Melania’s Body Double Speaks Out, Says She’s Repeatedly Asked Donald to Provide a Body Double at Night
First Lady Melania Trump’s body double, Nika Horvath, came forward today to confirm her role as a stand-in for the First Lady after her identity was revealed by childhood friends who saw her on TV while Donald Trump spoke about the Iranian nuclear agreement. “It is not my favor to be in public eye in this manner but I cannot hide from the knowledge now and so I speak out,” says Horvath, who, like Melania Trump, was born in Novo Mesto, Slovenia, in 1970. Horvath, a fashion model who has worked mainly in Eastern Europe and parts of Northern Africa, says she and the First Lady became friends in elementary school in part because they looked so much alike. “The people they would comment on our physical characters and they put us together and that was good because we like each other, yes, right from the beginning days,” she said. More.
President Trump criticized former president Barack Obama for not reaching into his own bank account to give a big payout to the families of soldiers who died protecting their country. “Did Obama ever give any money to our precious Gold Star families?” the president asked at a press briefing today. “I really don’t think so. I’ve been told he never did, never sacrificed his money to pay a wife who lost a husband protecting our country.” Trump said he might be the first president to use his own funds to help a grief-stricken family, “It’s one thing, you know, to call and offer condolences to the wife or mother for losing their guy,” he said. “Their guy knew what he signed up for, but, really, who ever signs up to give his life? No one. But it happens. Very sad when it does. Very tragic.” More.
In the war of words between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un of North Korea, the winner is the leader of the small, militarized dictatorship on the Korean peninsula and not the man in the White House who’s so quick with a tweet. A Gallup poll out today shows 90 percent of Americans think Kim Jong Un is “the much better insulter” of the two and that, if words could kill, Trump would probably be dead by now. “As much practice as President Trump gets at insulting people, you’d think he’d win the war of words between him and Kim in a cakewalk, but Americans just aren’t impressed with what he’s coming up with,” says Darrell Thompson, professor of communications at Princeton who oversaw the poll for the Gallup Organization. “‘Rocket Man’ was good, people agree, but it pales in comparison to ‘dotard,’ which is off the charts.” Trump had called Kim “Rocket Man” in his speech before the General Assembly of the United Nations. In response, Kim called Trump a “dotard,” which refers to an elderly person who exhibits signs of mental decline. More.
Tillerson: ‘Trump’s Pre-pardon of Himself and Pence Means I won’t Have to Pardon Them After I Become President’
United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he’s ready to assume the presidency once President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are removed from office for obstruction of justice but that it won’t be necessary to pardon the two because Trump has already signed the pardons. “Once Speial Counsel Robert Mueller files his charges against the president for firing the former FBI director and then lying about why it was done, and the vice president is charged with knowing that information and yet publicly giving other reasons for it, I am constitutionally in line to assume the presidency,” Tillerson said in a briefing today. “I will make it my priority to bring together all Americans after what will be a traumatic and fraught time. That is why I’m prepared to pardon the president and vice president but glad that it won’t be necessary because the pardons are already signed by the president.” Trump already pardoned[/caption]Tillerson said he expects the pre-pardons to hold up in Court because the president has unabridged power to pardon and President Trump has exercised that power. More.
In a man-bites-dog announcement, President Donald Trump heaped praise on news outlets for sending camera crews and reporters to cover his photo op in Corpus Christi even as devastating floods in Houston continued to tax their resources. “Here’s one for the fake news media,” said Trump in his first remarks since he returned to Washington. “They’re still terrible people, dishonest and disgusting. But I appreciate the effort they made to record my photo op in Texas. I waved the Texas flag and they got that. That was good. Strong ratings. Super ratings. The best, actually. I heard that.” Trump said he was told by aides that many news organizations, including NBC and ABC, were stretched thin, since they had camera crews on the ground in Houston and other parts of the Gulf Coast. But they managed to have crews available when Trump and the First Lady landed to show their support for federal officials and others who were coordinating disaster response efforts. More.
HOUSTON, Sept. 30, 2017—Mayor Sylvester Turner says officials have done everything they can to prevent the president of the United States and his wife from arriving in this flood-ravaged city but in the end they were not successful. “Let me just say that this catastrophe is not a reflection on the hard work and dedication of the people of this city,” said Turner, a former state legislator who took office in January. “We made phone calls to the White House pleading for the president not to come. We said we had no place for him and his wife to stay. The roads are not passable. Food is scarce. People are traumatzed. Nothing we said made a difference.” Turner said it’s too soon to know how many people remain trapped in homes and cars, but he fears the number is in the thousands, which makes it imperative that the president not stay long. “We can’t be diverting resoures so the president can wave a Texas flag,” he said. “We need to get him back on his plane and back to Washington as soon as possible.” More.
