Donald Trump Whines That His Free Speech Is Being Silenced, Praises Silencing Protesters

In an interview with George Stephanopoulos yesterday on ABC This Week, Trump discussed the rising protests and violent incidents at his rallies this week. As shown in our blog post this weekend, a protester was viciously punched and kicked by a Trump supporter in Tuscon. A road leading to a rally in Phoenix was blocked by protesters, resulting in several arrests.

Trump references the road blocks in Phoenix and apparently there were protesters blocking the doors to the rally in Tucson, saying “these people are very disruptive.” He goes on to blame the protester that was assaulted in Tuscon, saying “Well, he..he or his partner, was wearing a Ku Klux Klan outfit and this happened to be an African-American man, a person at the rally, who was very, very incensed.” Stephanopoulos, to his credit, repeatedly calls out Trump for appearing to excuse politically motivated violence at his rally. Trump doubles down, saying “Why would a protester walk into the room with a Ku Klux Klan outfit on?” The man assaulted was actually wearing an American flag shirt. When Trump finally concedes and says “we don’t condone violence”, the eye rolling is almost audible on the tape.

Trump then makes himself into the victim. “They’re disruptives, and it’s really stopping our First Amendment rights, if you think about it George. They blocked a road, they put their cars in front of a road. We had thousands and thousands of people that wanted to come, they were delayed for an hour, because of these protesters. At what point do the people blame the protesters?”

At what point do we blame the protesters for exercising their First Amendment rights? In the same breath Trump whines that his First Amendment rights were impugned while saying that the protesters should not be allowed to protest. He has 20,000 people at his rally, police are arresting people that are blocking the roads, his private security and campaign manager are assaulting protesters. Where is the respect for their rights, Mr. Trump? Are you so insecure in your position that some college kid with a pillow case on his head threatens your rights?

Sources:
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJWN0v5LPcM
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/week-transcript-donald-trump-reince-priebus-denis-mcdonough/story?id=37775643

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Trump Campaign Manager Grabbed Somebody Again

At a rally in Tuscon, AZ yesterday Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was involved in an altercation with a protester. As you can see in the above video, Lewandowski appears to grab a protester by the collar as another man more forcefully holds him, to which the man reacts.

The Trump campaign denies any wrongdoing by Lewandowski. Campaign aide Hope Hicks told the Guardian “The video clearly shows the protestor reacting to the man who pulled him, not to Mr Lewandowsk. Mr Trump does not condone violence at his rallies, which are private events paid for by the campaign.”

Lewandowski was involved in an assault on Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields on March 8th. Charges have been filed against Lewandowski for that incident. The Trump campaign has been marked in recent weeks by a startling uptick in violence. Police and security have clashed with supporters and protesters several times in the past week. At the same rally in Tuscon yesterday a protester was more seriously assaulted by a supporter, as the crowd roared:

Sources:
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXmsXNKh1pM
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch/t_WScwLKfR0
http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/19/politics/trump-campaign-manager-protester/
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/19/trump-campaign-manager-lewandowski-arizona-rally

Trump Stills Thinks Ted Cruz Is Ineligible for POTUS

In a speech in Utah last night, Trump focused early on his distaste for Ted Cruz. He referred to him as “Lying Ted” several times and then made this incredible claim: “You know the evangelicals are with me, because they know I’m not a liar.” I’ll just let that sink in, as I write the 33 post in as many days on a blog entitled What Donald Trump Lied About Yesterday.

At the 56:30 point of the above video Trump questions the natural born citizen status of Ted Cruz. As he continues to berate his opponent on his untruthiness, he makes the following statement, off the cuff, and seemingly as an afterthought: “Now he’s got a lot of problems, we’ll talk about them for a second, but he’s got a lot of problems. Number one, in all fairness, look…is he really a natural born citizen? I mean, give me a break.”

Let’s take a look at Article I Section II of the old US Constitution, shall we:

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

Ted Cruz was born in Canada to a mother that was a US citizen and a father, a Cuban citizen, who was not. By US law, being born to a mother who is a US citizen makes you a citizen from birth, or a “natural born citizen.” Under pretty much any interpretation of the phrase “natural born citizen” Ted Cruz is definitely eligible. Donald Trump’s embrace of the ignorance of the Birther movement rears its head again, and it will not be the last time.

Sources:
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q70PGyf4Vfc
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/01/07/yes-ted-cruz-is-a-natural-born-citizen/
http://www.salon.com/2016/03/19/trumps_disingenuous_ted_cruz_smear_birtherism_is_back_still_dangerous_and_wrong/

Trump Claims US Gave Iran $150 Billion. We Didn’t.

