Trump Backtracks On Advocating Carrying Guns To A Nightclub

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When the NRA distances itself from you for going too far in advocating for gun rights, you know you’ve really gone too far. That’s exactly what happened to Donald Trump over the weekend, as he has been quite vocal about the assertion that the Orlando shooting could have been stopped if more people in the nightclub had been carrying guns.

“If some of those wonderful people had guns strapped right here, right to their waist or right to their ankle, and this son of a bitch comes out and starts shooting and one of the people in that room happened to have it and goes boom, boom. You know what, that would’ve been a beautiful, beautiful sight, folks,” Trump said Friday night, gleefully describing the violent death of a human being as a “beautiful, beautiful sight.”

Earlier in the week Trump opined that “it’s too bad some of the people killed over the weekend didn’t have guns attached to their hips where bullets could have thrown in the opposite direction. Had people been able to fire back it would have been a much different outcome.” It seems clear that Donald Trump is recklessly advocating that citizens arm themselves when going to a nightclub where drugs and alcohol are very likely to be consumed.

A top NRA spokesman distanced the rabidly pro-gun lobby from Trump’s statements, saying “No one thinks that people should go into a nightclub drinking and carrying firearms. That defies common sense. It also defies the law.” No one, that is, except for Donald Trump, who has repeatedly and vigorously suggested that very thing.

Perhaps realizing that he was recommending that his supporters break the law (as about half of US states ban or restrict loaded weapons in places that serve alcohol), Trump didn’t apologize and restate his intent. He “clarified” his statements this morning on Twitter in such a way that he was not wrong, but perhaps the dishonest media misunderstood him:

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We’re not stupid, Donald Trump. You didn’t “obviously” mean additional security guards. You meant “some of those wonderful people” or “one of the people in the room” or “some of the people killed” because that is what you said, never mentioning security guards or or other trained, presumably sober, personnel. You obviously advocated that private citizens should take a loaded gun to a nightclub where presumably drinking is happening so that you can protect yourself from the infinitesimal chance that a mass shooting will happen that night, and endangering the safety of every person in that bar.

Sources:
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/donald-trump-guards-orlando-club-armed-clubgoers/story?id=39984788
http://www.aol.com/article/2016/06/19/nra-comes-out-against-trump-gun-proposal/21398279/

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Trump Continues the Fiction Of A Self-Funded Campaign As He Fundraises

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Donald Trump has been on the fundraising circuit this week, holding events in Texas in Nevada. He claimed to raise $12-13 million “between yesterday and today,” though sources in his own campaign put that number closer to $8 million. Not bad for a candidate that is still perpetuating the notion that he is self-funding a general election campaign. As WDTLAY as previously covered, Donald Trump has never fully self-funded his campaign, as he claimed throughout the primaries.

According to Open Secrets, Donald Trump really has funded about 75% of his campaign himself, a whopping $43 million so far. That leaves nearly $14 million in donations. These numbers are current as of May 23 and do not include the last few weeks of fundraising.

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Yesterday the Trump campaign sent out an “emergency” fund raising email to combat the airing of ads by “Crooked Hillary,” the first such email of his campaign. This signals a move towards a more traditional fundraising effort, but Trump couldn’t help but pat himself on the back and take a shot at the GOP.

“Life is like two way street, right? Otherwise I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing,” Trump threatened.  “I’ll just keep funding my own campaign. I’m OK with that. That’s the easy way. I mean for me, that’s the easy way. But, hopefully I can continue to go the way we’re going, and this weekend we raised a lot of money. We’ve raised a lot of money for the Republican Party. We’ll keep doing it, because we do have tremendous support within the party that I can tell you.”

Trump did not seem too concerned with the current hand wringing and waffling in the GOP, saying “If the Republican party acts like they don’t wanna help, I’ll fund my own campaign. Right now I’m raising a lot of money for the GOP. I like doing it. But we have to have help.”

The specter of a Donald Trump campaign that is unfettered by the need for GOP funds must be terrifying the party elite. The GOP keeps hoping that Trump will fall in line once he needs the money for a general campaign, but he has shown that he is willing to spend more than $43 million of his own money and is now increasing his fundraising efforts.