President Donald Trump in a series of early-morning tweets blamed lax immigration laws for opening the door to Hurricane Harvey, possibly the most destructive natural disaster to hit the United States in a generation. “A country that can’t secure its borders invites menaces like Harvey,” the president said in his first tweet, sent at 4:59 a.m., Monday. “We need walls, high walls, not just on Mexican border but around ALL country’s vulnerable borders.” Trump also took a stab at Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, one of his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination last year, saying Cruz’s Cuban background means he “cares more about protecting Castro’s island than his own state. #KennedyAssassination!” Experts appeared on news shows to dispute the president’s assertions. “Walls don’t keep out hurricanes and neither do immigration laws, no matter how strong,” Peter Austin, an immigration law specialist at Harvard University, said on ABC News. More.
The following is a transcript of remarks by President Donald Trump in response to questions about his fitness for office and whether he colluded with the government of Russia to tip the 2016 election in his favor. “Let me just say this, and I want to say this to the television audience and to everyone on the Internet, on Twitter—which is the way presidents communicate today, by the way. A very modern way to communicate. You ask about mistakes. I have not made any mistakes, I promise you that. I can guarantee it. And in my two years of public life, I have always acted on the advice of my brain, which—you don’t have to feel bad about this, but which is the biggest, most beautiful brain you’ve ever seen. More.
YORKTOWN, Va.—Hundreds of Americans of British descent rallied at the popular Riverwalk Landing here yesterday, chanting “Long live King George! Long Live the British Empire!” and demanding the erection of a statute of King George to commemorate the British heritage of the United States. “Our past must not be denied!” yelled marchers, many of whom were dressed in red-coated British military grab from the Revolutionary War period and brandishing historic firearms. “Down with George Washington! Up with George William Frederick, King of Great Britain and Elector of Hanover!” The marchers were met wth pro-independence counter-demonstrators, who taunted the marchers and, in some case, threw punches. “We won our independence!” some yelled. “Get over it!” President Donald Trump, returning to the White House after a 17-day working vacation at his golf property in Bedminster, N.J., blamed agitators on “many sides” for the confrontation. More.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told members of his caucus this morning he wants to limit President Donald Trump to a single term of office so Republicans can get down to the business of passing tax reform, their party’s priority. “The single most important thng we want to achieve is for President Trump to be a one-term president,” McConnell said. The Majority Leader and Trump have had a rocky relationship from the start, but sources say the back-and-forth between the two has worsened since the Senate’s failure to repeal and replace Obamacare. “The last time the two of them talked they were shouting profanities at each other,” said one official who is familiar with the conversation. More.
President Donald Trump said today he wants to be the only thing people think about each and every moment of their lives, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “I only exist if people are thinking about me and only me from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep,” he told reporters at a briefing in the Oval Office. “There are still people in parts of Africa, Antarctica, and maybe a few other places that don’t think about me and what I’m doing to the United States and even to the world. But with my success ratcheting up tensions with North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, and other countries around the globe, I believe I will reach my mark soon.”More.
Pointing to the “unbelievable job” he’s doing as president, Donald Trump today said he’s way ahead of his schedule for fixing everything that’s wrong with America. “When I was nominated by so many Americans last year, I said that I alone can fix our great country’s problems,” he said in a briefing with reporters. “I’m glad to say your president has delivered on his promises and you’ll be so surprised and so pleased at how much I’ll deliver on my promises in the weeks and months ahead.” Trump cited the success of free speech that was expressed in Charlottesville, Va., yesterday, in which a coalition of white nationalist groups clashed with anti-fascist demonstrators. “The free speech was so good,” he said of the rally, at which one protestor was killed when an alleged neo-Nazi supporter rammed his car into a crowd of people. Two officers were also killed when their police helicopter crashed. Virginia Governor Terrence McAuliffe declared a state of emergency. More.
