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The Trump Years- Every day something more shocking than the last!

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“How sad it must be - believing that scientists, scholars, historians, economists, and journalists have devoted their entire lives to deceiving you, while a reality tv star with decades of fraud and exhaustively documented lying is your only beacon of truth and honesty.”

https://mobile.twitter.com/christophurious/status/1086499919349702656?lang=en

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On 7/18/2019 at 8:21 AM, msommer said:

Was he not indicted because of DOJ policy re sitting presidents?

If so, will the statute of limitations kick in before Feb 2021?

Not a lawyer but I believe the statute of limitation clock starts at the end of criminal activity tied to the crime. So in this case if the cover-up of the crime continued past the actual payment, that would extend the time if it’s criminal behavior. If I remember correctly I think the legal opinion was that he’d be at risk if he loses in 2020 but safe if he wins.

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8 hours ago, OrtonToOlsen said:

Total pipe dream but I wish churches would be held accountable for politicking.

Yes. And I’ve heard all my life that churches should be taxed (Zappa was a huge spokesperson in that regard) yet it seems to be a dead issue. Wonder why...

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9 hours ago, squistion said:

:(

Friendship Baptist Church in Appomattox has changed their sign to say "America: Love or Leave it

https://twitter.com/ABC13News/status/1151204507612848129 (photo at link)

Walter Winchell popularized the phrase "America - love it or leave it" in his defenses of McCarthy.  His role in the red scare cost him his career...one episode from 1953. Things haven't changed much. :lmao:

He also popularized  "G-man", "making whoopee",  "Tell it to a judge", "giggle water", and "flicker". 

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9 minutes ago, Lutherman2112 said:

Walter Winchell popularized the phrase "America - love it or leave it" in his defenses of McCarthy.  His role in the red scare cost him his career...one episode from 1953. Things haven't changed much. :lmao:

He also popularized  "G-man", "making whoopee",  "Tell it to a judge", "giggle water", and "flicker". 

Off point but at 4:05 he points out that the US might inherit another war in Indochina, which was eventually true. - eta - He also goes on to argue around 7.00 that cigarettes cause cancer.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006
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Stop Making Excuses for Trump Supporters

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Ever since Trump won his surprise electoral college victory in November 2016, everyone from pundits to political scientists to average Americans have tried to figure out what went wrong and what to do about it. The big newspapers wrote an endless series of ethnographic portraits of Trump supporters in small town diners to help their readers understand, but they came off instead as tone deaf. Academics delved deep into the post-election data, making analyses that tried to sound definitive, but often rested on sketchy correlations and questionable assumptions. And, of course, opinion writers and strategists—like yours truly—made unprovable assertions based on their best reasoned arguments, but ultimately mostly preached to their respective choirs.

It all came down to the right proportion of bigotry versus economic anxiety. When Hillary Clinton made her famous “basket of deplorables” remarks, it is often forgotten that she was actually making the economic anxiety argument: she said that half of Trump’s supporters were bigots, but that the other half “feel that the government has let them down … Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.” Pundits on the progressive and economic-populist left have, ironically enough, long agreed with Clinton about this, arguing that while many or most Trump supporters were inarguably motivated by bigotry, a large chunk were simply voting for a disrupter to take on a system that had failed them—and, since they weren’t directly threatened themselves by racist policies, figured there was no potential downside to them. In other words, an electorally significant portion of Trump supporters weren’t voting out of active cruelty. Rather, it was passive indifference to cruelty in the name of thumbing their nose at the system.

But, at a certain point, none of that matters anymore. 2016 is over and done with. Whatever Trump may have represented to a variety of different voters then, and whatever their motivations for casting ballots for him may have been, the person and president Trump is could not be clearer now. The man is an empathy-free racist who has been credibly accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women. He openly obstructed justice and encouraged a foreign government tampering in the U.S. election on his behalf. No matter how you felt about Hillary Clinton or how you felt about the country back and its relative imbalances of power, none of that matters now.

It’s 2019. The stakes could not be more obvious. On the one hand, there is an openly bigoted, would-be totalitarian president who tells Americans of color to “go back” to countries they were never from, and who otherwise governs like just another corporate fat cat Republican, pushing tax cuts and social benefit cuts. And then, there’s anything else. Literally anything else.

Maybe Joe Biden and the centrist wing of the Democratic Party isn’t to your liking, and you want more of a shock to the system. Maybe you’re wary of progressives like Warren or Sanders because you’re afraid of radical change. Maybe you hate all politicians and think America should be run like a business. Maybe you don’t trust Kamala Harris or Pete Buttigieg. Maybe you’re an anarchist, an accelerationist, a libertarian. Maybe you just hate people who drink turmeric lattes and eat sushi. Maybe you think Millennials are entitled, and you want to knock them down a peg. Maybe you dislike Trump, but you really like tax cuts, or you’re uncomfortable with abortion, or you’re a Netanyahu fan who wants to bomb Iran, or you just want more conservative judges. The world is complex, people are cross-pressured. Maybe the right Democrat just hasn’t said the right words to make it okay to cast a vote against Trump.

None of it matters. Their time for excuses is over. A lot of voters who cast their ballots for Trump in 2016 soured on him and voted for Democrats in 2018 to keep him in check. Voting for Trump once is forgivable. People make mistakes and errors in judgment.

But if you still back Trump now, in July of 2019, knowing who and what he is, what kind of people you’re aligned with, that’s not on anyone else. That’s on you. You’re responsible for every ugly word out of his mouth, and out of the mouths of all the Republican politicians protecting him. You have to own that. Your motives don’t matter.

Because ultimately, as Julius Goat said:

“Historians have a word for Germans who joined the Nazi party, not because they hated Jews, but because out of a hope for restored patriotism, or a sense of economic anxiety, or a hope to preserve their religious values, or dislike of their opponents, or raw political opportunism, or convenience, or ignorance, or greed.

That word is “Nazi.” Nobody cares about their motives anymore.

They joined what they joined. They lent their support and their moral approval. And, in so doing, they bound themselves to everything that came after. Who cares any more what particular knot they used in the binding?”

In this case, there is time to rectify the mistake. But those who don’t should be held fully morally responsible.

 

Allsides link to where Washington Monthly lies on the political scale.

Correct the political ship, Republicans.

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19 minutes ago, Mario Kart said:

Stop Making Excuses for Trump Supporters

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Ever since Trump won his surprise electoral college victory in November 2016, everyone from pundits to political scientists to average Americans have tried to figure out what went wrong and what to do about it. The big newspapers wrote an endless series of ethnographic portraits of Trump supporters in small town diners to help their readers understand, but they came off instead as tone deaf. Academics delved deep into the post-election data, making analyses that tried to sound definitive, but often rested on sketchy correlations and questionable assumptions. And, of course, opinion writers and strategists—like yours truly—made unprovable assertions based on their best reasoned arguments, but ultimately mostly preached to their respective choirs.

It all came down to the right proportion of bigotry versus economic anxiety. When Hillary Clinton made her famous “basket of deplorables” remarks, it is often forgotten that she was actually making the economic anxiety argument: she said that half of Trump’s supporters were bigots, but that the other half “feel that the government has let them down … Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.” Pundits on the progressive and economic-populist left have, ironically enough, long agreed with Clinton about this, arguing that while many or most Trump supporters were inarguably motivated by bigotry, a large chunk were simply voting for a disrupter to take on a system that had failed them—and, since they weren’t directly threatened themselves by racist policies, figured there was no potential downside to them. In other words, an electorally significant portion of Trump supporters weren’t voting out of active cruelty. Rather, it was passive indifference to cruelty in the name of thumbing their nose at the system.

But, at a certain point, none of that matters anymore. 2016 is over and done with. Whatever Trump may have represented to a variety of different voters then, and whatever their motivations for casting ballots for him may have been, the person and president Trump is could not be clearer now. The man is an empathy-free racist who has been credibly accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women. He openly obstructed justice and encouraged a foreign government tampering in the U.S. election on his behalf. No matter how you felt about Hillary Clinton or how you felt about the country back and its relative imbalances of power, none of that matters now.

It’s 2019. The stakes could not be more obvious. On the one hand, there is an openly bigoted, would-be totalitarian president who tells Americans of color to “go back” to countries they were never from, and who otherwise governs like just another corporate fat cat Republican, pushing tax cuts and social benefit cuts. And then, there’s anything else. Literally anything else.

Maybe Joe Biden and the centrist wing of the Democratic Party isn’t to your liking, and you want more of a shock to the system. Maybe you’re wary of progressives like Warren or Sanders because you’re afraid of radical change. Maybe you hate all politicians and think America should be run like a business. Maybe you don’t trust Kamala Harris or Pete Buttigieg. Maybe you’re an anarchist, an accelerationist, a libertarian. Maybe you just hate people who drink turmeric lattes and eat sushi. Maybe you think Millennials are entitled, and you want to knock them down a peg. Maybe you dislike Trump, but you really like tax cuts, or you’re uncomfortable with abortion, or you’re a Netanyahu fan who wants to bomb Iran, or you just want more conservative judges. The world is complex, people are cross-pressured. Maybe the right Democrat just hasn’t said the right words to make it okay to cast a vote against Trump.

None of it matters. Their time for excuses is over. A lot of voters who cast their ballots for Trump in 2016 soured on him and voted for Democrats in 2018 to keep him in check. Voting for Trump once is forgivable. People make mistakes and errors in judgment.

