Foreign Policy Speech Vol. 3: ISIS is Not “Making Millions” Off of Libyan Oil

In part three of our examination of Trump’s April 27th foreign policy speech, we take a look at one of the specific claims made by Trump about ISIS. He talked about ISIS repeatedly in this speech, taking a much more hard line on the extremist group than the Obama administration.

At the 21:20 mark of the above video Trump is speaking of Hillary Clinton and Benghazi, and makes this claim:

“And now ISIS is making millions and millions of dollars a week selling Libya oil. And you know what? We don’t blockade, we don’t bomb, we don’t do anything about it. It’s almost as if our country doesn’t even know what’s happening, which could be a fact and could be true.”

As reported by Factcheck.org, Claudia Gazzini, Tripoli based analyst for Libya with the International Crisis Group, said that the goal of ISIS in Libya has been to disrupt and disable Libyan oil fields. They made several attacks on oil production facilities in 2015, but just destroyed equipment and murdered workers, without setting up an infrastructure for the sale or distribution of oil.

Gazzini told the Washington Post that “there is no evidence that [ISIS] are pumping out the crude oil and certainly no evidence that they are trading it.” Trump’s assertion that ISIS is benefiting financially from oil in Libya is simply not true.

ISIS is actually making millions (estimates range to $500 million a year) from oil fields in Syria. It is unlikely that Trump just misspoke here, as he was railing against Hillary Clinton and the Benghazi fiasco.

Sources:
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feg-onymzXA
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/04/29/fact-check-trumps-foreign-policy-speech/83703200/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/04/25/trumps-false-claim-that-isis-is-making-a-fortune-on-libyan-oil/
http://www.factcheck.org/2016/04/trumps-foreign-policy-speech/

Foreign Policy Speech Vol. 2: Trump Implies Iran Is Developing Weapons

Here is Volume 2 of our continuing suite on Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech in Washington on Wednesday.

Immediately after the statements from our previous post, Trump launches into his disdain for the recent Iran nuclear agreement. Check the 13:20 mark of the above video.

“(President Obama) negotiated a disastrous deal with Iran, and then we watch them ignore its terms, even before the ink was dry. Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. Cannot be allowed, remember that, cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. And under a Trump Administration will never, ever be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.”

It is unclear what Trump is referring to when he say that Iran “ignored the terms” of the deal. There was a ballistic missile test in July by Iran that was in violation of a UN agreement, as well as the taking of US sailors in December and has been purchasing jets from Russia. As Obama has stated, these violate the “spirit” of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, but Iran seems to be adhering to the heart of the agreement which the dismantling of its nuclear program.

Donald Trump is not necessarily wrong to criticize the Iran nuclear deal, as Iran has violated some of the tenants by testing ballistic missiles. However, Trump implies that Iran violated it by continuing to develop nuclear weapons, and there is no evidence of that.

Sources:
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feg-onymzXA
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2016/04/donald_trump_s_foreign_policy_speech_was_an_incoherent_mess.html
http://www.wsj.com/articles/one-year-after-the-iran-nuclear-deal-1459721502
http://nypost.com/2016/04/05/feeding-iran-forbidden-carrots-even-as-it-breaks-the-nuclear-deal/
http://www.wsj.com/articles/iran-insists-it-didnt-violate-nuclear-deal-with-missile-test-1444666005

Foreign Policy Speech Vol. 1: Advocating Abandoning Allies, While At Same Time Saying To Strengthen Alliances

Donald Trump made an important speech on Wednesday at The National Interest in Washington, DC. This speech was practiced and read off of a teleprompter, in stark contrast to his normal stream of consciousness, shoot from the hip style. This speech was a doozy, filled to the brim with glaring contradictions and outright lies. WDTLAY will do a suite on this speech, each day devoting a blog post to a different falsehood or contradiction.

Early in Trump’s speech, at the 11:30 mark in the above video, Trump begins talking about the US distribution of military aid, and the US acting as a world police force. He delivers it in a bullet point style:

“Secondly, our allies are not paying their fair share, and I’ve been talking about this recently a lot. Our allies must contribute toward their financial, political and human cost, have to do it, of our tremendous security burden. But many of them are simply not doing so. They look at the United States as weak and forgiving, and feel no obligation to honor their agreements with us.”