Security experts from around the world say the United States has an edge over North Korea in any kind of military showdown because its clown is more powerful than the other country’s clown, but it would nevertheless be better for the two clowns to find a diplomatic solution to their conflict. “North Korea leader Kim Jong-un is certainly one of the world’s great clowns, but he is not as great a clown as the United States’ leader, Donald Trump,” says Andrew McPearson, senior fellow at the Brookings Institute Center for International Security. “The United States remains the world’s largest economy and has the most powerful military. And it has the world’s biggest clown.” The two nations clashed this week after the United Nations passed U.S.-backed sanctions against North Korea for violating the International Nonproliferation Treaty, which seeks to curb the spread of nuclear weapons. In response to the sanctions, Kim Jong-un threatened to take preemptive action against the United States. More.
President Donald Trump said it was a lie when a man he said was lying about him called him a liar. “The liar who lied about my lying is a liar,” the president said in remarks to reporters this morning. Trump said the liar lied about his lying even after lying about being a liar. “When a liar lies about his lying, you know it’s a lie,” he said. “It’s a lie to think you can lie about a lie, because people know it’s a lie and I’m not lying about that.” Trump said he had to call the liar a liar after he lied about him lying about his lying. “What he said was a lie, because he said I was lying.” More.
President Donald Trump says he’s already settled on his 2020 reelection theme and that Americans can expect to hear more about it in the coming months. “As I’ve traveled across this great country of ours—a country getting greater every day, I might add—I’ve come to the conclusion that we need a competent government in the White House more than anything else because after eight years of mismanagement by the Russian colluder Barack Obama, and the Democrats attempt to rig the election in 2016, we can’t have more failed policies in our government,” Trump told reporters in a briefing this morning. Trump raised eyebrows last month by appearing at a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that was funded by his campaign operation and billed as his first speech of the 2020 presidential election. Corey Lewandowski, a campaign manager for Trump during the 2016 election, says Trump inherited a White House in disarray and has had to spend his first months in office “fixing all the things Barack Obama broke.” More.
MOUNT HOPE, W.Va.—Hundreds of boy scouts, including many Eagle Scouts, have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after watching the president of their country insult people who don’t agree with him, threaten to fire someone whom he had just said was doing a good job, and make a bawdy allusion to sex parties on expensive boats. “I . . . I just don’t know what to believe anymore,” said one boy scout who was diagnosed with PTSD after attending the speech by President Donald Trump at the National Boy Scout Jamboree here on July 24. “We’ve always been taught that the United States is a great democracy but our president was demeaning the loyal opposition and making it sound like their motives were bad rather than just taking a different position on policy priorities. Then he threatened to fire one of his own officials if the health bill doesn’t pass even though he himself has called provisions to replace the health law ‘mean.’ I’m just so uncertain what values were supposed to be aiming for now.” More.
White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders says President Trump “has no problem” tending to the country’s needs in the “several hours a day” when he’s not tweeting and in fact on most days has plenty of spare time to read briefing papers. “I don’t know how many hours a day Barack Obama worked, but I doubt he worked harder or more effectively than President Trump during the many, many hours he’s not tweeting,” Sanders said at a briefing today. The White House released a log that shows President Trump spends about three hours a day “on serious matters of critical importance to the United States,” with an additional two to three hours a day on what is described as “media analyses and assessments.” More.
First Lady Melania Trump, who married Donald Trump 12 years ago after a career as an international fashion model, says she could easily dispense with her family’s luxurious lifestyle and be content settling down with her husband to live a simple life. “What people don’t understand is that Donald and I have a connection that runs very deep,” she told Elle magazine in an interview. “I’m not saying I don’t enjoy being the First Lady of the United States and living in the White House, or, prior to that, having our own fleet of private airplanes and also traveling around New York City in our helicopter. Of course I do. But I would give all that up tomorrow if Donald lost everything and we had to live on, say, a $40,000 salary he earned as a tire salesman.” The First Lady said she grew up in humble circumstances in Slovenia (the former Yugoslavia) and fully expected to live that kind of lifestyle when she met Trump at a Fashion Week party in 1998. “Did I know he was rich? Of course,” she said. “But for me, that wasn’t part of the attraction. More.
HAMBURG, Germany. President Donald Trump, fresh from his two-hour meeting with Russia President Vladimir Putin, was in good spirits as he headed for a dinner at the G-20 meeting here Friday night. “I had a terrific meeting with President Putin, a really terrific meeting that will mean great things for America,” Trump said. “I’ve said all along America would be better off if we got along with Russia, and our meeting today was a fresh start, a really good start after the disastrous years we’ve had for so long.” Trump said he and Putin talked about cyber security and bringing peace to Syria—“a really important topic, by the way, really serious stuff”—and about forging closer ties between their two countries in the coming years. “I said I wanted to put the past behind us,” Trump said. “President Putin is a strong leader who I think we can do a lot with. And he certainly respects our strength, our military, our control over the cyber. We’re a really big country and I think he knows that.” More.