Sources:
https://www.opensecrets.org/pres16/candidate.php?id=N00023864
http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/18/politics/donald-trump-emergency-fundraising/
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/19/donald-trump-threatens-to-self-fund-campaign-if-gop-support-wavers.html
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-threatens-to-fund-his-own-campaign/article/2594302

Trump Is Wrong About Lack of Muslim Assimilation

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Throughout his 2016 bid for the Presidency, Donald Trump has been critical and suspicious of Muslim immigrants. A ban on all Muslim immigration to the US has a cornerstone of Trump’s platform, and has ratcheted up in the wake of the Orlando shooting. Trump has used the idea that Muslims are unable or unwilling to assimilate once in the US to bolster support for his anti-immigrant policies.

Wednesday on Fox News’ Sean Hannity Show, the host asked Trump about this question. “Assimilation has been very hard [for Muslims],” Trump responded. “It’s almost — I won’t say nonexistent, but it gets to be pretty close. And I’m talking about second and third generation. They come — they don’t — for some reason, there’s no real assimilation.”

Politifact decided to find out, and discovered that Trump’s assertion that Muslim immigrants did not assimilate is false.

A survey in 2011 by the esteemed Pew Foundation was conducted among 1033 Muslims in America. 56% of those survey said they thought “most Muslims coming to the United States today want to adopt American customs and ways of life.” 20% responded that “most Muslims coming to the U.S. want to be distinct from the larger American society,” and 16 percent said “Muslim immigrants want to do both.” The attitudes by the American public at large differ greatly from those of the Muslims surveyed, with just 33% of Americans believing that most Muslims want to assimilate.

The same survey noticed some interesting similarities between Muslim and Christian Americans in their thoughts on God and country. Half of Muslims regarded themselves as Muslim first and American second. The number for Christians was surprisingly similar, with 46% saying they were Christian first and American second.

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An NYU study found that younger Muslims seemed to be happy with the designation as a Muslim-American, with 84% of 12-18 year olds were comfortable with a “hyphenated identity.”

While Muslims seem to find it valuable to maintain elements of their culture, to say that there is “no real assimilation” is contrary to the data found by Politifact. Donald Trump finds it politically expedient to create an “other,” whether or not this has any basis in reality.

Sources:
http://www.politifact.com/nbc/statements/2016/jun/18/donald-trump/donald-trump-wrong-theres-no-real-assimilation-us-/
http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/orlando-nightclub-massacre/trump-claim-muslims-don-t-assimilate-false-politifact-finds-n594686

Section 3: Identity, Assimilation and Community

Trump Retweets Conspiracy Theory Linking Obama To ISIS In Iraq

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After the Orlando attacks, Donald Trump insinuated that President Obama was involved in the worst mass shooting in American history. Trump doubled down on this conspiracy theory on Wednesday, siting an article on the conservative opinion site Breitbart.

“Hillary Clinton received a classified intelligence report stating that the Obama administration was actively supporting Al Qaeda in Iraq, the terrorist group that became the Islamic State,” Trump said on Facebook, linking the same Breitbart article.

Trump did not bother to read the memo apparently, as neither the headline nor Trump’s bold accusations are supported by the linked memo. The article tries to link the Obama administration to support of Muhammad Al Adnani years ago against the oppressive regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad. Al Adnani is the senior spokesman for the Islamic State. However, the memo doesn’t indicate support, only informs the reader that he Islamic State is actively fighting against the al Assad regime in Syria.

Al Nusra, the Al Qaeda alias mention in the memo, was declared to be a terrorist organization by the Obama administration in December of 2011. This memo was released in August of 2012.

Furthermore, the memo explicitly states that “The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime.” The Obama administration has been criticized for not doing enough to fight both ISIS and the Al Assad regime. The click bait headline is pretty disgusting, though Breitbart likely got plenty of clicks despite having little evidence in the body of the article.

Trump’s reliance on poor journalism from biased news sources to inform him on foreign affairs is troubling. Gleefully disseminating conspiracy theories and poorly written click bait to millions of supporters is irresponsible and reckless, and seems to be one of Trump’s favorite things to do this week.