He continued: “We have spent trillions…building up a strong defense for Europe and Asia. The countries we are defending must pay for the cost of this defense. And if not the US must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves. We have no choice.”

Donald Trump has also called Nato “obsolete” and threatened to quit the organization if other countries don’t spend more on defense.

In the very next bullet point, essentially in the same breath, he makes this statement. Seriously, it’s at the 13:10 mark.

“Thirdly, our friends are beginning to think that they can’t depend on us. We’ve had a President who dislikes our friends and bows to our enemies, something that we’ve never seen before in the history of our country.”

Trump insults our friends and threatens to abandon our allies if they don’t pay up, then blasts Obama for disliking our friends? He said that our allies must pay up for our protection, then says the US is going to pull out anyway? I can’t stress this enough, he makes these two completely contradictory points one right after another.

We’ll have more terrifying coverage of Trump’s foreign policy speech tomorrow, and throughout the weekend.

Sources:
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feg-onymzXA
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2016/04/donald_trump_s_foreign_policy_speech_was_an_incoherent_mess.html

Trump Brags He Dictated Placement At Debates

At about 34:45 of the above video Donald Trump brags that he was at center stage of every debate, and goes on to say that he basically required it. At a speech in Waterbury, CT on Saturday he made the following statement about the debates:

“Every single debate I was on center stage, and the only thing I asked of the debates were I want an odd number of people. You know why? When it was an even number I was on center stage with somebody else. In other words, if we had five I was in the center, if we had six I was sharing it, I didn’t like that OK? So I’d fight, and I usually won that fight, but not always. But I was center stage, I was number one, on every single debate.”

Media Matters spoke with a representative at CNBC, who said that the placement was based on polling data alone, not any request by a candidate. Unnamed sources from CNN, CNBC, Fox News, Fox Business, CBS and ABC echo the statement that the candidates do not exercise control over debate placement.

151213085036-prime-time-debate-podium-exlarge-169

Contemporary articles on CNN, linked from the Media Matters article, state that the December debate was determined by polling, while the February debate was determined by current delegate count.

Sources:
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2hpRTQRKdg
https://mediamatters.org/blog/2016/04/26/network-sources-deny-trump-claim-he-dictated-number-primary-debate-participants/210091
http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/13/politics/republican-debate-gop-stage/
http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/24/politics/republican-debate-houston-cnn-podium-seating

Trump Campaign Makes Up Cruz/Kasich Unfavorability Numbers

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, Trump has some strong feelings about the recent alliance between Ted Cruz and John Kasich. His press release is a fascinating read, complete with some numbers that seem to be made up out of whole cloth:

“Senator Cruz has done very poorly and after his New York performance, which was a total disaster, he is in free fall and as everyone has seen, he does not react well under pressure. Also, approximately 80% of the Republican Party is against him. Governor Kasich, who has only won 1 state out of 41, in other words, he is 1 for 41 and he is not even doing as well as other candidates who could have stubbornly stayed in the race like him but chose not to do so. Marco Rubio, as an example, has more delegates than Kasich and yet suspended his campaign one month ago. Others, likewise, have done much better than Kasich, who would get slaughtered by Hillary Clinton once the negative ads against him begin. 85% of Republican voters are against Kasich.”

It is unclear where these numbers are coming from. By any measure, 80% of the Republican Party is not against Ted Cruz, nor 85% against Kasich. We’ll start with vote totals.

Capture

Trump leads with 8.7 million votes, followed by Cruz with 6.4 million and Kasich with 3.1 million. While Trump has a commanding lead, of the 21,735,860 votes cast for the top four candidates in the Republican primaries, Ted Cruz got 6,389,500 of them, or 29.4%. Not great, but that is pretty far from “80% of the Republican Party is against him.” Clearly at least 29.4% of the voters in the primaries are for him. If we use favorability polls, Trump’s claim is even more blatantly false. According to Huffington Post, which aggregated 221 polls from 30 pollsters, has Cruz with a 31.5% favorable rating and 54.8% unfavorable rating. These polls for the public at large, presumably the unfavorable rating in the GOP would be much lower.