President Donald Trump, calling himself the most unifying president the United States has ever had, said you can’t support America without supporting the Republican party. “The Republican party is the party of Lincoln, and how many Americans know Lincoln pulled our country together during the Civil War?” Trump said today at the White House. “Democrats talk a good game but they want to bring down the Republicans—the party of Lincoln—with their witch hunts and their fake stories on Russia collusion.” Trump said only a third of the country really supports the Democrats, and most of those who say they do probably secretly support the Republicans. “People will lie to pollsters,” he said. “I got news for you. They’ll lie. They’ll say I’m a Democrat but when they vote, they vote Republican. Everybody knows that.” More.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says she understands President Donald Trump more than other people, including Sean Spicer, her predecessor, because, like Trump, she has relied on her dad to clear obstacles in front of her so that she could get to where she is without having to compete for it. “I guess you could say the President and I have a bond,” says Huckabee-Sanders, 34. “His dad handed over the keys to a successful company to him so that he didn’t have to build that company from scratch. My dad leveraged his connections as a governor and a two-time presidential candidate to get me a top position with the Republican National Committee so I didn’t have to open doors on my own.” More.
After seeing how President Donald Trump deployed his legendary dealmaking skills on the votes to repeal and replace Obamacare, Americans say they now “get” what Trump was talking about when he said on the campaign trail that no one can make deals like he can. “I admit I thought he was just boasting when he said he was a great dealmaker,” says Harold Gardner, a retired accountant in Des Moines, Iowa. “It sounded like a lot of hyperbole to me. But I see now that he really is the consummate dealmaker. The way he got into the back-and-forth about what lawmakers needed to get the health care law passed—it was revealing. You could see how he works to understand what each person wants so he can cut a deal that gives each person a little of what they want so everyone can claim a victory. It was dazzling.” More.
PARIS—President Donald Trump, in what many are calling an international gaffe and a sexist comment, called Brigitte Marcon, wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, “very high quality” and in fact “higher quality” than he expected. “The First Lady of our strong friend and ally France is in good shape and you can tell she’s a quality person, very beautiful, the highest quality,” Trump said yesterday during his meeting with President Macron and his wife. Trump was in France with his wife, Melania, to celebrate Bastille Day with the French people. “I know a lot of quality people,” Trump said. “The best high quality. I would certainly put the First Lady of France in that group. I put my wife in that group, too, of couse. There are a lot of people in that group.” More.
Ivana Trump, Donald Trump’s ex-wife and mother of his three oldest children, agreed with her former husband that their oldest son, Donald Jr., is “high quality” but also added that their two other children, Ivanka and Eric, are also “high quality.” Trump, 68, a Czech-American businesswoman and former fashion model who divorced Trump in 1992, said having quality children was a goal they both shared and one of the things they never had any disagreements over. “We had differences on some things, like me working outside the house, but I can say that we never disagreed on the need to have high quality children,” she said. “We also agreed that our children were in fact very high quality, so that’s something we both take pride in.” More.
President Donald Trump said his oldest son, Donald Jr., didn’t collude with the Russians to hurt Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, but if he did, he can count on a presidential pardon. “The Democrats can use their rigged system to convict my son for a fake Russia collusion story but I have the ability to pardon him and I will,” Trump said today at the White House. “He’s going to keep running my business until I’m out of office.” More.
President Donald Trump made a more serious and important decision this morning than anything former President Barack Obama ever made in his eight years in office, White House Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said today. Sanders was responding to a question from a reporter about an important piece of paper that Trump was photographed looking at this morning. Sanders said she wasn’t familiar with the paper, but based on past papers the President has looked at, it was likely something of grave national concern about which the President made a better decision than Obama ever would have. “I can tell you that, whatever decision President Trump made was better for America, created more jobs and saved more lives, than decisions his predecessor made,” she said. Tomorrow the President will be making better decisions than Obama based on a briefing book of “probably 100 pages” that he is scheduled to be photographed looking at, Huckabee said. “The jobs will be better, the outcome for America’s forgotten middle class will be superior to the disaster that was the Obama presidency,” she said. More.