Sources:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/06/16/fact-check-trump-isis-conspiracy-theory/86005666/
http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/06/14/hillary-clinton-received-secret-memo-stating-obama-admin-support-for-isis/
http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf

Trump Claims Russian Military, Nukes Are Stronger Than US

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In a rally speech in Atlanta on Wednesday, Donald Trump called for a strengthening of the American military. Not surprising, as he often disparages the size and strength of the US military. Especially not surprising as his tone in regards to ISIS has become increasing hawkish in the aftermath of the Orlando shootings. What is surprising is that he would bring up Russia, and suggest that we are losing a Cold War style arms race with the former Soviet Union, and that both our military and nuclear arsenal are inferior to Russia’s.

“Frankly, Putin has built up their military again and again and again,” Trump said. “Their military is much stronger. He’s doing nuclear, we’re not doing anything. Our nuclear is old and tired, and his nuclear is tippy top from what I hear.”

Global Fire Power, who sources their information from cia.gov, has created a handy chart for us showing that the American military is stronger in nearly every respect compared to the Russian military. Be it spending, available manpower, equipment or aircraft, the US is superior in each catagory, often exponentially. The exceptions are that Russia outpaces the US in verified oil reserves and the number of men in the active military reserves. The US spends $581 billion annually on the military, dwarfing the Russian budget of $46 billion, less than one tenth of the budget of the US. Here is the top of the chart:

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Additionally, the US nuclear arsenal is at least on par with that of the former Soviet Union, according to the Arms Control Association. While Russia is estimated to have 7700 nuclear weapons compared to the 7100 the US is estimated to have, nearly 3200 of these Russian warheads are “retired” and awaiting dismantlement. Either way both countries have plenty of firepower to “mutually assure destruction” of the other. Clinging to a Cold War mentality of a nuclear arms race is outdated and factually incorrect.

Sources:
http://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-comparison-detail.asp?form=form&country1=united-states-of-america&country2=russia&Submit=Compare+Countries

https://www.rawstory.com/2016/06/trump-just-gave-a-batsht-insane-speech-here-are-his-5-craziest-statements/
https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/Nuclearweaponswhohaswhat

Trump Thanks LGBT Community While Opposing Marriage & Transgender Equality

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Yesterday Donald Trump tweeted his thanks to the LGBT community in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting, presumably for their support of his candidacy? It seems odd to make a statement turning a mass shooting perpetrated upon a minority into gratitude for that minority’s support, rather than about that community’s anguish or grief. Especially odd when according to one poll LGBT voters prefer Clinton to Trump 84% to 16%, a 68 point swing. Donald Trump does not have very many LGBT supporters to be thanking in this tweet.

Donald Trump said in the above tweet that he “will fight for you,” the LGBT community. “Hillary Clinton can never claim to be a friend of the gay community,” Donald Trump said in his speech Monday. “As long as she supports immigration policies that bring Islamic extremists to our country and who suppress women, gays, and anyone else who doesn’t share their views or values.” He said that as sympathy for LGBT Americans is high after the shooting, but his policy assertions in the past do not back up his commitment to the issues important to LGBT voters.

Donald Trump, a “traditionalist,” does not support marriage equality. None of the eleven Supreme Court Justices that he has proposed are supportive of LGBT rights, and he has said that he would “strongly consider” nominating a Justice that was opposed to marriage equality. “I disagree with the court in that it should have been a states’ rights issue,” Trump has said of marriage equality. He has waffled on the trans bathroom issue in North Carolina, again saying that is should be left up to the states.

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Sources:
http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2016/06/14/3788583/ donald-trump-thanks-the-lgbt-community-but-for-what/
http://www.washingtonblade.com/content/files/2016/05/WINS-Findings-Among-LGBT-Voters-May-2016.pdf
http://www.hrc.org/2016RepublicanFacts/donald-trump
http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2016/05/26/3782177/ donald-trump-republican-party-line-transgender-protections/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ donald-trump-marriage-equality_us_56af63c8e4b00b033aafb496
http://www.nytimes.com/ 2016/06/15/us/politics/trump-immigration-rally-lgbt.html?_r=0

 

Trump Says NY Born Orlando Shooter “Born An Afghan”

At a rally in Manchester, NM yesterday, Trump made an impassioned and inflammatory “national security speech” in response to the mass shooting in Orlando over the weekend. This speech deals almost exclusively with the idea of Muslim immigration, though the shooter was not an immigrant, but born in New York. The shooter was also described by his family as “not particularly religious.”