Moving on to Kasich, the Trump campaign claims that Kasich has only won one state out of 41, his home state of Ohio. Which seems strange, as there have only been 36 primaries and caucuses held so far, with 15 to go. It seems like someone on the Trump team would know how many primaries are left, but, hey, organization and fact checking are not really their strong suit.

Trump is actually pretty close on Kasich, though it would probably be more accurate to say that 15% of Republican voters voted for him, as opposed to 85% are against him. He has currently received 14.6% of the votes cast for the top four candidates. Using the latest favorability polls from HuffPo, which aggregate 97 polls from 17 pollsters, Kasich has a 38.9% favorability rating, with only a 34.1% unfavorable rating, the lowest of the three remaining candidates. Quite a bit better than 85% unfavorable. Again, these polls are from the public at large, likely to be less favorable than just the Republicans that Trump is claiming.

In comparison, Trump has received about 40% of the votes cast for the top four candidates. His favorability rating, using 137 polls from 24 pollsters at Huffington Post, is at 29.9% percent, the lowest of the three remaining candidates. His unfavorability rating is 63.6%, far and away the highest of the three candidates.

Sources:
Sarcastic Random Number Generator: http://www.wolframalpha.com/widgets/
https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/response-to-cruz-and-kasich
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/republican_vote_count.html
http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/ted-cruz-favorable-rating
http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/john-kasich-favorable-rating
http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/donald-trump-favorable-rating

GOP Hates Trump So Much That They Are Actually Working Together

ourobouros

Ted Cruz and John Kasich have thrown together a last ditch effort to keep Donald Trump from the nomination, by focusing on certain states while abandoning others, and telling their constituents that they are “clearing the path” for the other candidate.

“To ensure we nominate a Republican that can unify the Republican party and win in November,” the Cruz campaign said on Monday,  “our campaign will focus its time and resources in Indiana and in turn clear the path for Governor Kasich to compete in Oregon and New Mexico.”

“Due to the fact that Indiana is a winner take all statewide and by congressional district, keeping Trump from winning a plurality in Indiana is critical to keeping him under 1237 bound delegates,” the Kasich campaign agreed, marking a bold new strategy for the “Anybody But Trump” faction of the GOP.

The “alliance” is a weak one, as Cruz advised his supporters not to vote strategically while Kasich said “I’ve never told [my supporters] not to vote for me. They ought to vote for me. But I’m not over there campaigning and spending resources.”

Trump has predictably blasted and insulted the alliance, as working together seems to be an attribute that the GOP loathes. “It is sad that two grown politicians have to collude against one person who has only been a politician for ten months in order to try and stop that person from getting the Republican nomination,” Trump simultaneously whined and bragged in an entertaining press release on his website.

After a round of personal attacks (that I’ll get to tomorrow…), he went on to say “collusion is often illegal in many other industries and yet these two Washington insiders have had to revert to collusion in order to stay alive. They are mathematically dead and this act only shows, as puppets of donors and special interests, how truly weak they and their campaigns are.”

Sources:
http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/25/politics/ted-cruz-john-kasich-divide-map-strategy-donald-trump/
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/26/us/politics/ted-cruz-john-kasich-donald-trump/
https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/response-to-cruz-and-kasich

Trump Celebrates Using Delaware as a Tax Haven, Blasts Companies for Using Tax Havens

Donald Trump has been stumping the Delaware ahead of the upcoming primary. Delaware is notorious for having extremely lax corporate tax laws, making it America’s top onshore tax haven. Donald Trump knows this, and bragged about how many companies he had registered there:

“Do we love Delaware, do we love it? When I left the office I asked for a couple of things. I said ‘Number one, I spend a fortune in Delaware, nobody knows that, right? It’s a great place. So I said to my people I had no idea, I said you know we do a lot of business in Delaware. That’s good, ’cause that means taxes and everything. So I said how many entities do we have registered in Delaware? Like companies and this and…So I figured they’d maybe say two or three, right? 378. I said ‘What?’ So we have 378 entities registered in the state of Delaware, meaning I pay you a lot of money, folks! I don’t feel at all guilty, okay?”