In his victory speech after a series of wins in the primaries on Tuesday, Trump stated sarcastically that “We love the deal you made with Iran. We give them $150 billion, we get nothing.” See the 12:00 mark in the above video.

Actually, the US didn’t give Iran anything. The $150 billion that Trump is referring to is already Iran’s money. That money already belonged to Iran, but has been frozen because of the myriad of sanctions against the country. Also of note, is that the $150 billion quoted by Trump is the highest feasible estimate out there, with more reasoned estimates at $100 billion. But what’s $50 billion between enemies?

There are still many other sanctions still in place against Iran, and the deal brokered by the Obama administration only frees up money related to nuclear energy. Much of the money is already spoken for, being owed to various companies and foreign powers working around the sanctions. Iran claims that only $35 billion will be freed up, while most experts put the number somewhat higher.

Whether this Iran deal will work to curb their nuclear ambitions has yet to be seen, but Donald Trump again shows his complete lack of understanding of foreign policy.

Sources:
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmg-TMVYUcc
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/mar/17/donald-trump/no-donald-trump-we-are-not-giving-iran-150-billion/

Donald Trump Says NAFTA “Stripped Our Country Of Everything”

15-04-03-NaftaOn the O’Reilly Factor last night, and many times in the past, Donald Trump described NAFTA as a “disaster.” O’Reilly was asking some softball questions about whether Trump respected various Presidents when he asked about Clinton. The first thing that came to Trump’s mind was NAFTA. Check the 15:00 mark in the following video:

“NAFTA is a disaster and the more you see with NAFTA it was his baby more than anybody else. The more you see of NAFTA,what they’ve done, what it’s done to this country. And this is really belated, because at the time I guess people thought it was a good thing. But NAFTA has just stripped our country of, of, of everything. It’s taken so many companies out of and jobs out of our system.”

Clearly NAFTA did not strip our country of everything, but one can chalk that comment up to Trump’s usual hyperbole. Now that the US is more than two decades out from NAFTA, is it a “disaster”?

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, NAFTA’s impact was “fairly small.” The CFR sites a growing relation with Mexico that would have continued with or without the trade deal, and “dwarfs the effect” of the deal itself. The “direct effect of NAFTA on U.S.-Mexico trade is fairly small, and thus the direct impact on the U.S. labor market is also small”. They go on to say that the effect on the economies of Canada, the US and Mexico was small and positive. The best result for the US seems to be the increase in supply chains to Mexico, allowing US companies to get their products into Mexico more easily.

That’s all fine and good, but the hot button issue that has made NAFTA a conservative whipping boy for 20 years is jobs, jobs, jobs. What were the effects on US jobs?

No one seems to agree. Estimates on the jobs lost range from 350,000 to one million jobs, mostly manufacturing, but it is unclear whether those jobs were leaving anyway. NAFTA came at a time that the US manufacturing sector was already rapidly globalizing, and it is impossible to measure what effect NAFTA had on that shift.

Estimates for the amount of jobs that Mexico gained range up to 1.5 million jobs. It would seem that a man like Trump that is so violently opposed to illegal immigration from Mexico would welcome a 2:1 trade of jobs to Mexico, to the reduce the incentive for them to come here. As CBS News so aptly stated, with immigration you can use a carrot or a stick. NAFTA is a carrot, a small carrot as it turns out, but Trump prefers to use a big stick.

Sources:
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGBJEzZkeio
Photo: http://www.insightcrime.org/images/2015/April-2015/15-04-03-Nafta.jpg
http://www.cfr.org/trade/naftas-economic-impact/p15790
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/is-donald-trump-right-to-call-nafta-a-disaster/

Trump Campaign Manager Assaults Female Reporter, Then Claims She Made It Up

Capture

On March 8th Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski assaulted Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields. Eyewitnesses and Ms. Fields claim that he grabbed her roughly and threw her to the ground. She was initially hesitant to publicize the finger shaped bruises on her arm “until [Trump] basically called me a liar.” The above photo is the one that she tweeted.

Below is a video of Trump saying that she is lying, “that no one saw it” and perhaps “she made it up”:

HERE is the audio of the incident and below is a transcript of an audibly upset Fields immediately after the altercation, in front of a witness:

Fields: “Mr. Trump, you went after the late Scalia for affirmative action, do you — are you still against affirmative action?”

Voice (allegedly Corey Lewandowski): “Excuse me, thank you.”
A few moments later (noise of the room can be heard)…

Terris: “You OK?”

Fields: “Holy shit.”

Terris: “Yea he just threw you down.”

Fields: “I can’t believe he just did that that was so hard. Was that Corey?”

Terris: “Yeah, like, what threat were you?”