See the above video at 9:50. “The killer, whose name I will not use, or ever say, was born an Afghan, to Afghan parents who immigrated to the United States,” Trump said of the US born shooter. “His father published support for the Afghan Taliban, a regime which murders those who don’t share its radical views. And they murdered plenty. The father even said he was running for President of Afghanistan.”

Omar Saddiqui Mateen was born in New York and raised in Florida. He was not “born an Afghan.” He was an American citizen. Donald Trump is not only using the deaths of 50 people to promote his xenophobic agenda, but he is changing the facts to twist them into his policy.

Trump’s rhetoric was predictably vitriolic, reactionary and bigoted, ignoring the fact this is homegrown terrorism. Mateen called 911 and claimed to be an ISIS fighter, and ISIS has called Mateen “an Islamic State fighter,” there is no evidence yet that this act was directed or funded beforehand by ISIS.

Sources:
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puMUmdnRRCI

http://www.vox.com/2016/6/13/11924134/donald-trump-orlando-shooter-afghan
http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/12/us/orlando-shooter-omar-mateen/
http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/13/politics/donald-trump-orlando-massacre-speech/

Trump Congratulates Himself As 50 Are Dead In Orlando

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After the horrific events in Orlando over the weekend, Donald Trump took this opportunity not to comfort the country or victims, but to congratulate himself on his groundbreaking prediction that Islamic extremists would commit an act of terror in America. “I called it” he said on Twitter about the worst terror attack in the US since 9/11, an attack leaving 50 dead, with as many wounded.

Trump then asked for the resignations of Obama and Clinton for their reticence to use the term “radical Islam,” for reasons we’ve outlined before.

But most shockingly, on interview shows yesterday and this morning Trump seemed to imply that President Obama was involved in or at the very least sympathetic to the attackers, in a series of vague insinuations. He seemed to be reviving the notion that the President is Muslim, but refused to elaborate. This morning on an interview with Fox News Trump stated “We’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind. And the something else in mind — you know, people can’t believe it. People cannot, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can’t even mention the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on.”

Is Trump actually implying that Obama knew about or participated in these attacks? What else could he be talking about that “there’s something going on” except the false notion that Obama is Muslim and looking the other way? “He doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands — it’s one or the other and either one is unacceptable,” he continued. On the Today Show he posited a conspiracy theory that perhaps Obama is looking the other way, without details or evidence, saying “Well there are a lot of people that think maybe he doesn’t want to get it. A lot of people think maybe he doesn’t want to know about it. I happen to think that he just doesn’t know what he’s doing, but there are many people that think maybe he doesn’t want to get it. He doesn’t want to see what’s really happening. And that could be.”

Donald Trump has taken this opportunity of a national tragedy not to comfort the country and mourn the dead in Orlando, but to trumpet his own agenda and to brag about his prescience. “I mean, I’ve been right about a lot of things, frankly… I was right about many, many things,” he modestly told Fox News this morning. He obliquely insinuates heinous conspiracy theories about President Obama, dividing instead of trying to bring the country together. Instead of trying to get at the root of the problem of “radical Islam,” he espouses jingoistic reactionary responses to complicated and delicate problems he doesn’t understand.

There are five more months until the election, hopefully Donald Trump will be able to give us more details on how he plans to solve the problem of American-born jihadi terrorism. So far his plan seems to consist entirely of being “tough, smart and vigilant.”

Sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/06/13/donald-trump-suggests-president-obama-was-involved-with-orlando-shooting/
https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/donald-j-trump-statement-regarding-tragic-terrorist-attacks
http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/first-read/first-read-trump-again-pushes-boundaries-political-dialogue-n590941
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/donald-trump-orlando-radical-islam-obama-hillary-clinton
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-orlando_us_575d92e6e4b0e39a28addbe6
‘I Called It’: Trump Says He Predicted Terrorist Attack, Criticizes Obama and Clinton

Trump Claims Elizabeth “Pocahantas” Warren Wants Taxes at 95%

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At a rally in Richmond, VA on Friday, Donald Trump again took aim at Senator Elizabeth Warren, one of his harshest and most vocal critics. He repeatedly referred to her as “Pocahantas,” a derogatory reference to her Native American heritage, in a speech where he made the bold claim that the Senator wants to raise taxes to 95%.