But if you still back Trump now, in July of 2019, knowing who and what he is, what kind of people you’re aligned with, that’s not on anyone else. That’s on you. You’re responsible for every ugly word out of his mouth, and out of the mouths of all the Republican politicians protecting him. You have to own that. Your motives don’t matter.

Because ultimately, as Julius Goat said:

“Historians have a word for Germans who joined the Nazi party, not because they hated Jews, but because out of a hope for restored patriotism, or a sense of economic anxiety, or a hope to preserve their religious values, or dislike of their opponents, or raw political opportunism, or convenience, or ignorance, or greed.

That word is “Nazi.” Nobody cares about their motives anymore.

They joined what they joined. They lent their support and their moral approval. And, in so doing, they bound themselves to everything that came after. Who cares any more what particular knot they used in the binding?”

In this case, there is time to rectify the mistake. But those who don’t should be held fully morally responsible.

 

Allsides link to where Washington Monthly lies on the political scale.

Correct the political ship, Republicans.

A million times this. 

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43 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

Off point but at 4:05 he points out that the US might inherit another war in Indochina, which was eventually true. - eta - He also goes on to argue around 7.00 that cigarettes cause cancer.

He does equivocate with "excessive smoking" and admits to being a light smoker (10 smokes a day).

Also at 6:00 mark...when he takes off his glasses to speak with "Mr. and Mrs. United States". That just kills me.

Indochina: Winchell had his insiders and it was four months later that President Eisenhower first mentioned "falling dominoes" during a press conference. 

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Winchill, Hedda Hopper- they were the Tucker Carlson’s and Laura Ingrahams of their day, even though they were essentially known as gossip columnists. 

But I think it would be wrong to say that they led a populist movement- they reflected it. 

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He keeps on tweating about how Pelosi broke house rules when she called him a racist.

Rules.  Haha.  

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11 hours ago, Sheriff Bart said:

A million times this. 

This is what Tobias has been preaching here and has been suspended for defending.  

The fact is, he is right.  That may be hard for Joe & Co. to accept, and I get not calling out individual posters.  But the fact is that the author is bang on.  

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I think things have gotten a little too confounding for our resident Trump supporters, of which maybe there are 5-6 regulars. They’re stuck. After the ‘kickoff’ rally things were pretty positive buuuuttt this latest theme is too discomfiting even for them, especially with Trump’s twists and turns. I do think we will hear that abhorrent chant again, it does feel like a coming campaign theme, and I don’t know what effect it will have.  

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39 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

I think things have gotten a little too confounding for our resident Trump supporters, of which maybe there are 5-6 regulars. They’re stuck. After the ‘kickoff’ rally things were pretty positive buuuuttt this latest theme is too discomfiting even for them, especially with Trump’s twists and turns. I do think we will hear that abhorrent chant again, it does feel like a coming campaign theme, and I don’t know what effect it will have.  

Maybe wait until a State of the Union address. Oh that's right no way his handlers would allow that. He is too "low intelligence". Might as well put Belushi after doing speedballs on prime time. 

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Hopefully Trump will help this rapper in Sweden. 

That being said, conservatives on talk radio are already arguing that this incident and some others involving black celebrities prove somehow that Trump is not a bigot. It doesn’t. I could offer tons of sociological thought on this subject, but let me simplify it with a few words: for bigots like Trump, minorities who are cultural and sports celebrities are white people. They’re in a different class and not subject to the same stereotypes and slurs. A classic episode of All in the Family from almost 50 years ago represents this when Archie Bunker spends the entire episode ripping on black people but when Sammy Davis Jr shows up at his house, he is almost worshipful in his praise. 

In Trump’s case narcissism gets added to this formula: if you are a fan of Donald Trump and praise him, you become a white person in his eyes. If you turn against him later on you may lose his white status, however. 

Edited by timschochet
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2 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Sounds like he’s innocent. 

That’s up to the Swedish judicial system. They’re a democracy, it’s not something the US President should be expending credit with an ally on.

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So, to shift a little bit from a rapper in Sweden, but Trump is tweeting this morning again about "The Squad." Can someone point me to a link or something as to why he keeps tweeting this and that about "hating America," or something to do with Israel, or whatever other topics he's propagandizing about?

I've read up on Ilhan Omar and what Trump has tweeted about her is ignorant and misinformation 100%, but he keeps referring to Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley have said?

The only people I see talking about The Squad is Trump. He is painting a very dangerous picture for America. His playbook is simple... paint The Squad as the Dem party but he has given zero facts. Par for the course, I guess.

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1 minute ago, Misfit said:

He makes my skin crawl

I have a clever joke here, funny but offensive, it would possibly get me banned even though it would be self depreciating. 

I miss the before times. 

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27 minutes ago, Mario Kart said:

Stephen Miller... what a maroon!!!!!

There is no one that can defend him nor the policies he is trying to move forward. No one.

Quote

 

Donald J. Trump✔@realDonaldTrump

The United States, under President Obama, has truly become the "gang that couldn't shoot straight." Everything he touches turns to garbage!

6:41 PM - Oct 21, 2014

 

Wallace hit him with the above at the very end.

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18 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

Wallace hit him with the above at the very end.

Watching and hearing Stephen Miller get stern is/was creepy. It didn't even sound amusing but more like a, "It puts the lotion on its skin or it gets the hose again," creepy.

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59 minutes ago, Mario Kart said:

So, to shift a little bit from a rapper in Sweden, but Trump is tweeting this morning again about "The Squad." Can someone point me to a link or something as to why he keeps tweeting this and that about "hating America," or something to do with Israel, or whatever other topics he's propagandizing about?

I've read up on Ilhan Omar and what Trump has tweeted about her is ignorant and misinformation 100%, but he keeps referring to Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley have said?

The only people I see talking about The Squad is Trump. He is painting a very dangerous picture for America. His playbook is simple... paint The Squad as the Dem party but he has given zero facts. Par for the course, I guess.

Because he is a liar.

Because he knows a large percentage of people wont care that its lies and will believe him about them.

Because he wants to paint them as the party because he cant articulate those things against the actual possible democrat candidate.

Because no matter how hard he tries Pelosi keeps schooling him. So he needs another nemesis.

Edited by sho nuff

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‘He always doubles down’: Inside the political crisis caused by Trump’s racist tweets

President Trump’s own top aides didn’t think he fully understood what he had done last Sunday, when he fired off a trio of racist tweets before a trip to his golf course.

After he returned to the White House, senior adviser Kellyanne Conway felt compelled to tell him why the missives were leading newscasts around the country, upsetting allies and enraging opponents. Calling on four minority congresswomen — all citizens, three born in the United States ­­— to “go back” to the “totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” had hit a painful historical nerve.

Trump defended himself. He had been watching “Fox & Friends” after waking up. He wanted to elevate the congresswomen, as he had previously discussed with aides. The Democratic lawmakers — Reps. Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) — were good foils, he had told his advisers, including campaign manager Brad Parscale. The president said he thought he was interjecting himself into Democratic Party politics in a good way. 

As is often the case, Trump acted alone — impulsively following his gut to the dark side of American politics, and now the country would have to pick up the pieces. The day before, on the golf course, he hadn’t brought it up. Over the coming days, dozens of friends, advisers and political allies would work behind the scenes to try to fix the mess without any public admission of error because that was not the Trump way.

“He realized that part of it was not playing well,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a Trump confidant, who golfed Saturday with the president and spoke to him about it on Monday. “Well, he always doubles down. Then he adjusts.”

Like others, Graham urged Trump to reframe away from the racist notion at the core of the tweets — that only European immigrants or their descendants are entitled to criticize the country. Advisers wrote new talking points and handed him reams of opposition research on the four congresswomen. Pivot to patriotism. Focus on their ideas and behavior, not identity. Some would still see a racist agenda, the argument went, but at least it would not be so explicit. 

“The goal is to push back against them and make it not about you,” Graham said. 

The damage control did not save elected Republicans from their chronic struggle to navigate Trump’s excesses. Democrats were demanding a reckoning, a vote on the floor of the House condemning his racist remarks that would showcase their own unity and moral vision. The White House would mobilize an intense whip operation, putting Trump repeatedly on the phone, to keep his members in line. 

Then, just as many felt the firestorm was coming under control, Trump’s own supporters would set it ablaze again, with a “Send her back!” chant at a Wednesday night rally in Greenville, N.C., inspired by the president’s own words.

This account of Trump’s tweets and their aftermath is based on interviews with 26 White House aides, advisers, lawmakers and others involved in the response — most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to share behind-the-scenes details.

On Sunday morning, Trump tweeted that the “Washington Post story, about my speech in North Carolina and tweet, with its phony sources who do not exist, is Fake News.”

The political crisis was both familiar and extraordinary — engulfing every aspect of American politics, from the presidential campaign to the White House to Capitol Hill. Many in both parties, well acquainted with Trump’s history of racially charged rhetoric, were stunned at how far he had gone this time. Republicans were fearful of the potential damage but reluctant to confront or contradict Trump. The White House and the Trump campaign sought to contain the furor without alienating key supporters. Democrats finally unified after a week of squabbling to roundly condemn the president.

And at key moments, there were attempts to pretend it hadn’t happened at all. When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) talked to Trump early in the week about ongoing budget negotiations, the tweets never even came up, according to two people familiar with the communication.

In the end, Trump succeeded in at least one respect. Just a few days earlier, he had publicly pined for the days when he could put out a tweet that took off “like a rocket.” Now he had done it again. Americans had to choose sides, and he had drawn the dividing line. 

'Making America white again'

When Trump woke up to tweet on July 14, the nation’s leadership was scattered, its attention focused elsewhere.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was out of state. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had flown back home to San Francisco. The leaders of the House Republican Caucus, Reps. Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Steve Scalise (La.), were at a fundraising retreat at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania.