White House communications chief Kellyanne Conway says it’s unfair of the media not to take into account all the infantile thoughts and memes that President Trump could have tweeted but didn’t during his five months in office. “Have there been adolescent thoughts he’s tweeted that probably should have stayed in his head?” Conway told reporters at the White House today. “Of course. But there have been far more that he hasn’t tweeted, including some that were particularly beneath the dignity of the president.” Conway gave as an example a meme Trump had been thinking about tweeting but didn’t even though it was particularly juvenile. “I was with him when he said he wanted to share this stupid video that he liked a lot,” she said. “But he decided not to and I think that speaks a lot to the kind of man, the kind of president he is.” More.
The CNN executive who got body slammed by Donald Trump in the viral wrestling video says the fight didn’t end when the video ended; it ended after an additional round of fighting in which Trump didn’t fare quite so well. The executive, who asked to remain anonymous so he could speak frankly, said he hit Trump with a leapfrog body guillotine, in which he ran up to Trump from behind, jumped on his back, and hopped over his head, forcing Trump down onto the ground. “It was a dirty move but the President fights dirty,” said the executive. More.
President Donald Trump admitted today he never taped former FBI Director James Comey but he left open the possibility that he’s taping himself, although he acknowledged he’s just speculating. “I’m not saying I am taping myself but so many things are coming out of the White House, coming out of the Oval Office, that I think I could be taping myself,” he said. “I just think we’re going to be revealing some very interesting things in the months ahead. Very interesting things. You’ll be surprised, I can guarantee you that.” A White House press aide who spoke on condition of anonymity said the President’s remark “speaks for itself,” although it wasn’t clear if the President was admitting he was taping himself or whether he was being taped at his request or whether he was being taped not at his request but with his tacit agreement. “Or maybe the agreement isn’t tacit,” this aide said. “I think you ought to ask the President whether it’s tacit or not.” More.
President Donald Trump in a somber address to the nation called upon Americans to come together after Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the third-ranking member in the House of Representatives, was shot by an anti-Republican man on Wednesday at a baseball park in Alexandria, Va. Several others, including congressional aides, were also shot. Scalise, who was shot by James Hodgkinson of Illinois, remains in critical condition. “I know there will be a temptation for Republicans to blame Democrats for helping to fuel a partisan atmosphere that might give rise to violence of this kind, but the time to stop the divisive rhetoric that has so long plagued our politics is now,” Trump said. “I know I have contributed to this environment. For that I express my regret. More.
The United Kingdom on Twitter today escalated a growing feud with the United States by promising to be just as insensitive and insulting when the U.S. is next hit by a terrorist attack as President Donald Trump was with the U.K. after its latest confrontation with extremist terror in London last week. “Unfortunately, it’s only a matter of time before you’re hit by a terror attack again,” the U.K. tweeted this morning. “We’ll feel bad for you, of course, but, sadly, we’ll have to be insensitive and insulting about your response. Sad!” The U.K. noted that no one is better at hurling insults than the British, so any country getting into a war of zingers with it will probably regret it. “Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure,” the U.K. tweeted about the U.S. losing an upcoming zinger fight with it. “It’s not your fault.” More.
White House spokesperson Sean Spicer said the Europeans are to blame for President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accords because the French, Germans, and others think they’re better than everyone else. “You know, they walk around like they’re so great, so sophisticated,” Spicer said at his briefing today. “They have their fancy suits. They use their big, foreign words. They eat their expensive food with the small portions. Its nauseating.” Spicer said the Europeans look to the United States to pay for everything but behind the country’s back they look down on Americans. “You know, they say to us, ‘Protect us and buy our stuff. Buy our cars—which are better than yours, by the way—and watch our bicycle races and tennis matches. You guys with your stupid American football that’s not even football. You’re just so stupid.'” More.
Trump: ‘I’m Going to Preside Over the Greatest Collapse of American Civil Society We’ve Ever Seen, Believe Me’
President Donald Trump said today Americans will be more divided, more hostile to one another than the country has ever seen before, even more than during the Civil War, when the North and the South were pitted against one another. “We’re going to have the biggest, the greatest, the most tremendous breakdown in our shared civil culture than we’ve ever had before, I can guarantee you that,” Trunp said in remarks at the White House. “We’re seeing Americans fight each other on airplanes, insult each other in supermarket lines, and refuse to do business with one another. It will be the most fantastic breakdown in our country and it’s going to be so big.” Trump said America has long had a history of putting differences aside to work for the common good, but that path has put the country in its current state of mediocrity. More.
