Trump Brags About “Calling” the Chelsea Bombing Before Details Were Released

Donald Trump again took the opportunity of a national tragedy to congratulate himself on predicting it. You may remember that Trump bragged about predicting the Orlando night club shooting, as if predicting a mass shooting in America is difficult or anything to be proud of.

Saturday night Donald Trump told his gathered supporters that “a bomb went off in New York city. Nobody knows exactly what is going on.” This happened right after the incident, before any of the officials on the ground had released that it was a bomb, rather than a gas explosion or other accident. A Presidential candidate said that that a bomb went off in New York, immediately before admitting that “nobody knows exactly what is going on.”

To make matters worse, he went on Fox and Friends a few hours later to brag about his prescience saying that he “should be a newscaster because I called it before the news.”

Guessing that an explosion is a bomb before anyone knows any details is not what a newscaster does. The newscaster reports facts as they are known, rather than trying to “call” things, stirring up your political supporters at the same time.

Additionally, acting upon and announcing sensitive information like “a bomb went off in New York” is not really something that a Presidential candidate should be doing. While Hillary Clinton also used the word “bomb” when talking to the press shortly afterward, more information had come out since Trump made the statement with nearly zero information.

The fact the Trump was right doesn’t matter. “I think it’s important to know the facts about any incident like this,” Hillary Clinton said of Trump’s early statements. “I think it’s always wiser to wait until you have information before making conclusions because we are just in the beginning stages of trying to determine what happened.”

Sources:
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/donald-trump-brags-breaking-chelsea-bombing-news-article-1.2798169
http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/17/politics/donald-trump-new-york-city-explosion/

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Trump Calls To Remove Weapons From Clinton’s Secret Service and “See What Happens”

Donald Trump started a new tack today on his history of inciting violence upon his political adversaries, calling for Hillary Clinton’s Secret Service detail to disarm and to “see what happens.”

“You know she’s very much against the Second Amendment,” Trump lied to a group of Miami supporters yesterday, continuing the fiction that Hillary Clinton is opposed to gun ownership. “She wants to destroy your Second Amendment. Guns, guns, guns, right? I think what we should do is she goes around with armed bodyguards, like you have never seen before. I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons, should disarm, right? Right? Think they should disarm. Immediately, what do you think? Yes? Yes. Yeah. Take their guns away. She doesn’t want guns. Let’s see what happens to her. Take their guns away. It’ll be very dangerous.”

Firstly, Hillary Clinton does not want to “take your guns away.” This is thoroughly debunked, and revoking the Second Amendment is not now nor has it ever been a part of Hillary Clinton’s platform. Trump and others in the GOP are hammering this point, when it has been made up out of whole cloth to pander to the most paranoid and fearful of their supporters.

Secondly, is it now OK in American political discourse to incite your supporters to violence? This is not the first time that Trump has proposed violence against Hillary Clinton, in August suggesting that his “Second Amendment people” might be able to “do something” about a President Clinton appointing judges. Trump is asking Clinton’s Secret Service detail to disarm so that she would be vulnerable to an attack.

I understand that Donald Trump is trying to be funny and point out that Clinton wants to take YOUR guns away, but you don’t see her protection getting rid of their guns, do you? It is never appropriate for anyone, much less a Presidential candidate, to incite an attack against an opponent. It isn’t funny, it isn’t ironic and it isn’t insightful. It’s mean and violent and cruel.

For the last time, Hillary Clinton doesn’t want to take your guns away. What are you so afraid of?

Sources:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/09/16/trump-clinton-secret-service-disarm/90523014/
https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/gun-violence-prevention/

Trump Now Blames Hillary Clinton For Starting the Birther Movement

Was yesterday opposite day? It really felt like opposite day as Donald Trump relented on a personally held belief in the face of overwhelming evidence. He actually admitted that President Obama was born in the United States. Period.

“Hillary Clinton, and her campaign of 2008, started the birther controversy. I finished it,” Trump said yesterday. “I finished it. President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period. Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again. Thank you.”

Trump’s tone in that statement was very strange and accusatory, almost as though he were talking down to a child saying “Of course the President was born in the US.” This is  in opposition to Trump’s spearheading of the “birther” movement for the better part of a decade.

While it was slightly surprising that Donald Trump came out and admitted that the position that brought him into the national political spotlight was wrong, it was pretty shocking that he then turned around and tried to blame Hillary Clinton for starting the accusations. Is there any truth to this?