Fields: “That was insane. You should have felt how hard he grabbed me. That’s insane. I’ve never had anyone do that to me from a campaign.”

Terris: “Can I put that in my story?”

Fields: “Yeah, go for it — that was really awful. That’s so unprofessional.”

Terris: “He really just almost threw you down on the ground.”

Fields: “He literally went like this and was grabbing me down. I don’t even what to do [about] what he just did to me. Oh my God, that really spooked me that someone would do that.”

Terris: “What threat were you?”

Fields: “Nothing. I was asking about affirmative action.”

Terris: “And he probably knows you, right?”

Fields: “Yeah, I don’t understand. That looks horrible. You’re going after a Breitbart reporter, the people who are nicest to you?”

Terris: “I know, I’m going to put it in my story.”

Last night in a victory speech Trump seemed to allude to the incident and congratulated his campaign manager saying “”Good job, Corey. Good job to our whole squad, right?”

It is clear that there was some sort of altercation by the Trump campaign that night. Trump claimed that Fields made it up, which I suppose has yet to be seen. Those finger shaped bruises are not “made up.” To say that no one saw it is just not true, as there is audio of another reporter helping Fields off the ground. It is surprising that video of the incident has not surfaced, though there is audio linked above. October surprise, anyone?

Sources:
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9AaOhPoVfo
http://townhall.com/tipsheet/christinerousselle/2016/03/10/donald-trump-michelle-fields-made-up-being-assaulted-n2131911
http://townhall.com/tipsheet/christinerousselle/2016/03/10/donald-trump-michelle-fields-made-up-being-assaulted-n2131911
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/inside-trumps-inner-circle-his-staffers-are-willing-to-fight-for-him-literally/2016/03/10/4b2b18e8-e660-11e5-a6f3-21ccdbc5f74e_story.html
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/03/10/breitbart-news-ceo-president-responds-to-donald-trump-campaigns-attack-on-breitbart-news-reporter-michelle-fields/
http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2016/03/donald-trump-florida-victory-disgusting-reporters

Animosity Boiling Over At Trump Rallies

This article was written by guest contributor Aaron.

As of late many news outlets are reporting on the protests and violence breaking out at Trump campaign rallies across the US. By now Trump’s comments about shooting a person on Fifth Avenue and the statement – “I’d like to punch him in the face” are well reported and brought up in many articles about this recent spike in violence (including this one).

Additionally, Trump has claimed that “there’s no violence, no one has been hurt.” Clearly this is untrue.

The animosity coming from Trump camp has been building slowly since The Donald announced his bid for president back in June of last year. At a rally in Iowa in February of this year, Trump made the comment:

“There may be somebody with tomatoes in the audience. So if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell – I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise, I promise. It won’t be so much because the courts agree with us too.”

It’s not exactly clear what Trump meant with his last statement about the courts. Are the courts okay with assault? At the same rally in Las Vegas that gave us Trump’s “punch in the face” line, we were also given this gem:

“You know what I hate? There’s a guy, totally disruptive, throwing punches, we’re not allowed to punch back anymore. I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher, folks.”

During the recent Republican debate in Florida, Trump was asked about this uptick in violence:

“We have some protesters who are bad dudes, they have done bad things. They are swinging, they are really dangerous and they get in there and they start hitting people. And we had a couple big, strong, powerful guys doing damage to people, not only the loudness, the loudness I don’t mind. But doing serious damage. And if they’ve got to be taken out, to be honest, I mean, we have to run something.”

As of yet, no video has surfaced showing demonstrators acting in the manor that Trump described.

One recent incident in North Carolina resulted in assault charges being brought against John McGraw, who elbowed protestor Rakeem Jones in the face as he was escorted out of the arena by police. In a video taken at the rally, Rakeem Jones can be seen walking up the steps of the arena when McGraw steps into the aisle and elbows him unprovoked. In a short video recorded just after the rallies’ finish, the seventy-eight-year-old McGraw spoke briefly about what he liked about the rally, saying, “knocking the hell out of that big mouth” with a smile. He then goes on to say, “the next time we see him, we might have to kill him.”

Does that mean that Trump is going to cover Mr. McGraw’s legal fees? It appears that he might. In an interview with Chuck Todd on Meet the Press, Todd posed the possibility of Trump helping out with Mr. McGraw’s fees. Trump replied, “I’ve actually instructed my people to look into it, yes.”

By paying McGraw’s legal fees, isn’t Donald Trump condoning what McGraw has done? Most people don’t put money into things they don’t believe in. Trump has been nonchalant about the increasing number of these kinds of incidents taking place at his rallies. From the very beginning, Trump has seemed to embrace the animosity flowing through his crowd but then I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at that considering he was the one to put it there.