White House spokesperson Sean Spicer called a report that Donald Trump has drained all the prestige out of the presidency untrue. “There are plenty of leaders around the world who look up to the American presidency,” Spicer said today at his daily press briefing. “There’s the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte. There are some others. The point is, the American presidency is a powerful office that carries prestige no matter who occupies it.” Spicer was reacting to a report by Samuel Greene and Nadia Petrograv of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government that the office of the president, which for generations has represented the most powerful leadership post in the world, has lost about 60 percent of its prestige since Donald Trump won election. More.
Special Prosecutor is Opportunity to Return Focus to Taking Away Health Care, Gutting Programs for Americans, Trump Says
President Donald Trump in a series of early-morning tweets said the appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller to look into the Trump-Russia allegations gives his administration a chance to refocus on pulling the rug out from voters who put him into office. “Mueller will finally get the fake Russia story out of the news,” Trump said in the first of his tweets this morning. “We welcome the chance to take away health care from 24m, raise taxes on 70% of homeowners, cut heating aid to the old,” he said in a second tweet. In a third, he said he wants to get back to “wrecking U.S. standing in world, being a pushover to China, undercutting our allies.” More.
President Donald Trump said in a press briefing today that his administration has talked more about helping working class Americans than any administration in the United States. “No one’s talking about the interests of our workers like I am,” said Trump, whose tax reform plan, released in late April, cut taxes for corporations and pass-through entities, of which The Trump Organization is one. Most middle-class homeowners would see their taxes go up because the plan would eliminate the deductions for mortgage interest, real estate taxes, and state and local taxes. It would keep the mortgage interest deduction, but that’s not enough to offset the losses elsewhere, pushing them to take a new $24,000 standard deduction that’s less than what they got when they itemized. More.
White House Spokesperson Sean Spicer said there’s no truth to rumors that President Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte have agreed to shoot a television commercial for Viagra®, the erectile dysfunction drug, while Duterte is in Washington for his White House meeting. “The fake news operation of the Democratic party is at it again,” said Spicer at his press briefing this morning. “The claim that President Trump and Philippine President Duterte have any intention of shooting a Viagra® commercial is absurd.” More.
A report by the Kleinbaum Institute of Forensic Sciences at Columbia University says there’s a good chance President Donald Trump has been hiding his bald spot in his taxes since 1995 and maybe even as far back as 1991. “As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump was willing to risk losing the election by refusing to do what presidential candidates have been doing for the last 40 years: release their tax returns,” says William Berger, professor of forensic sciences at Columbia and the director of the Kleinbaum Institute. “The question that has intrigued Americans and even people around the world for the past 18 months is, why? We think we know why.” Berger says it’s understandable people think Trump is trying to hide embarrassing financial matters by keeping his taxes out of the public spotlight. More.
President Donald Trump said today he might drop more bombs in hot spots around the world because people appear to like the bombs on a bipartisan basis. “Who would have thought the bombs would be so popular, but they are and we’re going to do more of them, I can guarantee you,” Trump said at a press briefing after meeting with business officials on tax reform. “Syria was a big win for us. People liked the Tomahawks. President Bashar al-Assad poisoned his own people. We fired the bombs. That was good. A big win. Then we dropped the mother of all bombs on Afghanistan. People are sick of Afghanistan. They can’t believe we’re still there. We can’t get out of that country? We dropped the bomb.” More.
President Donald Trump, his step a little lighter now that the reviews have been good on his decision to bomb a Syrian airbase, says Americans can expect more bombings in the weeks ahead. “There are going to be so many good opportunities to bomb things,” Trump said in his weekly radio address at the White House today. “We have North Korea. We have Iran. We have some other hot spots we’re looking at but aren’t ready to talk about yet. But they’ll be good bombing targets. A lot of pride among Americans, especially after all those disastrous Obama years when we blew so few things up.” Trump acknowledged he wasn’t expecting reviews across the political spectrum to be so good in response to his snap decision to send 59 Tomahawk missiles to the Shayrat military airbase in response to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons on its own citizens. More.
President Donald Trump said he based his decision to bomb the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria on “raw emotion” and he’s left it to his generals to create a long-term engagement strategy that doesn’t leave Americans more vulnerable to middle east chaos. “I saw children murdered by their own government and I reacted to that,” Trump said today at the White House. “Now we’re working hard to build a policy around my decision. I think we’ll have a plan soon, maybe even before the weekend.” Trump said he’d been given policy papers on the situation in Syria, but what matters is what he sees on cable news. “And what I saw horrified me,” said Trump. “I think it’s important for the head of a country to act on the basis of emotions and without a long-term plan.” More.
Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn insisted he’s not guilty of colluding with Russia to help Donald Trump become president in 2016 and to prove it, he said he’ll gladly testify before Congress as long as he’s given immunity. “I’m eager to clear my name of these incorrect charges,” said Flynn, who has kept a low profile since resigning in January after just a few weeks working for the Trump White House. “That’s why l’m saying, give me immunity to testify and I’ll tell you everything I know.” Flynn said his testimony will show he has done nothing wrong and the entire Russia-Trump connection amounts to nothing. More.
Recent sightings in the foothills of Spring Creek, Calif., of a mysterious beauty object have caused a stir in this former mining town 175 miles north of San Francisco. “I haven’t seen the town buzzing like this since we had the frog jumping contest here one year because the track was too muddy in Calaveras County,” says Sam Baker, a retired rancher who serves as the town’s unofficial historian. The cause of all the excitement are recent sightings of an unidentified beauty object that many locals believe is Melania Trump, the rarely seen wife of President Donald Trump. “We thought she only existed in New York City,” says Helen Carter, owner of Carter’s Diner on Route 43. “The idea that she would be sighted way out here—about as far from New York City as you can get—makes me think it’s not really her but a local girl who probably got pregnant and doesn’t want to tell her parents.” More.
Republican lawmakers in the United States Congress say they’re flabbergasted they couldn’t pull out a win yesterday by passing a bill that no one wanted and that would make the lives of Americans worse. “Who would have thought that a bill that strips health insurance away from 24 million people, raises the premiums for everyone else, and allows insurance companies to pay for less care couldn’t generate enough votes to pass?” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said last night after pulling the plug on his signature health care reform bill. Ryan said he’s stunned that his fellow Republicans didn’t want to commit political suicide by making the lives of their constituents worse by publicly voting “yea” for his bill, called the American Health Care Act. More.
WASHINGTON—In a sensational shot across the bow, American President Donald Trump said at the White House today that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, is a “vindictive, narcissistic sociopath’ who mustn’t be allowed to have nuclear weapons because he’s “impulsive, unstable, and holds a grudge.” Trump also said he lies “practically every time” he opens his mouth. “What we have in North Korea is a man who only got where he is today because of his father,” Trump told reporters. Kim is the third leader in the Kim dynasty, which began in 1948 when Kim Il-sung led his country’s effort to overthrow Japanese rule. Kim then elevated his son, Kim Jong-il, to the post of Supreme Leader in 1994, and then Kim Jong-il elevated Kim Jong-un in 2011, when he was 27. More.
McConnell: ‘Have to do it’Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Congress has little choice but to censure President Donald Trump for accusing his predecessor, without evidence, of conducting surveillance on him during the 2016 campaign. “There has never been a greater debasement of the presidency than what we have seen in the last two weeks,” said McConnell, who as recently as this weekend joined President Trump at a campaign-style rally in Louisville, Ky. “For one president to accuse another of what amounts to a criminal act, and to do so even though all of the country’s considerable intelligence resources are at his fingertips, is to perpetrate one of the greatest violations of our nation’s trust we have ever seen.” More.
In a problem that has never happened before, according to historians, just nine weeks into the presidency of Donald Trump the White House has exhausted its supply of foreign leaders willing to come to Washington to meet with the president and analysts cannot figure out why. “In every past administration, the problem has been too many foreign leaders wanting to come to Washington to meet with what many people regard as the most powerful person in the world,” says Jake Tapper, Washington correspondent for CNN. “Now, leaders around the world are saying they’re too busy to come. It’s weird.” That’s not to say President Trump has hosted no foreign leaders. Among others, he’s hosted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Theresa May, and Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe. And just last week he hosted German Chancellor Angela Merkel. But White House aides say no more foreign leaders are lined up to come. More.
Stung by unfavorable comparisons between his inauguration crowd and that of his predecessor, Barack Obama, President Donald Trump today announced that when he wins reelection in 2020, Americans will be required to attend his 2021 inauguration unless at least two million people attend voluntarily. “What the executive order says is, attendance at the inauguration is voluntary—which is in accordance with our freedoms as a democracy—but that if under two million people attend, people will be required to attend up to the minimum two-million attendance number,” said Sean Spicer, the White House spokesperson. More.