Of the group, only Pelosi, who sleeps just a handful of hours most nights, acted quickly. Trump’s tweets landed about 4:30 a.m. on the West Coast. Within three hours, just as Trump was arriving at his Virginia golf club, she had condemned his words on Twitter, calling out the racial tone directly, saying Trump’s “plan to ‘Make America Great Again’ has always been about making America white again.”  

Trump’s eruption gave her a chance to move beyond an irritating, and increasingly personal, split with the four congresswomen. They had been furious when Pelosi and the rest of the House Democratic Caucus declined to follow their guidance on a recent immigration funding vote. Now they were united.

At a joint news conference by the four lawmakers late Monday, Omar said Trump’s tweets represented “the agenda of white nationalists.”

Democratic candidates for president reacted quickly with outrage and offered support for the embattled House lawmakers.

Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.), the child of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father, told her campaign staff that she had been targeted by the same “go home” attack. In an emotional response at an Iowa event Tuesday, Harris said Trump had “defiled” his office and “it has to stop.”

“I am going to tell you what my mother told me: ‘Don’t you ever let anyone tell you who you are. You tell them who you are. Period,’ ” Harris said, growing visibly angry as she spoke. “We are Americans, and we will speak with the authority of that voice.”

Trump’s own campaign, by contrast, was caught off guard by the tweets and didn’t know initially how to respond. Top aides had been bragging about their ability to fundraise and capitalize on social media advertising when the president blew up the news cycle. But they placed no Facebook ads to ride this wave. The Republican National Committee was silent for more than a day. No one wanted to touch it, advisers said.

“People have been through so many of these with him,” said one Republican involved in the fight.

Cliff Sims, a former West Wing aide to Trump, explained the mentality that still governs the building. “The people who thrive and survive over the long term are the ones who are okay with going where the president leads,” he said.

But as the workweek began, it became clear that the uproar could not be ignored. A person involved in the president’s fundraising effort said many donors were dismayed by the comments — but that there was scant desire to back away from the president publicly. 

“You put your head up, and you get it cut off,” this person said. “And then everyone remembers you weren’t loyal when this blows over.”

Many Republican lawmakers demurred or tried to find a middle ground, avoiding direct criticism of Trump while nonetheless expressing face-saving dissatisfaction. “We should focus on ways to bring people together,” said Sen. Cory Gardner, who faces a tough reelection race next year in Colorado. 

Inside the weekly Republican lunch on Tuesday, GOP leaders tried to avoid direct references to Trump’s racist comments. McConnell repeated a phrase famously uttered by the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, a figure he reveres: “I attack ideas. I don’t attack people.”

“There is no room in America for racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and hate,” Rep. Will Hurd (R-Tex.) said in response to Trump’s tweets. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

One effusive Trump ally, Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), spoke up in defense of Trump inside the lunch, ticking off a litany of conservative grievances against the left, such as their attacks against immigration enforcement and comments perceived as anti-Semitic. 

“Let’s not lose sight of, frankly, the radical views that are coming out of the House,” Daines said in an interview, describing his message to the other Republican senators. 

Still, other GOP senators were uneasy. At a minimum, it was “dumb politics,” said one senior GOP senator, speaking on the condition of anonymity to be candid about the president’s tweet. 

Two of the harshest Republican pushbacks came, tellingly, from the only two elected black Republicans serving in Congress. Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.) called the tweets “racially offensive.” 

“There is no room in America for racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and hate,” said Rep. Will Hurd (Tex.). 

'Stay there and fight'

By midday Monday, the Republican battle to minimize the damage was unfolding on two fronts. The first was an effort to get Trump to shift his message, without admitting a mistake. The goal, said one senior White House aide, was to “get the message back to a place where we could defend the president.”

The idea was to argue that the four congresswomen hated America and were welcome to leave for that reason. There were other lines of attack as well. Omar had been condemned earlier in the year for comments criticizing support for Israel that many Democrats considered anti-Semitic. Pressley had seemed to suggest a racial litmus test for politics, saying Democrats don’t need “any more black faces that don’t want to be a black voice.” 

Privately, allies of the president said there was advantage in elevating “the Squad,” a term the lawmakers had adopted for themselves that Republicans have derided. They hoped to use the feud to portray reelecting the president as the patriotic thing to do.

“We’re talking about four congresswomen that have pretty extreme views,” Graham said. “If that’s the face of the Democratic Party, we’re in pretty good shape.”

On Capitol Hill, Republican leaders settled on a similar way to frame the disaster. 

“I want to make absolutely clear that our opposition to our socialist colleagues has absolutely nothing to do with their gender, with their religion or with their race,” said Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), chair of the House Republican Conference. 


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reacted quickly to Trump’s tweets, condemning his words hours after they landed. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Democrats, by now, were focused on making sure the nation did not forget Trump’s original message. Pelosi had begun working on a resolution of disapproval Sunday night in conversations with Reps. Jamie B. Raskin (Md.) and Tom Malinowski (N.J.). They had already introduced a resolution in April condemning white-supremacist terrorism, which was now repurposed.

But first they had to manage an unruly caucus, which began to jockey over the resolution’s language. At least one member pushed for a more aggressive resolution that would censure Trump. Another proposed inserting language commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. 

The White House vote-counters initially feared as many as 50 Republicans might defect to support the resolution, and Trump ordered an all-hands White House effort to keep the GOP caucus together. White House aides told allies on the Hill that it was okay to criticize Trump, as long as they didn’t vote with Democrats.

Trump was obsessed with the vote tally and received regular briefings. Aides fed him a constant stream of lawmaker reactions and put him on the phone with several lawmakers. He told his team to tell any wafflers that he loves America and that they needed to pick sides. Trump called McCarthy to cancel an immigration meeting planned at the White House on Tuesday. 

“Stay there and fight,” he told McCarthy.

Vice President Pence also worked the phones, telling Republican members not to fall for a Democratic trap.

In the end, only four Republicans broke ranks, including Hurd. Key members from districts where Trump’s “go back” message would play terribly stuck with the president. They included two members from New York, John Katko and Elise Stefanik, and Mario Diaz-Balart, the son of Cuban immigrants, whose Florida district is 76 percent Hispanic. 

“A statement does not make one racist,” he told reporters.

'I'm sick of this mess'

While they lobbied in private, Republican leaders also began looking for a way to regain the narrative in public, at least in a way that could play with the conservative base.

When Pelosi came to the floor to read the words of the resolution, calling Trump’s comments racist — not Trump himself, despite what Diaz-Balart argued — Republicans saw an opening. 

Their vehicle was an obscure text, Thomas Jefferson’s Manual of Parliamentary Practice, a rule book that had governed the House floor since 1837. Based on old British traditions of respecting the king, an updated version of the manual specifically said the president could not be accused of making a racist statement, regardless of the accuracy of the allegation.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.) — a United Methodist pastor and respected figure in the caucus — was up on the dais, tasked specifically by Pelosi to manage the debate. The chamber seemed close to finishing without incident when Rep. Douglas A. Collins (R-Ga.) stood up to ask that Pelosi’s words be struck from the record by the parliamentarian.

Flashing through the Missouri congressman’s mind as he grew frustrated with Republican maneuvers were times he had been subjected to the same racist trope the president had tweeted, he said in an interview.

“I’m sick of this mess,” Cleaver recalled thinking. “In theology, we say the devil has two favorite tools: disunity and division. . . . I see people running around, the devil running around here, having fun. . . . I’m just thinking he’s just having a ball and using people to get delight.”

So, Cleaver announced, “I abandon the chair,” dropped the gavel and abruptly left the dais. 

It didn’t matter that the president himself had said Pelosi’s response to him was “racist” just a day earlier, or that House rules still allowed the sentiment to be passed into law. Republicans finally had a way to cast themselves as the victims of an out-of-control Democratic leadership.

“Democrats are just so blinded by their hatred of the president that they use every single tool at their disposal to harass him,” said Chris Pack, communications director of the National Republican Congressional Committee. “And it’s getting really pathetic.” 

'We find a way'

By the time Trump landed in Greenville, N.C., on Wednesday evening, the mood had lifted in the White House, and Republicans believed the worst was behind them. A White House aide urged the traveling press pool to be sure to “tune in” to the rally, implying it was not something they would want to miss. 

“You can take issue with his tactics,” said Josh Holmes, a close adviser to McConnell. “But the reality is that there is no political figure in memory who consistently saddles his opponents with unwinnable arguments quite like President Trump.” 

But the nuance of Trump’s shifts all week had been lost on many in the crowd of thousands at the East Carolina University auditorium. Midway through his speech, as he recounted his denunciation of Omar’s record, the crowd began to chant “Send her back!” — a paraphrase of his own tweeted “go back.”

He paused for about 13 seconds to let the chants wash over him. 

Back in Washington, and even for some Republicans in the room, it was a nightmare scenario suggesting that the nativism at the heart of Trump’s Sunday tweet — that nonwhite citizens had less claim on the country — would soon become a fixture of the campaign. 

The following morning, Republican leaders, including McCarthy and Cheney, huddled at the vice president’s residence to figure out how to deal with the danger of the chant catching on. Pence agreed to take the matter to the president.  

Matthew Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, a group that had hosted Trump at its convention in April, also spoke out. The chants, he wrote on Twitter, were “vile” and “have no place in our society.”

Others in the White House began to reconsider the emerging strategy of using Omar’s record as a rallying cry for the base.