Spoken in Trump’s normal frantic, garbled cadence, it’s a little unclear what he has to not feel guilty about. Is it the fact that he just bragged about taking advantage of the tax loopholes that cost the US billions of dollars per year? The Institute on Taxation and Policy had this to say:

“A loophole in Delaware’s tax code is responsible for the loss of billions of dollars in revenue in other U.S. states, and its lack of incorporation transparency makes it a magnet for people looking to create anonymous shell companies, which individuals and corporations can use to evade an inestimable amount in federal and foreign taxes. The Internal Revenue Service estimated a total tax gap of about $450 billion with $376 billion of it due to filers underreporting income in 2006 (the most recent tax year for which this data is available).[i] While it is impossible to know how much underreported income is hidden in Delaware shell companies, the First State’s ability to attract the formation of anonymous companies suggests that it could rival the amount of income hidden in more well-known offshore tax havens.”

Trump’s egomaniacal hypocrisy continues as he rails against other companies hiding their profits overseas. “We have companies that have trillions of dollars, cumulatively, outside of our country,” Trump said at the 1:47:00 mark of the above video, alluding to offshore tax havens. “The Republicans and the Democrats agree, they want the money brought in. And yet the government can’t make a deal, because we don’t have a leader in Obama.”

So Trump boasts about how many companies that he has filed in Delaware, where the only reason to do so is a lax corporate tax loophole and opaque shareholder laws, costing the American people billions. Then, in the same speech he threatens companies that use tax havens that don’t happen it be in the US. What’s the difference, Mr. Trump? It’s all money that rightfully belongs to the US government that you and other companies are keeping for themselves.

Sources:
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51qasW8X4Fk
http://www.newsweek.com/panama-papers-secret-state-delaware-445436
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/apr/23/donald-trump-loves-onshore-tax-haven-delaware/
http://www.salon.com/2016/02/22/how_delaware_became_an_american_haven_for_grand_corruption/
http://itep.org/itep_reports/2015/12/delaware-an-onshore-tax-haven.php#.Vxz4UEerpPY

Trump Overstates Syrian Refugees in the US by a Factor of 10

At a rally in Delaware yesterday, Trump started off his speech strangely, with a written laundry list of problems that Delaware was facing. At the 1:04:30 gets to Syrian refugees, some of whom have been settled in Delaware.

“Delaware voters are concerned about the possible intake of Syrian refugees, is that not unbelievable? The state has seen large increases in its foreign born population. We don’t even know where the hell they come from. We don’t know where they come from, who they are, they’re totally undocumented, and you’ve seen a large intake. With the problems that we’ve had you’ve seen a large intake.” Trump continues, boasting about his prediction of the numbers. “Do you remember when they said they were gonna only take 3000? Then it was 6000. And I said it was going to be a lot more, I was saying 200,000. You know what, I’m right. Okay? We’re taking in tens of thousands of people, and you know what we all have heart. And we want to take care of that. But don’t know where these people are coming from, totally like they have no documents. Totally undocumented.”

Aside from being overtly xenophobia, stating the an “increase in the foreign born population” is a problem, the numbers that he quotes are wrong. Really wrong. It is difficult to find good, recent numbers on the actual number of Syrian refugee that have been resettled in the US. A document from the United Nationsstates as of February of 2016 the number of refugees that have been submitted is only 32,369. Those have not actually been settle here, they are still going through the interview process.

According to The Hill, only 1300 refugees have been settled in the US since September. In September 2015, President Obama stated a goal of settling 10,000 refugees by September of 2016, but shortages of interviewers has greatly slowed down that process.

In any case, Trump’s assertion that he was right about his prediction of 200,000 refugees is not correct.

Sources:
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51qasW8X4Fk
http://theconversation.com/where-have-4-8-million-syrian-refugees-gone-57968
http://www.unhcr.org/52b2febafc5.pdf
http://thehill.com/policy/defense/276441-state-seeks-to-pick-up-pace-on-bringing-syrian-refugees-to-us

Trump Says “No One Respects Women More Than I Do”

Donald Trump went on the Today Show yesterday with most of his immediate family, where they all had lots of nice things to say about each other. Matt Lauer, to his credit, opens the meat of the interview with a question about Trump’s insults of minorities, and women in particular. Trump essentially parries the question with this answer:

“Look I did some things and I’ve said some things in fun, I’ve said it as an entertainer, during The Apprentice…That was entertainment,” Trump told the crowd yesterday. “There is no one that respects women more than I do. There is no one that will take care of women’s health issues better than I will. Hillary cannot do it, believe me. She doesn’t have the strength, the energy, she will not be able to do it. And I think that women will be big fans.”