The claim that Clinton started the birther controversy is an old one, and has been debunked many times over the last eight years. No one has ever produced a clip, soundbite or email from Hillary Clinton promoting the idea that Obama was not born in the US. There is literally zero evidence that she or her campaign were behind this rumor.

Birthers will point to a Clinton strategy memo from 2007 which suggested that the Clinton campaign use Obama’s “lack of American roots” against him, but nowhere in the memo does it suggest that he was not born in the US.

There were some disaffected Clinton supporters that were circulating the “evidence” of Obama’s foreign birth via email, forums and chat rooms after Clinton conceded in 2008, but that is a far cry from Clinton herself or the Clinton campaign giving credence to the claims.

Here is another case of Trump turning his own shortcomings as a candidate towards his opponent as a smoke screen. Trump cannot produce one instance of Hillary Clinton even promoting much less starting the birther movement, while Trump spent years making it a signature issue for him. Now he finally admits that he was wrong, but has to spin it towards his opponent. It pains me as an American that so many of fellow citizens are buying such an obvious and clumsy con. But that’s what Trump is: an obvious and clumsy con man.

Sources:
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/fact-checking-trumps-claim-clinton-started-birther-movement/story?id=42147995
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/sep/16/donald-trump/fact-checking-donald-trumps-claim-hillary-clinton-/
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2008/08/penn-strategy-memo-march-19-2008/37952/

Donald Trump Inexplicably Claims That Hillary Clinton Is Running A “Policy-Free Campaign”

drumpf

According to a widely reported AP Fact Check, Donald Trump made the dumbfounding assertion that Hillary Clinton has no policies and no ideas, not to mention dividing people.

“Clinton is running a policy-free campaign. She offers no ideas, no solutions. And only hatred and derision,” Trump said on Wednesday. Trump has been accused throughout the campaign of being light on policy and long on hateful and divisive rhetoric. His base policy is a vague unfunded wall that literally divides one group of people from another.

Clinton in fact has so many policies that she and running mate Tim Kaine published a book so that you could read them all. There is not a way that you could measure policies that would have Donald Trump coming out ahead of Hillary Clinton.

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On Trump’s website under the “Issues” tab, there are twenty issues listed with short videos and essentially zero actual content. Several of the “issues” aren’t really issues at all. One heading defends the collegiate boondoggle Trump University. Another is “Life Changing Experiences,” though Trump makes no mention of why his personal life changing experiences are an issue to the American people.

Hillary Clinton on the other hand has thirty nine issues listed, with links to long form explanations and meticulously researched articles. There are tens of thousands of words of actual content and policy on Clinton’s website with painstaking attention to detail.

Compare this to Trump’s website. There are dozens of words there that are just headings for the stream of consciousness videos of Trump spouting rhetoric, many of which are . His video titled “Trade War” is one minute and thirty three seconds long. This is a major element of his campaign, perhaps only second in importance to The Wall. It is also the longest video on the page, with almost all of the videos outlining his platform are less than one minute long. No research, no data, no experts. Just forty seconds of Donald Trump telling his supporters what they want to hear. Here is an example:

That’s Donald Trump talking for fifty six seconds about his signature issue.

It’s hard to say what Trump meant with this statement. It is laughable to think that Trump has more well thought out policies than Hillary Clinton, and to say that she is “policy-free” is just confusing. She literally wrote a 300 page book outlining her dozens of proposals and fleshed out policies. Trump has yet to release a coherent plan for any of his “policies.”

Sources:

Trump tries to turn Clinton’s attacks back at her

http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2016-09-14/ap-fact-check-trump-says-clinton-lacks-policies-seriously
http://www.factcheck.org/2016/09/trump-on-clintons-child-care-plan/
https://www.donaldjtrump.com/issues/
https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/

Trump Greatly Exaggerates Job Loss In Hillary Clinton’s New York

tramp

In Pensacola, FL this week Donald Trump attacked Hillary Clinton on her job record in New York while a Senator there.

“Take a look at New York state”, Trump said to his gathered crowd of supporters. “When she was a senator from New York state, she campaigned by saying that she was going to bring jobs back to New York state. New York state is a disaster. She got elected, she did nothing. She said see you later in four years. She got elected. Take a look at what happened to New York state. The jobs left. The jobs left. Worse than just about any place in the country.”

Trump is correct that Hillary Clinton failed to come through on a campaign pledge to bring 200,000 jobs to New York. Trump is also correct that New York lost jobs while Hillary Clinton was Senator. What he didn’t tell you is that she was Senator during the Great Recession where unemployment and job loss were up around the country.