Trump agreed to say the chants were wrong — but few thought that would be the end of it.

Indeed, by Friday, he was attacking the four lawmakers again, suggesting that no criticism of the country should be tolerated and praising the rally chanters he had distanced himself from just a day earlier. “Those are incredible people. Those are incredible patriots,” he said.

There was little sign, in other words, that Trump had been cowed by the week’s experience.

At one point during the North Carolina rally, the president mused about Pressley’s remarks on race, which he characterized as thinking “that people with the same skin color all need to think the same.”

“And just this week — can you imagine if I said that? It would be over, right?” Trump continued. “. . . But we would find a way to survive, right? We always do. Here we are. Here we are. We find a way. Got to always find a way.”

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2 minutes ago, Mario Kart said:

Watching and hearing Stephen Miller get stern is/was creepy. It didn't even sound amusing but more like a, "It puts the lotion on its skin or it gets the hose again," creepy.

Oh, I agree, he's reptilian.

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Ocasio-Cortez quote, "All of these things sound radical compared to where we are. But where we are is not a good thing and this idea of 10 percent better from garbage shouldn't be what we settle for."

Chris Wallace, "she didn't say our country is garbage, she said some of the policies she opposes are garbage."

Stephen Miller, "It's impossible to read the quote that way. It's literally impossible to read the quote that way. She's saying there is a debate in the Democratic Party in which some people want to improve 10 percent from garbage..."

 

Stephen Miller began his response in the exact manner of his answer. It's impossible to read the quote in the way he is interpreting it. There is some 10.00 mental gymnastics going on in his head to turn what she said into what he is saying. He is putting more words into her mouth than a bowl of rice has rice. It's comical but people eat up what he says for what reasons, I have no idea.

This exchange begins about 10:00 into the video.

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10 minutes ago, Mario Kart said:

Ocasio-Cortez quote, "All of these things sound radical compared to where we are. But where we are is not a good thing and this idea of 10 percent better from garbage shouldn't be what we settle for."

Chris Wallace, "she didn't say our country is garbage, she said some of the policies she opposes are garbage."

Stephen Miller, "It's impossible to read the quote that way. It's literally impossible to read the quote that way. She's saying there is a debate in the Democratic Party in which some people want to improve 10 percent from garbage..."

More on the Chris Wallace interview of Stephen Miller:

https://thinkprogress.org/fox-news-host-decimates-trump-aide-stephen-miller-racism-hypocricy-8a8b7b4b5db3/

Fox News host shuts down Stephen Miller’s defense of Trump’s hypocrisy and racism

Stephen Miller, a top White House adviser said to be the architect of the administration’s cruel anti-immigrant policies, went on Fox News Sunday to defend President Donald Trump’s latest round of racist and hypocritical attacks on congresswomen of color. The interview went rather poorly for him.

Host Chris Wallace began the interview by asking Miller about Trump’s recent tweets attacking Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and demanding that they go back to their home countries (Omar was born in Somalia and came to the United States as a child, the other three are natural-born citizens). Miller responded that the president isn’t a racist because the jobless rate has been falling for racial minorities.

“I think the term ‘racist,’ Chris, has become a label that is too often deployed by left/Democrats in this country simply to try to silence and punish and suppress people they disagree with, speech that they don’t want to hear,” Miller began, asserting that Trump “has been a president for all Americans” because of “historically low black unemployment rates, historically low Hispanic unemployment rates,” and his crackdown on immigration “to protect safety, security, rising wages for all American citizens.”

Wallace responded that Trump’s claims that Mexican immigrants are mostly rapists and drug dealers and his proposed total ban on Muslims were “not protecting the American people” but “playing the race card.”

After Miller tried to change the subject to criminal gang members, Wallace shut him down, reminding him that Trump had pushed racist “birther” attacks on Barack Obama. Miller likened those efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the former president to questions that were once raised about John McCain. Wallace quickly fact-checked him, noting that concerns surrounding the late Arizona senator were not racial, but based on the 2008 nominee’s birth in the Panama Canal Zone.

Miller then argued that questioning people’s Americanism is okay as long as you don’t intend it to be racist.

Wallace also fact-checked Miller when he attempted to claim Trump had been “clear” that he disagreed with his supporters’ racist chant — repeating his own attacks on Omar and demanding she be sent back to Somalia.

“No, he was clear after the fact,” he responded. “He let it go on for 13 seconds and [it] was only when it diminished that he started talking again.” Wallace noted that Trump “said nothing there or in his tweet after that rally that indicated any concern about the chant.”

[...]

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1 hour ago, Mario Kart said:

Stephen Miller... what a maroon!!!!!

There is no one that can defend him nor the policies he is trying to move forward. No one.

Actually...as much as I detest Stephen Miller, I didn’t think he did that bad a job, given the poor hand he was dealt. 

His goal, obviously, was to make it about the 4 women rather than Trump. To an extent he managed to accomplish this. 

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34 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

‘He always doubles down’: Inside the political crisis caused by Trump’s racist tweets

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

President Trump’s own top aides didn’t think he fully understood what he had done last Sunday, when he fired off a trio of racist tweets before a trip to his golf course.

After he returned to the White House, senior adviser Kellyanne Conway felt compelled to tell him why the missives were leading newscasts around the country, upsetting allies and enraging opponents. Calling on four minority congresswomen — all citizens, three born in the United States ­­— to “go back” to the “totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” had hit a painful historical nerve.

Trump defended himself. He had been watching “Fox & Friends” after waking up. He wanted to elevate the congresswomen, as he had previously discussed with aides. The Democratic lawmakers — Reps. Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) — were good foils, he had told his advisers, including campaign manager Brad Parscale. The president said he thought he was interjecting himself into Democratic Party politics in a good way. 

As is often the case, Trump acted alone — impulsively following his gut to the dark side of American politics, and now the country would have to pick up the pieces. The day before, on the golf course, he hadn’t brought it up. Over the coming days, dozens of friends, advisers and political allies would work behind the scenes to try to fix the mess without any public admission of error because that was not the Trump way.

“He realized that part of it was not playing well,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a Trump confidant, who golfed Saturday with the president and spoke to him about it on Monday. “Well, he always doubles down. Then he adjusts.”

Like others, Graham urged Trump to reframe away from the racist notion at the core of the tweets — that only European immigrants or their descendants are entitled to criticize the country. Advisers wrote new talking points and handed him reams of opposition research on the four congresswomen. Pivot to patriotism. Focus on their ideas and behavior, not identity. Some would still see a racist agenda, the argument went, but at least it would not be so explicit. 

“The goal is to push back against them and make it not about you,” Graham said. 

The damage control did not save elected Republicans from their chronic struggle to navigate Trump’s excesses. Democrats were demanding a reckoning, a vote on the floor of the House condemning his racist remarks that would showcase their own unity and moral vision. The White House would mobilize an intense whip operation, putting Trump repeatedly on the phone, to keep his members in line. 

Then, just as many felt the firestorm was coming under control, Trump’s own supporters would set it ablaze again, with a “Send her back!” chant at a Wednesday night rally in Greenville, N.C., inspired by the president’s own words.

This account of Trump’s tweets and their aftermath is based on interviews with 26 White House aides, advisers, lawmakers and others involved in the response — most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to share behind-the-scenes details.

On Sunday morning, Trump tweeted that the “Washington Post story, about my speech in North Carolina and tweet, with its phony sources who do not exist, is Fake News.”

The political crisis was both familiar and extraordinary — engulfing every aspect of American politics, from the presidential campaign to the White House to Capitol Hill. Many in both parties, well acquainted with Trump’s history of racially charged rhetoric, were stunned at how far he had gone this time. Republicans were fearful of the potential damage but reluctant to confront or contradict Trump. The White House and the Trump campaign sought to contain the furor without alienating key supporters. Democrats finally unified after a week of squabbling to roundly condemn the president.

And at key moments, there were attempts to pretend it hadn’t happened at all. When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) talked to Trump early in the week about ongoing budget negotiations, the tweets never even came up, according to two people familiar with the communication.

In the end, Trump succeeded in at least one respect. Just a few days earlier, he had publicly pined for the days when he could put out a tweet that took off “like a rocket.” Now he had done it again. Americans had to choose sides, and he had drawn the dividing line. 

'Making America white again'

When Trump woke up to tweet on July 14, the nation’s leadership was scattered, its attention focused elsewhere.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was out of state. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had flown back home to San Francisco. The leaders of the House Republican Caucus, Reps. Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Steve Scalise (La.), were at a fundraising retreat at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania.

Of the group, only Pelosi, who sleeps just a handful of hours most nights, acted quickly. Trump’s tweets landed about 4:30 a.m. on the West Coast. Within three hours, just as Trump was arriving at his Virginia golf club, she had condemned his words on Twitter, calling out the racial tone directly, saying Trump’s “plan to ‘Make America Great Again’ has always been about making America white again.”  

Trump’s eruption gave her a chance to move beyond an irritating, and increasingly personal, split with the four congresswomen. They had been furious when Pelosi and the rest of the House Democratic Caucus declined to follow their guidance on a recent immigration funding vote. Now they were united.

At a joint news conference by the four lawmakers late Monday, Omar said Trump’s tweets represented “the agenda of white nationalists.”

Democratic candidates for president reacted quickly with outrage and offered support for the embattled House lawmakers.

Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.), the child of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father, told her campaign staff that she had been targeted by the same “go home” attack. In an emotional response at an Iowa event Tuesday, Harris said Trump had “defiled” his office and “it has to stop.”