Sources:
http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/23/politics/donald-trump-nevada-rally-punch/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2M6Qgy-fOI
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/03/10/trump-protester-sucker-punched-at-north-carolina-rally-videos-show/
http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/man-charged-assault-after-punching-protester-trump-event-n536046
http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/10/politics/republican-debate-transcript-full-text/index.html
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKENbT4_9tM

Trump Lies About Police Asking Him To Cancel Rallies. Twice.

CaptureIn a statement on Friday the Trump campaign stated that “after meeting with law enforcement has determined that for the safety of all of the tens of thousands of people that have gathered in and around the arena, tonight’s rally will be postponed to another date.” This statement comes after ongoing violence at Trump rallies, including fistfights and scuffles between supporters and protesters.

At a new conference late Friday night a spokesman for the Chicago PD said “The Chicago Police Department had no role. In fact, I can tell you we did assure the Trump campaign that we had more than adequate resources outside the UIC Pavilion and that we guaranteed them we could provide safe access and exit for Mr. Trump.”

On Sunday Trump again claimed that Kansas City police asked him to cancel a rally planned there, as reported by the Kansas City Star reporter Steve Kraske. The KC City Manager later denied this claim on Twitter. The rally went on as planned, and pepper spray was used by police on the assembled protesters as seen in the following video. There is some mild cursing in this video.

Sources:
https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/statement-regarding-trump-campaign-chicago-rally-postponement
Chicago Police: We Never Told Trump Campaign To Shut Down Rally
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/03/trump-dissembles-about-peaceful-assembly/473658/
https://twitter.com/stevekraske

Trump Claims Protester Connected to ISIS, Proves He Doesn’t Know What ISIS Believes

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At a Trump rally in Ohio on Saturday, security tackled a man attempting to rush the stage. The man, Thomas DiMassimo, was charged with disorderly conduct and inducing panic. Donald Trump tweeted that afternoon that the man “had ties to ISIS.”

Later that night, at a rally in St. Louis, Trump told the crowd: “It was probably ISIS or ISIS-related. Do you believe it?…the guy is playing all sorts of, let’s say music that you wouldn’t be liking, dragging an American flag along the sidewalk, making all sorts of gestures, having all sorts of things on the Internet. And he’s probably or possibly ISIS-related.”

A quick look at the video entitled Tommy Hates America shows this to be a ridiculous statement. It shows DiMassimo and others dragging an American flag and protesting while religious Islamic music plays, though an article in the Chicago Tribune describes this video as “incontrovertibly fake.” It originally appeared in a longer version called “Students at Wright State University #NotMyFlag protest” shown here without the Arabic writing or religious music:

Author of the book “ISIS: Inside the Army Of Terror” Hassan Hassan stated definitively to the Chicago Tribune that the video is “definitely not an ISIS video.” The video contains many uncovered women, men in shorts and tank tops and public displays of affection that would never be included in an ISIS video.

Donald Trump did not provide any further proof other than an obviously and poorly faked video. Again Trump uses his ignorance of ISIS to stir up his supporters and try to win political points.

Sources:
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q0Kwcp2DLFo
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-trump-secret-service-intruder-20160312-story.html
http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/donald-trump-isis-attacker/2016/03/12/id/718837/
https://amp.twimg.com/v/977860d3-6b1b-4a5f-a81e-67baa6e2e3b1

Trump Claims Common Core, a Voluntary Non- Federal Program, “Took Over” Schools

Group of teenagers sitting in classroom with raised hands.
In the 12th (has it really been twelve?) GOP Debate on Thursday Donald Trump continued to voice his distaste for the Common Core State Standards Initiative, a voluntary set of guidelines for state education programs. When asked why he didn’t like Common Core Trump said it was “Education through Washington, D.C. … It’s all been taken over now by the bureaucrats in Washington.”

Actually, Common Core is an initiative, not a requirement, and not a federal program at all. It is a set of standards and recommendations created by educators and state governors, not the federal government. It is also a voluntary program, though performance on the evaluations is tied to the Race To the Top federal grant money. There is and was no federal mandate to adopted Common Core.

The bottom line is that the way that Trump is construing Common Core is wrong. It is a choice that is made by the states on an individual basis, and in fact there are 8 states that have not adapted the Common Core standards (including my state Oklahoma). Doesn’t sound like a very effective federal takeover, Donald.

Sources:
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/mar/10/donald-trump/common-core-education-through-washington-dc-trump-/
http://www.corestandards.org/standards-in-your-state/
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/fact-checking-the-12th-republican-debate/
http://www.corestandards.org/about-the-standards/