To say that New York state was “worse than just about any place in the country” in terms of job loss is a gross exaggeration. In fact, New York was not even worse than most of the states in the New England region, much less the most affected areas like Michigan or West Virginia. Take a look at this handy chart that FactCheck.org put together:

capture

It is not surprising that New York did lose some jobs in the worst economy in 80 years. But New York was actually better off than 6 of the other 8 states in the New England region, not to mention the rest of the country. Throughout the recession New York state unemployment was well below the national average of over 10%.

Sources:
http://www.factcheck.org/2016/09/trumps-job-loss-exaggeration/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/as-senator-clinton-promised-200000-jobs-in-upstate-new-york-her-efforts-fell-flat/2016/08/07/339d3384-58d2-11e6-831d-0324760ca856_story.html

 

Donald Trump Is Just Lying About Blue Collar Wages

tra

Donald Trump loves to appeal to his core demographic of blue collar, non-college educated whites, and Monday was no exception. He continued his long litany of economic doom and gloom, this time speaking about the state of wages in the US, saying that “blue collar workers haven’t been taken care of.”

“On average, people 18 years ago were making more than they’re making today and they’re working harder today,” he continued. “And in many cases they — and to a large extent because of this horrible Obamacare — in many cases they’re working two jobs.”

There are three statements of fact there. USA TODAY did a great fact check of these statements, so let’s dig in.

People 18 years ago were making more than they’re making today – Wages for “non-supervisory” or “blue collar” workers have increased by 11% in the last 18 years. Wages for these workers are up 2.5% from this time last year and up 4.5% from this time two years ago. Here’s a graph from the

They’re working harder today – While it is tough to quantify how hard someone works, it is not tough to quantify how long they work. And Trump is way off by this measure. Weekly hours for blue collar workers are down 2.6% from 1998, from 34.5 hours per week in 1998 to 33.6 hours per week in August of 2016.

Many people working two jobs because of this horrible Obamacare – In August of 2016,  4.8% of the US workforce was holding down two jobs. This is the exact same percentage that had two jobs in December of 2013, the month before Obamacare went into effect. Two job workers are significantly down from 2008 when Obama took office, which were then 5.2% of all workers. Here’s a graph from the good people at the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

graph

So not exactly surprising that Donald Trump gets his facts wrong in an appeal to his supporters. But three easily debunked yet complete falsehoods in one breath is an impressive feat of dishonesty, even for a world champion liar like Donald Trump.

Sources:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/09/13/fact-check-more-bogus-trumponomics/90327246/
http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNU02026620
http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES0500000031
http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-wages-are-too-high-2015-11

 

Trump Took $150,000 In Federal 9/11 Money For “Helping People”

build

The Trump Building, located at 40 Wall Street in New York, is less than a mile from where the World Trade Centers once stood. In the wake of 9/11, federal funds were available to “small businesses” that were affected by the attacks. Small businesses were defined as having fewer than 500 employees, physically affected by the attacks and located below 14th Street.

The Empire State Development Corps, Trump’s company that manages the property, has 28 employees according to the application. The company applied for the grant and was awarded $150,00. Trump later claimed that the building was not physically affected and the money was probably given to his company for “helping people.”

“I have a lot of property down there,” he said on German TV shortly after the attack. “But it wasn’t, fortunately, affected by what happened to the World Trade Center.”

New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler called Trump out for taking funds intended for “small businesses.” The Congressman is referring to the federal definition of small business, which sets a ceiling for earnings at $6 million. The Empire State Development Corps earned $26.8 million, but the definitions for a small business in New York are much more lenient than the federal guidelines. The New York Times asked Trump about the grant in May 2016:

“The company received this small amount of money after qualifying, given the limited number of employees working at the property,” Donald Trump told The Times. “For many months, I allowed people to stay in the building, use the building and store things in the building. I was happy to do it and to this day I am still being thanked for the many people I helped. The value of what I did was far greater than the money talked about.”

There is no evidence of Trump actually helping anyone at 40 Wall St. While his application for the grant and receipt of the grant seems technically correct, it definitely seems to violate the spirit of the grants.

However, Trump was either lying on the grant application that his properties were affected, or he was lying when he told the German TV report that his properties weren’t affected.

Additionally, Trump boasted as recently as May of 2016 that he allowed people to use the building in the aftermath of 9/11, but this information was not included on the application. Trump produced no evidence of any of this, and ignored requests from the New York Times and New York Daily Mail.