“I am going to tell you what my mother told me: ‘Don’t you ever let anyone tell you who you are. You tell them who you are. Period,’ ” Harris said, growing visibly angry as she spoke. “We are Americans, and we will speak with the authority of that voice.”

Trump’s own campaign, by contrast, was caught off guard by the tweets and didn’t know initially how to respond. Top aides had been bragging about their ability to fundraise and capitalize on social media advertising when the president blew up the news cycle. But they placed no Facebook ads to ride this wave. The Republican National Committee was silent for more than a day. No one wanted to touch it, advisers said.

“People have been through so many of these with him,” said one Republican involved in the fight.

Cliff Sims, a former West Wing aide to Trump, explained the mentality that still governs the building. “The people who thrive and survive over the long term are the ones who are okay with going where the president leads,” he said.

But as the workweek began, it became clear that the uproar could not be ignored. A person involved in the president’s fundraising effort said many donors were dismayed by the comments — but that there was scant desire to back away from the president publicly. 

“You put your head up, and you get it cut off,” this person said. “And then everyone remembers you weren’t loyal when this blows over.”

Many Republican lawmakers demurred or tried to find a middle ground, avoiding direct criticism of Trump while nonetheless expressing face-saving dissatisfaction. “We should focus on ways to bring people together,” said Sen. Cory Gardner, who faces a tough reelection race next year in Colorado. 

Inside the weekly Republican lunch on Tuesday, GOP leaders tried to avoid direct references to Trump’s racist comments. McConnell repeated a phrase famously uttered by the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, a figure he reveres: “I attack ideas. I don’t attack people.”

“There is no room in America for racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and hate,” Rep. Will Hurd (R-Tex.) said in response to Trump’s tweets. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

One effusive Trump ally, Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), spoke up in defense of Trump inside the lunch, ticking off a litany of conservative grievances against the left, such as their attacks against immigration enforcement and comments perceived as anti-Semitic. 

“Let’s not lose sight of, frankly, the radical views that are coming out of the House,” Daines said in an interview, describing his message to the other Republican senators. 

Still, other GOP senators were uneasy. At a minimum, it was “dumb politics,” said one senior GOP senator, speaking on the condition of anonymity to be candid about the president’s tweet. 

Two of the harshest Republican pushbacks came, tellingly, from the only two elected black Republicans serving in Congress. Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.) called the tweets “racially offensive.” 

“There is no room in America for racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and hate,” said Rep. Will Hurd (Tex.). 

'Stay there and fight'

By midday Monday, the Republican battle to minimize the damage was unfolding on two fronts. The first was an effort to get Trump to shift his message, without admitting a mistake. The goal, said one senior White House aide, was to “get the message back to a place where we could defend the president.”

The idea was to argue that the four congresswomen hated America and were welcome to leave for that reason. There were other lines of attack as well. Omar had been condemned earlier in the year for comments criticizing support for Israel that many Democrats considered anti-Semitic. Pressley had seemed to suggest a racial litmus test for politics, saying Democrats don’t need “any more black faces that don’t want to be a black voice.” 

Privately, allies of the president said there was advantage in elevating “the Squad,” a term the lawmakers had adopted for themselves that Republicans have derided. They hoped to use the feud to portray reelecting the president as the patriotic thing to do.

“We’re talking about four congresswomen that have pretty extreme views,” Graham said. “If that’s the face of the Democratic Party, we’re in pretty good shape.”

On Capitol Hill, Republican leaders settled on a similar way to frame the disaster. 

“I want to make absolutely clear that our opposition to our socialist colleagues has absolutely nothing to do with their gender, with their religion or with their race,” said Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), chair of the House Republican Conference. 


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reacted quickly to Trump’s tweets, condemning his words hours after they landed. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Democrats, by now, were focused on making sure the nation did not forget Trump’s original message. Pelosi had begun working on a resolution of disapproval Sunday night in conversations with Reps. Jamie B. Raskin (Md.) and Tom Malinowski (N.J.). They had already introduced a resolution in April condemning white-supremacist terrorism, which was now repurposed.

But first they had to manage an unruly caucus, which began to jockey over the resolution’s language. At least one member pushed for a more aggressive resolution that would censure Trump. Another proposed inserting language commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. 

The White House vote-counters initially feared as many as 50 Republicans might defect to support the resolution, and Trump ordered an all-hands White House effort to keep the GOP caucus together. White House aides told allies on the Hill that it was okay to criticize Trump, as long as they didn’t vote with Democrats.

Trump was obsessed with the vote tally and received regular briefings. Aides fed him a constant stream of lawmaker reactions and put him on the phone with several lawmakers. He told his team to tell any wafflers that he loves America and that they needed to pick sides. Trump called McCarthy to cancel an immigration meeting planned at the White House on Tuesday. 

“Stay there and fight,” he told McCarthy.

Vice President Pence also worked the phones, telling Republican members not to fall for a Democratic trap.

In the end, only four Republicans broke ranks, including Hurd. Key members from districts where Trump’s “go back” message would play terribly stuck with the president. They included two members from New York, John Katko and Elise Stefanik, and Mario Diaz-Balart, the son of Cuban immigrants, whose Florida district is 76 percent Hispanic. 

“A statement does not make one racist,” he told reporters.

'I'm sick of this mess'

While they lobbied in private, Republican leaders also began looking for a way to regain the narrative in public, at least in a way that could play with the conservative base.

When Pelosi came to the floor to read the words of the resolution, calling Trump’s comments racist — not Trump himself, despite what Diaz-Balart argued — Republicans saw an opening. 

Their vehicle was an obscure text, Thomas Jefferson’s Manual of Parliamentary Practice, a rule book that had governed the House floor since 1837. Based on old British traditions of respecting the king, an updated version of the manual specifically said the president could not be accused of making a racist statement, regardless of the accuracy of the allegation.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.) — a United Methodist pastor and respected figure in the caucus — was up on the dais, tasked specifically by Pelosi to manage the debate. The chamber seemed close to finishing without incident when Rep. Douglas A. Collins (R-Ga.) stood up to ask that Pelosi’s words be struck from the record by the parliamentarian.

Flashing through the Missouri congressman’s mind as he grew frustrated with Republican maneuvers were times he had been subjected to the same racist trope the president had tweeted, he said in an interview.

“I’m sick of this mess,” Cleaver recalled thinking. “In theology, we say the devil has two favorite tools: disunity and division. . . . I see people running around, the devil running around here, having fun. . . . I’m just thinking he’s just having a ball and using people to get delight.”

So, Cleaver announced, “I abandon the chair,” dropped the gavel and abruptly left the dais. 

It didn’t matter that the president himself had said Pelosi’s response to him was “racist” just a day earlier, or that House rules still allowed the sentiment to be passed into law. Republicans finally had a way to cast themselves as the victims of an out-of-control Democratic leadership.

“Democrats are just so blinded by their hatred of the president that they use every single tool at their disposal to harass him,” said Chris Pack, communications director of the National Republican Congressional Committee. “And it’s getting really pathetic.” 

'We find a way'

By the time Trump landed in Greenville, N.C., on Wednesday evening, the mood had lifted in the White House, and Republicans believed the worst was behind them. A White House aide urged the traveling press pool to be sure to “tune in” to the rally, implying it was not something they would want to miss. 

“You can take issue with his tactics,” said Josh Holmes, a close adviser to McConnell. “But the reality is that there is no political figure in memory who consistently saddles his opponents with unwinnable arguments quite like President Trump.” 

But the nuance of Trump’s shifts all week had been lost on many in the crowd of thousands at the East Carolina University auditorium. Midway through his speech, as he recounted his denunciation of Omar’s record, the crowd began to chant “Send her back!” — a paraphrase of his own tweeted “go back.”

He paused for about 13 seconds to let the chants wash over him. 

Back in Washington, and even for some Republicans in the room, it was a nightmare scenario suggesting that the nativism at the heart of Trump’s Sunday tweet — that nonwhite citizens had less claim on the country — would soon become a fixture of the campaign. 

The following morning, Republican leaders, including McCarthy and Cheney, huddled at the vice president’s residence to figure out how to deal with the danger of the chant catching on. Pence agreed to take the matter to the president.  

Matthew Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, a group that had hosted Trump at its convention in April, also spoke out. The chants, he wrote on Twitter, were “vile” and “have no place in our society.”

Others in the White House began to reconsider the emerging strategy of using Omar’s record as a rallying cry for the base.

Trump agreed to say the chants were wrong — but few thought that would be the end of it.

Indeed, by Friday, he was attacking the four lawmakers again, suggesting that no criticism of the country should be tolerated and praising the rally chanters he had distanced himself from just a day earlier. “Those are incredible people. Those are incredible patriots,” he said.

There was little sign, in other words, that Trump had been cowed by the week’s experience.

At one point during the North Carolina rally, the president mused about Pressley’s remarks on race, which he characterized as thinking “that people with the same skin color all need to think the same.”

“And just this week — can you imagine if I said that? It would be over, right?” Trump continued. “. . . But we would find a way to survive, right? We always do. Here we are. Here we are. We find a way. Got to always find a way.”

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

The guy that always double downs bankrupted several casinos. Checks out. 

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13 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Actually...as much as I detest Stephen Miller, I didn’t think he did that bad a job, given the poor hand he was dealt. 

His goal, obviously, was to make it about the 4 women rather than Trump. To an extent he managed to accomplish this. 

I'm not sure you and I watched the same tape, IMO Wallace cornered him into owning that it was about the Dems' criticism of Trump personally, not arguments about respecting or loving America.