“Pocahantas is not happy, she’s not happy. She’s the worst. Ya know, Pocahantas, I’m doing such a disservice to Pocahantas, it’s so unfair to Pocahantas,” Trump chortled as he continued his attack . “But this Elizabeth Warren, I call her Goofy, this Elizabeth Warren is one of the worst Senators in the entire United States Senate. She’s got practically nothing done, she’s got practically nothing passed. If it was up to her, you’d have taxes at 95%. And I hope she’s going to be chosen by Hillary, oh, would that be great.”

WDTLAY yesterday has already disproven his assertion that “she’s got practically nothing done.” But Trump’s assertion that she wants to have taxes at 95% seems to be a “joke” or made up out of whole cloth. Trump gives no evidence to back up this claim, and glosses over it to savor a Clinton/Warren ticket.

The claim seems to be made up. I could find no evidence of Warren wanting to significantly raise income taxes except for the wealthiest Americans, though she is a proponent of raising corporate taxes and closing loopholes for many corporations. In fact, Donald Trump and Elizabeth Warren agree that taxes for the rich should be raised.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has advocated for simplifying the tax code and has proposed a bill for “return free filing” that would ease tax filing for millions of Americans. Donald Trump is probably using exaggeration and hyperbole to make a point (or a bad joke), but should probably choose his words more carefully in between racist epithets.

Sources:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-pocahontas-attack-leaves-fellow-republicans-squirming-again/2016/06/10/01805d22-2f1f-11e6-9b37-42985f6a265c_story.html
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/04/tax-simplication-act/478788/
Elizabeth Warren Strikes Back Against Republican Tax Plans
http://money.cnn.com/2015/09/08/media/elizabeth-warren-donald-trump-taxes/

Trump Says Clinton’s Refusal To Say ‘Radical Islam’ Makes Her Unfit

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At the evangelical Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road To Majority summit yesterday, Trump addressed the gathered Christian conservatives in a mostly prepared speech and mostly staying on message.

There was little talk of policy in this speech, as Trump stuck mostly to hyperbole and platitudes, but he did take the time to take a few shots at Hillary Clinton as the campaign for the general election heats up.

“All of us need to confront together the threat of radical Islam. We have to do it. Now, Hillary Clinton, or as I call her, Crooked Hillary Clinton, crooked as the come, refuses to even say the words radical Islam. Refuses to say the words. This alone makes her unfit to be President.”

In December Clinton explained why she has stopped using the term “radical Islam” in political discourse. “The problem is, that sounds like we are declaring war against a religion. That to me is number one, wrong,” Clinton told host This Week’s host George Stephanopoulos. “It doesn’t do justice to the vast numbers of Muslims in our own country and around the world who are peaceful people…It helps to create this clash of civilizations that is actually a recruiting tool for ISIS and other radical jihadists.”

Trump is being used as a recruiting tool for radical jihadist terrorism groups. Video clips of Donald Trump have been featured in recruitment videos by East African Al-Qaeda branch Al Shabaab and more recently by ISIS in the wake of the Brussels attack.

Clinton’s evolution of language does not make her unfit to be President. There is nothing in the Constitution to that says the President is required to use potentially polarizing or divisive language. Rethinking the way that you speak and what terms you use does matter, people around the world are watching you and will react to the words of the President. America needs the help of Muslims in the countries affected by jihadists, and Trump doesn’t seem to notice or care.

Sources:
http://www.c-span.org/video/?410912-1/faith-freedom-coalition-holds-annual-conference
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/06/11/trump-clinton-clash-in-dueling-dc-speeches.html
http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/06/politics/hillary-clinton-radical-islam/

Hillary Clinton: I Don’t Say ‘Radical Islam’ Because It ‘Doesn’t Do Justice’ to Good Muslims

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/may/20/hillary-clinton/donald-trump-now-being-used-terrorist-propaganda-v/
http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2016/01/01/al-qaeda-linked-group-cites-donald-trump-in-terrorist-recruiting-video/