Sources:
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/exclusive-trump-didn-post-9-11-funds-helping-people-article-1.2786879
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/jul/27/joseph-crowley/did-donald-trump-cash-federal-funds-days-after-911/

Donald Trump Makes The Ludicrous Claim That Hillary Clinton “Has Not Answered A Single Question” on Immigration

Donald Trump Addresses GOP Lincoln Day Event In Michigan

At his speech in Phoenix last week Trump made a claim so blatantly untrue on its face and so easily disproven, it just makes no sense why he would say something like that. It seems so patronizing to his supporters that they might believe it, and he just reeled it off as an afterthought.

He began the speech with this whopper:

“Now that you’ve heard about Hillary Clinton’s plan, about which she has not answered a single question, let me tell you about my plan.”

Think of it. Does he actually believe that Hillary Clinton has not answered a single question about her immigration plan?

She was repeatedly asked about immigration during March’s Democratic debate with Bernie Sanders. Here’s a taste:
//www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/3144c5c8-e66a-11e5-a9ce-681055c7a05f

Here is an interview on Vox where Clinton is asked several questions about her immigration policy.

There are plenty more, but are two instances, one more than needed to disprove Trump’s assertion that she hadn’t answered “a single question.” This statement even got a coveted “Pants On Fire!” rating from Politfact.

Sources:
http://www.politifact.com/arizona/statements/2016/sep/09/donald-trump/donald-trumps-pants-fire-claim-hillary-clinton-has/
http://www.vox.com/a/hillary-clinton-interview#immigration-economy

Trump Blames Military Sexual Assault On “Men And Women Serving Together”

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks to Matt Lauer during the Commander in Chief Forum in Manhattan

In Trump’s Commander In Chief interview with Matt Lauer, the questioner asked the candidate about a tweet Trump made in 2013 regarding sexual assaults in the military.

LAUER: “In 2013, on this subject, you tweeted this, quote, ‘26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military, only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men and women together?’”

TRUMP: “Well, it is — it is — it is a correct tweet. There are many people that think that that’s absolutely correct. And we need to have a…”

LAUER: “So this should have been expected? And does that mean the only way to fix it is to take women out of the military?”

TRUMP: “Well, it’s happening, right? And, by the way, since then, it’s gotten worse.”

capture

Aside from misunderstanding the causes and nature of rape, Trump also left out a few important details about the statistics that he gave. In 2014, 20,300 soldiers reported that they were the victims of sexual assault while in the military.  What Trump didn’t tell you is that 10,600 of those victims, or 52%, were men. At least 85% of the aggressors were men as well. While the rate of assault is much higher among women, men make up 85% of US soldiers and 52% of the rapes.

Trump has a deep lack of knowledge on the causes of sexual assault. By and large these incidents are not about sex, but about power and control. Many of the sexual assaults, especially among men, are in the context of hazing, not of sexual pleasure.

Men and women have been working together in the military since its inception. The rates of sexual assault on both sexes have risen significantly in recent years, and the increased assaults on men by men would not be impacted by the rising numbers of women in the military.

Additionally, Trump suggested that a military court system be set up in to deal with these reports. “The best thing we can do is set up a court system in the military. Right now, the court system practically doesn’t exist,” Trump said. That would be a great thing for President Trump to set up, if George Washington hadn’t already done it in 1777.

Sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/09/politics/donald-trump-military-sexual-assault/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/09/08/no-trump-and-lauer-military-sexual-assaults-are-not-about-men-and-women-having-sex/?wpisrc=nl_fact&wpmm=1

Donald Trump Threatens To Fire Current Military Generals, Which Has Never Been Done Before

At the Commander In Chief forum on Wednesday night, Donald Trump spoke about his thoughts on the current military brass. He was not impressed.

“I think under the leadership Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the generals have been reduced to rubble. They have been reduced to a point where it’s embarrassing for our country,” Trump said. “They’ll probably be different generals, to be honest with you. I mean, I’m looking at the generals,” he later said of a Trump Presidency.

The thing is that generals are not political appointees. While the Commander In Chief is able to dismiss generals, in the past it has only really been for misconduct or failure to performs duties. The wholesale firing of a bloc of generals by a politically elected official is unprecedented, as military officials are traditionally seen as “divorced from politics.”

Generals are traditionally promoted by the military for a specific time. Most terms are two years, and those are often extended beyond that. It is unprecedented for a President to clean out the top military brass for political reasons.

Though maybe this isn’t too surprising, as Trump is a guy that famously said he “knows more about ISIS than the generals do.”

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-veterans_us_57d16e09e4b03d2d4598a87f
http://ijr.com/2016/09/689580-trump-puts-americas-generals-on-notice-that-if-hes-president-a-lot-of-them-are-fired/