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40 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

‘He always doubles down’: Inside the political crisis caused by Trump’s racist tweets

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

President Trump’s own top aides didn’t think he fully understood what he had done last Sunday, when he fired off a trio of racist tweets before a trip to his golf course.

After he returned to the White House, senior adviser Kellyanne Conway felt compelled to tell him why the missives were leading newscasts around the country, upsetting allies and enraging opponents. Calling on four minority congresswomen — all citizens, three born in the United States ­­— to “go back” to the “totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” had hit a painful historical nerve.

Trump defended himself. He had been watching “Fox & Friends” after waking up. He wanted to elevate the congresswomen, as he had previously discussed with aides. The Democratic lawmakers — Reps. Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) — were good foils, he had told his advisers, including campaign manager Brad Parscale. The president said he thought he was interjecting himself into Democratic Party politics in a good way. 

As is often the case, Trump acted alone — impulsively following his gut to the dark side of American politics, and now the country would have to pick up the pieces. The day before, on the golf course, he hadn’t brought it up. Over the coming days, dozens of friends, advisers and political allies would work behind the scenes to try to fix the mess without any public admission of error because that was not the Trump way.

“He realized that part of it was not playing well,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a Trump confidant, who golfed Saturday with the president and spoke to him about it on Monday. “Well, he always doubles down. Then he adjusts.”

Like others, Graham urged Trump to reframe away from the racist notion at the core of the tweets — that only European immigrants or their descendants are entitled to criticize the country. Advisers wrote new talking points and handed him reams of opposition research on the four congresswomen. Pivot to patriotism. Focus on their ideas and behavior, not identity. Some would still see a racist agenda, the argument went, but at least it would not be so explicit. 

“The goal is to push back against them and make it not about you,” Graham said. 

The damage control did not save elected Republicans from their chronic struggle to navigate Trump’s excesses. Democrats were demanding a reckoning, a vote on the floor of the House condemning his racist remarks that would showcase their own unity and moral vision. The White House would mobilize an intense whip operation, putting Trump repeatedly on the phone, to keep his members in line. 

Then, just as many felt the firestorm was coming under control, Trump’s own supporters would set it ablaze again, with a “Send her back!” chant at a Wednesday night rally in Greenville, N.C., inspired by the president’s own words.

This account of Trump’s tweets and their aftermath is based on interviews with 26 White House aides, advisers, lawmakers and others involved in the response — most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to share behind-the-scenes details.

On Sunday morning, Trump tweeted that the “Washington Post story, about my speech in North Carolina and tweet, with its phony sources who do not exist, is Fake News.”

The political crisis was both familiar and extraordinary — engulfing every aspect of American politics, from the presidential campaign to the White House to Capitol Hill. Many in both parties, well acquainted with Trump’s history of racially charged rhetoric, were stunned at how far he had gone this time. Republicans were fearful of the potential damage but reluctant to confront or contradict Trump. The White House and the Trump campaign sought to contain the furor without alienating key supporters. Democrats finally unified after a week of squabbling to roundly condemn the president.

And at key moments, there were attempts to pretend it hadn’t happened at all. When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) talked to Trump early in the week about ongoing budget negotiations, the tweets never even came up, according to two people familiar with the communication.

In the end, Trump succeeded in at least one respect. Just a few days earlier, he had publicly pined for the days when he could put out a tweet that took off “like a rocket.” Now he had done it again. Americans had to choose sides, and he had drawn the dividing line. 

'Making America white again'

When Trump woke up to tweet on July 14, the nation’s leadership was scattered, its attention focused elsewhere.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was out of state. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had flown back home to San Francisco. The leaders of the House Republican Caucus, Reps. Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Steve Scalise (La.), were at a fundraising retreat at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania.

Of the group, only Pelosi, who sleeps just a handful of hours most nights, acted quickly. Trump’s tweets landed about 4:30 a.m. on the West Coast. Within three hours, just as Trump was arriving at his Virginia golf club, she had condemned his words on Twitter, calling out the racial tone directly, saying Trump’s “plan to ‘Make America Great Again’ has always been about making America white again.”  

Trump’s eruption gave her a chance to move beyond an irritating, and increasingly personal, split with the four congresswomen. They had been furious when Pelosi and the rest of the House Democratic Caucus declined to follow their guidance on a recent immigration funding vote. Now they were united.

At a joint news conference by the four lawmakers late Monday, Omar said Trump’s tweets represented “the agenda of white nationalists.”

Democratic candidates for president reacted quickly with outrage and offered support for the embattled House lawmakers.

Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.), the child of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father, told her campaign staff that she had been targeted by the same “go home” attack. In an emotional response at an Iowa event Tuesday, Harris said Trump had “defiled” his office and “it has to stop.”

“I am going to tell you what my mother told me: ‘Don’t you ever let anyone tell you who you are. You tell them who you are. Period,’ ” Harris said, growing visibly angry as she spoke. “We are Americans, and we will speak with the authority of that voice.”

Trump’s own campaign, by contrast, was caught off guard by the tweets and didn’t know initially how to respond. Top aides had been bragging about their ability to fundraise and capitalize on social media advertising when the president blew up the news cycle. But they placed no Facebook ads to ride this wave. The Republican National Committee was silent for more than a day. No one wanted to touch it, advisers said.

“People have been through so many of these with him,” said one Republican involved in the fight.

Cliff Sims, a former West Wing aide to Trump, explained the mentality that still governs the building. “The people who thrive and survive over the long term are the ones who are okay with going where the president leads,” he said.

But as the workweek began, it became clear that the uproar could not be ignored. A person involved in the president’s fundraising effort said many donors were dismayed by the comments — but that there was scant desire to back away from the president publicly. 

“You put your head up, and you get it cut off,” this person said. “And then everyone remembers you weren’t loyal when this blows over.”

Many Republican lawmakers demurred or tried to find a middle ground, avoiding direct criticism of Trump while nonetheless expressing face-saving dissatisfaction. “We should focus on ways to bring people together,” said Sen. Cory Gardner, who faces a tough reelection race next year in Colorado. 

Inside the weekly Republican lunch on Tuesday, GOP leaders tried to avoid direct references to Trump’s racist comments. McConnell repeated a phrase famously uttered by the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, a figure he reveres: “I attack ideas. I don’t attack people.”

“There is no room in America for racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and hate,” Rep. Will Hurd (R-Tex.) said in response to Trump’s tweets. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

One effusive Trump ally, Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), spoke up in defense of Trump inside the lunch, ticking off a litany of conservative grievances against the left, such as their attacks against immigration enforcement and comments perceived as anti-Semitic. 

“Let’s not lose sight of, frankly, the radical views that are coming out of the House,” Daines said in an interview, describing his message to the other Republican senators. 

Still, other GOP senators were uneasy. At a minimum, it was “dumb politics,” said one senior GOP senator, speaking on the condition of anonymity to be candid about the president’s tweet. 

Two of the harshest Republican pushbacks came, tellingly, from the only two elected black Republicans serving in Congress. Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.) called the tweets “racially offensive.” 

“There is no room in America for racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and hate,” said Rep. Will Hurd (Tex.). 

'Stay there and fight'

By midday Monday, the Republican battle to minimize the damage was unfolding on two fronts. The first was an effort to get Trump to shift his message, without admitting a mistake. The goal, said one senior White House aide, was to “get the message back to a place where we could defend the president.”

The idea was to argue that the four congresswomen hated America and were welcome to leave for that reason. There were other lines of attack as well. Omar had been condemned earlier in the year for comments criticizing support for Israel that many Democrats considered anti-Semitic. Pressley had seemed to suggest a racial litmus test for politics, saying Democrats don’t need “any more black faces that don’t want to be a black voice.” 

Privately, allies of the president said there was advantage in elevating “the Squad,” a term the lawmakers had adopted for themselves that Republicans have derided. They hoped to use the feud to portray reelecting the president as the patriotic thing to do.

“We’re talking about four congresswomen that have pretty extreme views,” Graham said. “If that’s the face of the Democratic Party, we’re in pretty good shape.”

On Capitol Hill, Republican leaders settled on a similar way to frame the disaster. 

“I want to make absolutely clear that our opposition to our socialist colleagues has absolutely nothing to do with their gender, with their religion or with their race,” said Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), chair of the House Republican Conference. 


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reacted quickly to Trump’s tweets, condemning his words hours after they landed. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Democrats, by now, were focused on making sure the nation did not forget Trump’s original message. Pelosi had begun working on a resolution of disapproval Sunday night in conversations with Reps. Jamie B. Raskin (Md.) and Tom Malinowski (N.J.). They had already introduced a resolution in April condemning white-supremacist terrorism, which was now repurposed.

But first they had to manage an unruly caucus, which began to jockey over the resolution’s language. At least one member pushed for a more aggressive resolution that would censure Trump. Another proposed inserting language commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. 

The White House vote-counters initially feared as many as 50 Republicans might defect to support the resolution, and Trump ordered an all-hands White House effort to keep the GOP caucus together. White House aides told allies on the Hill that it was okay to criticize Trump, as long as they didn’t vote with Democrats.

Trump was obsessed with the vote tally and received regular briefings. Aides fed him a constant stream of lawmaker reactions and put him on the phone with several lawmakers. He told his team to tell any wafflers that he loves America and that they needed to pick sides. Trump called McCarthy to cancel an immigration meeting planned at the White House on Tuesday. 

“Stay there and fight,” he told McCarthy.

Vice President Pence also worked the phones, telling Republican members not to fall for a Democratic trap.

