcliffe’s qualifications to lead the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the government’s intelligence agencies, coordinates the country’s global information-gathering operation and frequently briefs the president on threats each morning. They are also wary of Ratcliffe’s criticisms of the Russia probe, including his claims that former FBI Director James Comey should be investigated “for violating the Espionage Act” and that the Obama administration “committed crimes” while investigating Russia’s election interference.

By Jacqueline Thomsen
Attorney General William Barr on Monday reversed a 2018 immigration board ruling that found that a migrant whose immediate family member was persecuted in their home country may be able to claim asylum. The order is yet another hit to the United States' asylum laws and the most recent action taken by U.S. authorities in recent weeks that would affect asylum rules and procedures. In this latest decision, Barr effectively tightened a measure in the Immigration and Nationality Act that states a migrant can be granted asylum if they show they have been or will be persecuted because of “race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” Barr wrote that the Board of Immigration Appeals has previously found that those in a “particular social group” under asylum laws must share “a common immutable characteristic.”

President Trump seems eager to divert attention from impeachment and investigations, but distractions work only if they distract.
by David A. Graham
If former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony to the House last week wasn’t the clear victory that many Democrats had hoped it would be, there are indications it didn’t go as well for President Donald Trump as he and his allies have claimed either. The first evidence came on Friday afternoon, when the president gave a series of nonsensical sound bites to reporters, saying that Barack Obama had ruined the White House HVAC system and calling for an investigation of how Obama, the author of a critically acclaimed memoir and a former president of the United States, got a book deal. As it turned out, this was merely a warm-up for what was to come: a scorched-earth racist rant against Representative Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, and his district in Baltimore. The rant has extended into a third day and now also targets Al Sharpton, who Trump claims hates white people. Not since the fall of 1814 has there been such a concerted assault on the Charm City from the south, but don’t expect any anthems to be written about this battle. Even without the example of Trump’s fusillade against the “squad” of Democratic congresswomen earlier this month, this routine is by now familiar. Faced with a series of headlines that he doesn’t like, Trump endeavors to change the subject, by whatever means necessary. It’s reminiscent of the old parody motivational poster that reads, “The beatings will continue until morale improves.” Or, in Trump’s case: “The tweeting will continue until the chyrons improve.” In the past, this has worked well for Trump. His ability to change the subject has managed to prevent sustained attention on some of the biggest scandals of his political career. But there are limitations to this tactic, as the oxymoronic poster suggests, and they may be emerging right now.

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