Here is a capture of what the women in the audience thought of that statement:

Women

For real, that is capture of women in the crowd in real time as Trump says the above statement. That is what the camera saw at the 10:20 mark of that video as Trump making those statements about women. There’s more, check out the video. Those women aren’t buying it and neither are the 69% of women nationally who described Trump as “unfavorable.”

Below are a few choice quotes Trump has said in the past about women. You can decide if there is “anyone who respects women more” than Trump does.

On Megyn Kelly, after moderating a debate: “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her — wherever.”

On Carly Fiorina: “Look at that face. Would anybody vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?! I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”

During a debate in August Megyn Kelly pointed out that “You have called women you don’t like ‘fat pigs’, ‘dogs’, ‘slobs’, and ‘disgusting animals.” Trump claimed he doesn’t “have the time for total political correctness.”

From a 1991 Esquire interview: “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”

Trump wrote this in his 1997 book The Art of the Comeback: “Women have one of the great acts of all time. The smart ones act very feminine and needy, but inside they are real killers. The person who came up with the expression ‘the weaker sex’ was either very naive or had to be kidding. I have seen women manipulate men with just a twitch of their eye — or perhaps another body part.”

To a female contestant on The Apprentice: “Excuse me, you dropped to your knees? That must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees.”

Sources:
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAJVjQEmOEs
http://www.today.com/news/donald-trump-joins-today-show-live-town-hall-answers-voters-t87551
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/18-real-things-donald-trump-has-said-about-women_us_55d356a8e4b07addcb442023
http://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/250611-apprentice-contestant-doesnt-remember-trumps-on-your-knees

Endorsement Of Trump By Border Patrol Union Mostly Consists of Lies

Capture

In an eye opening article by the ACLU yesterday, they outlined four ways that the recent endorsement of Trump by the National Border Patrol Council is filled with inaccuracies and outright xenophobic fear mongering. To sum it up in a short blog post:

The NBPC stated that they “serve this country in an environment where our own political leaders try to keep us from doing our jobs.” Taking a quick look at the above graph, that wouldn’t seem to be the case. The budget for the border patrol has more than tripled since 2000, from $1.06 billion in 2000 to $3.8 billion in 2015. Despite the rhetoric of the Trump campaign, the rate of these increases has gone up in the last 8 years under the Obama administration. They are not wanting for resources, and the Border Patrol remains an outfit with very little oversight.

The ACLU’s second point was “if we do not secure our borders, American communities will continue to suffer at the hands of gangs, cartels and violent criminals preying on the innocent. The lives and security of the American people are at stake.” Despite the obvious fear mongering, it turns out the border communities have lower crime rates. According to the Wall Street Journal, “newcomers to the U.S. are less likely than the native population to commit violent crimes or be incarcerated.”

“America has already tried a young, articulate freshman senator … under whose watch criminal cartels have been given the freest border reign ever known.” Actually that “freshman senator” has the nickname in some circles as the “Deporter in Chief,” the Obama administration having deported more undocumented immigrants than any administration in history.

“There is no greater physical or economic threat to Americans than our open border.” Unless you count almost anything else…a trade war with China, declining US jobs, ISIS, unrest at home and abroad, inequality of wealth…the list goes on. This is an extremely bold claim by the NBPC, but they don’t back it up with any facts.

The National Border Patrol Council wrote a fear mongering, hate filled and dishonest endorsement of Donald J. Trump for President. That would make sense as he is hanging his red Trump hat on the hook of fear mongering, hate and dishonesty.

Sources:
http://www.bpunion.org/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/1824-national-border-patrol-council-endorses-donald-trump-for-president
https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/4-ways-border-patrol-unions-trump-endorsement-filled-lies-and-misinformation

Obama has deported more immigrants than any other president. Now he’s running up the score.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-mythical-connection-between-immigrants-and-crime-1436916798
https://www.texastribune.org/2016/02/23/border-communities-have-lower-crime-rates/