In the end, only four Republicans broke ranks, including Hurd. Key members from districts where Trump’s “go back” message would play terribly stuck with the president. They included two members from New York, John Katko and Elise Stefanik, and Mario Diaz-Balart, the son of Cuban immigrants, whose Florida district is 76 percent Hispanic. 

“A statement does not make one racist,” he told reporters.

'I'm sick of this mess'

While they lobbied in private, Republican leaders also began looking for a way to regain the narrative in public, at least in a way that could play with the conservative base.

When Pelosi came to the floor to read the words of the resolution, calling Trump’s comments racist — not Trump himself, despite what Diaz-Balart argued — Republicans saw an opening. 

Their vehicle was an obscure text, Thomas Jefferson’s Manual of Parliamentary Practice, a rule book that had governed the House floor since 1837. Based on old British traditions of respecting the king, an updated version of the manual specifically said the president could not be accused of making a racist statement, regardless of the accuracy of the allegation.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.) — a United Methodist pastor and respected figure in the caucus — was up on the dais, tasked specifically by Pelosi to manage the debate. The chamber seemed close to finishing without incident when Rep. Douglas A. Collins (R-Ga.) stood up to ask that Pelosi’s words be struck from the record by the parliamentarian.

Flashing through the Missouri congressman’s mind as he grew frustrated with Republican maneuvers were times he had been subjected to the same racist trope the president had tweeted, he said in an interview.

“I’m sick of this mess,” Cleaver recalled thinking. “In theology, we say the devil has two favorite tools: disunity and division. . . . I see people running around, the devil running around here, having fun. . . . I’m just thinking he’s just having a ball and using people to get delight.”

So, Cleaver announced, “I abandon the chair,” dropped the gavel and abruptly left the dais. 

It didn’t matter that the president himself had said Pelosi’s response to him was “racist” just a day earlier, or that House rules still allowed the sentiment to be passed into law. Republicans finally had a way to cast themselves as the victims of an out-of-control Democratic leadership.

“Democrats are just so blinded by their hatred of the president that they use every single tool at their disposal to harass him,” said Chris Pack, communications director of the National Republican Congressional Committee. “And it’s getting really pathetic.” 

'We find a way'

By the time Trump landed in Greenville, N.C., on Wednesday evening, the mood had lifted in the White House, and Republicans believed the worst was behind them. A White House aide urged the traveling press pool to be sure to “tune in” to the rally, implying it was not something they would want to miss. 

“You can take issue with his tactics,” said Josh Holmes, a close adviser to McConnell. “But the reality is that there is no political figure in memory who consistently saddles his opponents with unwinnable arguments quite like President Trump.” 

But the nuance of Trump’s shifts all week had been lost on many in the crowd of thousands at the East Carolina University auditorium. Midway through his speech, as he recounted his denunciation of Omar’s record, the crowd began to chant “Send her back!” — a paraphrase of his own tweeted “go back.”

He paused for about 13 seconds to let the chants wash over him. 

Back in Washington, and even for some Republicans in the room, it was a nightmare scenario suggesting that the nativism at the heart of Trump’s Sunday tweet — that nonwhite citizens had less claim on the country — would soon become a fixture of the campaign. 

The following morning, Republican leaders, including McCarthy and Cheney, huddled at the vice president’s residence to figure out how to deal with the danger of the chant catching on. Pence agreed to take the matter to the president.  

Matthew Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, a group that had hosted Trump at its convention in April, also spoke out. The chants, he wrote on Twitter, were “vile” and “have no place in our society.”

Others in the White House began to reconsider the emerging strategy of using Omar’s record as a rallying cry for the base.

Trump agreed to say the chants were wrong — but few thought that would be the end of it.

Indeed, by Friday, he was attacking the four lawmakers again, suggesting that no criticism of the country should be tolerated and praising the rally chanters he had distanced himself from just a day earlier. “Those are incredible people. Those are incredible patriots,” he said.

There was little sign, in other words, that Trump had been cowed by the week’s experience.

At one point during the North Carolina rally, the president mused about Pressley’s remarks on race, which he characterized as thinking “that people with the same skin color all need to think the same.”

“And just this week — can you imagine if I said that? It would be over, right?” Trump continued. “. . . But we would find a way to survive, right? We always do. Here we are. Here we are. We find a way. Got to always find a way.”

 

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And that is what he is tweeting about and calling fake news.

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Not sure why people give that racist the time of day

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40 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

‘He always doubles down’: Inside the political crisis caused by Trump’s racist tweets

 

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President Trump’s own top aides didn’t think he fully understood what he had done last Sunday, when he fired off a trio of racist tweets before a trip to his golf course.

After he returned to the White House, senior adviser Kellyanne Conway felt compelled to tell him why the missives were leading newscasts around the country, upsetting allies and enraging opponents. Calling on four minority congresswomen — all citizens, three born in the United States ­­— to “go back” to the “totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” had hit a painful historical nerve.

Trump defended himself. He had been watching “Fox & Friends” after waking up. He wanted to elevate the congresswomen, as he had previously discussed with aides. The Democratic lawmakers — Reps. Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) — were good foils, he had told his advisers, including campaign manager Brad Parscale. The president said he thought he was interjecting himself into Democratic Party politics in a good way. 

As is often the case, Trump acted alone — impulsively following his gut to the dark side of American politics, and now the country would have to pick up the pieces. The day before, on the golf course, he hadn’t brought it up. Over the coming days, dozens of friends, advisers and political allies would work behind the scenes to try to fix the mess without any public admission of error because that was not the Trump way.

“He realized that part of it was not playing well,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a Trump confidant, who golfed Saturday with the president and spoke to him about it on Monday. “Well, he always doubles down. Then he adjusts.”

Like others, Graham urged Trump to reframe away from the racist notion at the core of the tweets — that only European immigrants or their descendants are entitled to criticize the country. Advisers wrote new talking points and handed him reams of opposition research on the four congresswomen. Pivot to patriotism. Focus on their ideas and behavior, not identity. Some would still see a racist agenda, the argument went, but at least it would not be so explicit. 

“The goal is to push back against them and make it not about you,” Graham said. 

The damage control did not save elected Republicans from their chronic struggle to navigate Trump’s excesses. Democrats were demanding a reckoning, a vote on the floor of the House condemning his racist remarks that would showcase their own unity and moral vision. The White House would mobilize an intense whip operation, putting Trump repeatedly on the phone, to keep his members in line. 

Then, just as many felt the firestorm was coming under control, Trump’s own supporters would set it ablaze again, with a “Send her back!” chant at a Wednesday night rally in Greenville, N.C., inspired by the president’s own words.

This account of Trump’s tweets and their aftermath is based on interviews with 26 White House aides, advisers, lawmakers and others involved in the response — most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to share behind-the-scenes details.

On Sunday morning, Trump tweeted that the “Washington Post story, about my speech in North Carolina and tweet, with its phony sources who do not exist, is Fake News.”

The political crisis was both familiar and extraordinary — engulfing every aspect of American politics, from the presidential campaign to the White House to Capitol Hill. Many in both parties, well acquainted with Trump’s history of racially charged rhetoric, were stunned at how far he had gone this time. Republicans were fearful of the potential damage but reluctant to confront or contradict Trump. The White House and the Trump campaign sought to contain the furor without alienating key supporters. Democrats finally unified after a week of squabbling to roundly condemn the president.

And at key moments, there were attempts to pretend it hadn’t happened at all. When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) talked to Trump early in the week about ongoing budget negotiations, the tweets never even came up, according to two people familiar with the communication.

In the end, Trump succeeded in at least one respect. Just a few days earlier, he had publicly pined for the days when he could put out a tweet that took off “like a rocket.” Now he had done it again. Americans had to choose sides, and he had drawn the dividing line. 

'Making America white again'

When Trump woke up to tweet on July 14, the nation’s leadership was scattered, its attention focused elsewhere.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was out of state. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had flown back home to San Francisco. The leaders of the House Republican Caucus, Reps. Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Steve Scalise (La.), were at a fundraising retreat at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania.

Of the group, only Pelosi, who sleeps just a handful of hours most nights, acted quickly. Trump’s tweets landed about 4:30 a.m. on the West Coast. Within three hours, just as Trump was arriving at his Virginia golf club, she had condemned his words on Twitter, calling out the racial tone directly, saying Trump’s “plan to ‘Make America Great Again’ has always been about making America white again.”  

Trump’s eruption gave her a chance to move beyond an irritating, and increasingly personal, split with the four congresswomen. They had been furious when Pelosi and the rest of the House Democratic Caucus declined to follow their guidance on a recent immigration funding vote. Now they were united.

At a joint news conference by the four lawmakers late Monday, Omar said Trump’s tweets represented “the agenda of white nationalists.”

Democratic candidates for president reacted quickly with outrage and offered support for the embattled House lawmakers.

Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.), the child of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father, told her campaign staff that she had been targeted by the same “go home” attack. In an emotional response at an Iowa event Tuesday, Harris said Trump had “defiled” his office and “it has to stop.”

“I am going to tell you what my mother told me: ‘Don’t you ever let anyone tell you who you are. You tell them who you are. Period,’ ” Harris said, growing visibly angry as she spoke. “We are Americans, and we will speak with the authority of that voice.”

Trump’s own campaign, by contrast, was caught off guard by the tweets and didn’t know initially how to respond. Top aides had been bragging about their ability to fundraise and capitalize on social media advertising when the president blew up the news cycle. But they placed no Facebook ads to ride this wave. The Republican National Committee was silent for more than a day. No one wanted to touch it, advisers said.

“People have been through so many of these with him,” said one Republican involved in the fight.

Cliff Sims, a former West Wing aide to Trump, explained the mentality that still governs the building. “The people who thrive and survive over the long term are the ones who are okay with going where the president leads,” he said.

But as the workweek began, it became clear that the uproar could not be ignored. A person involved in the president’s fundraising effort said many donors were dismayed by the comments — but that there was scant desire to back away from the president publicly. 

“You put your head up, and you get it cut off,” this person said. “And then everyone remembers you weren’t loyal when this blows over.”

Many Republican lawmakers demurred or tried to find a middle ground, avoiding direct criticism of Trump while nonetheless expressing face-saving dissatisfaction. “We should focus on ways to bring people together,” said Sen. Cory Gardner, who faces a tough reelection race next year in Colorado. 

Inside the weekly Republican lunch on Tuesday, GOP leaders tried to avoid direct references to Trump’s racist comments. McConnell repeated a phrase famously uttered by the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, a figure he reveres: “I attack ideas. I don’t attack people.”

“There is no room in America for racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and hate,” Rep. Will Hurd (R-Tex.) said in response to Trump’s tweets. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

One effusive Trump ally, Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), spoke up in defense of Trump inside the lunch, ticking off a litany of conservative grievances against the left, such as their attacks against immigration enforcement and comments perceived as anti-Semitic. 

“Let’s not lose sight of, frankly, the radical views that are coming out of the House,” Daines said in an interview, describing his message to the other Republican senators. 

Still, other GOP senators were uneasy. At a minimum, it was “dumb politics,” said one senior GOP senator, speaking on the condition of anonymity to be candid about the president’s tweet. 

Two of the harshest Republican pushbacks came, tellingly, from the only two elected black Republicans serving in Congress. Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.) called the tweets “racially offensive.” 

“There is no room in America for racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and hate,” said Rep. Will Hurd (Tex.). 

'Stay there and fight'

By midday Monday, the Republican battle to minimize the damage was unfolding on two fronts. The first was an effort to get Trump to shift his message, without admitting a mistake. The goal, said one senior White House aide, was to “get the message back to a place where we could defend the president.”

The idea was to argue that the four congresswomen hated America and were welcome to leave for that reason. There were other lines of attack as well. Omar had been condemned earlier in the year for comments criticizing support for Israel that many Democrats considered anti-Semitic. Pressley had seemed to suggest a racial litmus test for politics, saying Democrats don’t need “any more black faces that don’t want to be a black voice.” 

Privately, allies of the president said there was advantage in elevating “the Squad,” a term the lawmakers had adopted for themselves that Republicans have derided. They hoped to use the feud to portray reelecting the president as the patriotic thing to do.

“We’re talking about four congresswomen that have pretty extreme views,” Graham said. “If that’s the face of the Democratic Party, we’re in pretty good shape.”

On Capitol Hill, Republican leaders settled on a similar way to frame the disaster. 

“I want to make absolutely clear that our opposition to our socialist colleagues has absolutely nothing to do with their gender, with their religion or with their race,” said Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), chair of the House Republican Conference. 


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reacted quickly to Trump’s tweets, condemning his words hours after they landed. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Democrats, by now, were focused on making sure the nation did not forget Trump’s original message. Pelosi had begun working on a resolution of disapproval Sunday night in conversations with Reps. Jamie B. Raskin (Md.) and Tom Malinowski (N.J.). They had already introduced a resolution in April condemning white-supremacist terrorism, which was now repurposed.

But first they had to manage an unruly caucus, which began to jockey over the resolution’s language. At least one member pushed for a more aggressive resolution that would censure Trump. Another proposed inserting language commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. 

The White House vote-counters initially feared as many as 50 Republicans might defect to support the resolution, and Trump ordered an all-hands White House effort to keep the GOP caucus together. White House aides told allies on the Hill that it was okay to criticize Trump, as long as they didn’t vote with Democrats.

Trump was obsessed with the vote tally and received regular briefings. Aides fed him a constant stream of lawmaker reactions and put him on the phone with several lawmakers. He told his team to tell any wafflers that he loves America and that they needed to pick sides. Trump called McCarthy to cancel an immigration meeting planned at the White House on Tuesday. 

“Stay there and fight,” he told McCarthy.

Vice President Pence also worked the phones, telling Republican members not to fall for a Democratic trap.

In the end, only four Republicans broke ranks, including Hurd. Key members from districts where Trump’s “go back” message would play terribly stuck with the president. They included two members from New York, John Katko and Elise Stefanik, and Mario Diaz-Balart, the son of Cuban immigrants, whose Florida district is 76 percent Hispanic. 

“A statement does not make one racist,” he told reporters.

'I'm sick of this mess'

While they lobbied in private, Republican leaders also began looking for a way to regain the narrative in public, at least in a way that could play with the conservative base.

When Pelosi came to the floor to read the words of the resolution, calling Trump’s comments racist — not Trump himself, despite what Diaz-Balart argued — Republicans saw an opening. 

Their vehicle was an obscure text, Thomas Jefferson’s Manual of Parliamentary Practice, a rule book that had governed the House floor since 1837. Based on old British traditions of respecting the king, an updated version of the manual specifically said the president could not be accused of making a racist statement, regardless of the accuracy of the allegation.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.) — a United Methodist pastor and respected figure in the caucus — was up on the dais, tasked specifically by Pelosi to manage the debate. The chamber seemed close to finishing without incident when Rep. Douglas A. Collins (R-Ga.) stood up to ask that Pelosi’s words be struck from the record by the parliamentarian.

Flashing through the Missouri congressman’s mind as he grew frustrated with Republican maneuvers were times he had been subjected to the same racist trope the president had tweeted, he said in an interview.

“I’m sick of this mess,” Cleaver recalled thinking. “In theology, we say the devil has two favorite tools: disunity and division. . . . I see people running around, the devil running around here, having fun. . . . I’m just thinking he’s just having a ball and using people to get delight.”

So, Cleaver announced, “I abandon the chair,” dropped the gavel and abruptly left the dais. 

It didn’t matter that the president himself had said Pelosi’s response to him was “racist” just a day earlier, or that House rules still allowed the sentiment to be passed into law. Republicans finally had a way to cast themselves as the victims of an out-of-control Democratic leadership.

“Democrats are just so blinded by their hatred of the president that they use every single tool at their disposal to harass him,” said Chris Pack, communications director of the National Republican Congressional Committee. “And it’s getting really pathetic.” 

'We find a way'

By the time Trump landed in Greenville, N.C., on Wednesday evening, the mood had lifted in the White House, and Republicans believed the worst was behind them. A White House aide urged the traveling press pool to be sure to “tune in” to the rally, implying it was not something they would want to miss. 

“You can take issue with his tactics,” said Josh Holmes, a close adviser to McConnell. “But the reality is that there is no political figure in memory who consistently saddles his opponents with unwinnable arguments quite like President Trump.” 

But the nuance of Trump’s shifts all week had been lost on many in the crowd of thousands at the East Carolina University auditorium. Midway through his speech, as he recounted his denunciation of Omar’s record, the crowd began to chant “Send her back!” — a paraphrase of his own tweeted “go back.”

He paused for about 13 seconds to let the chants wash over him. 

Back in Washington, and even for some Republicans in the room, it was a nightmare scenario suggesting that the nativism at the heart of Trump’s Sunday tweet — that nonwhite citizens had less claim on the country — would soon become a fixture of the campaign. 

The following morning, Republican leaders, including McCarthy and Cheney, huddled at the vice president’s residence to figure out how to deal with the danger of the chant catching on. Pence agreed to take the matter to the president.  

Matthew Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, a group that had hosted Trump at its convention in April, also spoke out. The chants, he wrote on Twitter, were “vile” and “have no place in our society.”

Others in the White House began to reconsider the emerging strategy of using Omar’s record as a rallying cry for the base.

Trump agreed to say the chants were wrong — but few thought that would be the end of it.

Indeed, by Friday, he was attacking the four lawmakers again, suggesting that no criticism of the country should be tolerated and praising the rally chanters he had distanced himself from just a day earlier. “Those are incredible people. Those are incredible patriots,” he said.

There was little sign, in other words, that Trump had been cowed by the week’s experience.

At one point during the North Carolina rally, the president mused about Pressley’s remarks on race, which he characterized as thinking “that people with the same skin color all need to think the same.”

“And just this week — can you imagine if I said that? It would be over, right?” Trump continued. “. . . But we would find a way to survive, right? We always do. Here we are. Here we are. We find a way. Got to always find a way.”

 

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And that is what he is tweeting about and calling fake news and phony sources.

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59 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

Because he is a liar.

Because he knows a large percentage of people wont care that its lies and will believe him about them.

/thread

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3 hours ago, timschochet said:

Sounds like he’s innocent. 

There are no stand your ground laws in Sweden, though

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2 hours ago, Mario Kart said:

He is putting more words into her mouth than a bowl of rice has rice.

Try harder please. 

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2 hours ago, Slapdash said:

Not sure why people give that racist the time of day

I can’t absorb the bizarre phenomenon where Trump, and to a degree people like Miller, are excepted from norms. It’s a poor excuse that the reason you aren’t held to a standard that nearly everyone in public life would be is because people acknowledge you’re compulsively and irreparably awful - and that’s just the way you are.

I will never get over how weekly a scandal breaks that any CEO would have to step down for, born of poor ethics or sexual impropriety or irresponsibly or poor judgement, and shrugs. I wonder if we can ever go back to enforcing any norms for the Executive branch, because of the extremes this admin has distorted that office.  

Edited by Mr. Ham
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