Kellyanne Conway, one of the most visible defenders of Donald Trump’s presidency, says photos of her in a bikini are “alternative facts” that are being spread on the Internet to try to take the focus off the things the Trump administration is doing, like accusing President Barack Obama of wire tapping Trump Towers, using the presidency to spread accusations about Muslim attacks in Sweden, and saying immigration curbs are needed because of a massacre in Bowling Green, Ky. “I have clearly been photoshopped into images of other women to hurt Donald Trump by demeaning me as a person,” said Conway, 50. “It’s a personal attack on my character that’s been put forward without regard to the truth and without regard to the long-term impact this will have on our democracy, our shared trust in our institutions, and our credibility as a nation.” More.
President Donald Trump this morning announced the formation of a White House office to identify and assign blame to the responsible person for upcoming policy failures of his administration. “No administration will be as accountable to the American people as mine for assigning blame for problems that will be coming in the years ahead,” Trump said in announcing his new White House Office of Blame Laying. On the upcoming failure of the American Health Care Act, for instance, the finger of blame will be pointed at former president Barack Obama for his program to increase the number of people with health insurance by 20 million. “When the Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare results in higher premiums for worse insurance for a declining number of Americans, we will know immediately that Barack Obama is to blame. More.
Vice President Mike Pence, amidst revelations that he used a personal email account to conduct official business when he was governor of Indiana, said what he did was different from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email when she was secretary of state. “What Hillary Clinton did was a clear violation of law and a threat to national security while my use of personal email was a smart and necessary action that benefitted the people of Indiana,” Pence said in a statement released today. Pence’s use of a personal AOL email account was revealed yesterday in a report by The Indianapolis Star. More.
President Donald Trump took the opportunity before a friendly audience at the Conservative Political Action (CPAC) Conference in Washington yesterday to blast his presidency as a “fake” occupation of the White House and has vowed to bar himself from government despite the role the Constitution has assigned to the president. “Nobody appreciates the constitutionally protected role of the presidency more than me,” said Trump, who spoke on the second day of the annual event. “That’s why no one is in a better position than me to recognize a fake presidency when there is one.” Trump said no presidency deserves the label “fake” more than his because his victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in November depended on the FBI, voter suppression, and the Russian government. More.
Stephen Miller, the senior advisor to President Donald Trump who has helped shape the White House’s position on immigration and other conservative policies, said today he hates himself and wishes he weren’t such an asshole but that he has stopped trying to be something he’s not and will continue to attach himself to power to make himself feel better. “I’d like to have a friend, but I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to be friends with a dick like me, so I’ll just continue to be the biggest asshole I can be,” said Miller, 31. Miller said he first discovered he was a butthole when he was a teenager. “I wanted a friend and found one in Wayne LaPierre [CEO of the National Rifle Association], and although I continue to be friendless, I’m working out my insecurities at the highest levels of power and that makes me feel better when I’m not eating dinner by myself at my lonely townhouse on Capitol Hill,” he said. More.
President Donald Trump announced that John Miller, his spokesperson going back to his days as a New York real estate developer, is replacing Sean Spicer as press secretary. “I’ve known John all my life and no one has my back the way he does,” Trump told reporters at the announcement today. “When John talks, you know what he says is coming directly from me. He knows me like no one else.” MIller, 70, who also goes by the name John Barron or John Baron, served as spokesperson for Trump in the 1980s and 1990s, when Trump was trying to make a name for himself as both an astute businessman and a man-about-town. “It’s a good choice,” says Sue Carswell, a reporter for People magazine. More.
President Donald Trump introduced his latest picks for national security advisor, deputy secretary of state, and director of the secret service, but none of the appointees allowed themselves to be publicly identified. “I am ‘honored’ to be chosen to help keep our country safe as national security advisor,” said the person named to that post, whose face was kept hidden by a bag. “I have worked in national security for decades and have dedicated my life to our country’s safety. I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it.” The appointee, who stands about 6′ 1″ and looks to be between 195 and 210 pounds, said he accepted this “very important position” out of love of country. More.
President Donald Trump said his brain has performed as well as he had expected and often better over the first four weeks of his presidency. “It’s given me great advice on so many things, important national security maters,” said Trump, who spoke to Fox News in an interview Wednesday night. Trump said his brain gave him “particularly good advice” when he learned Michael Flynn, his national security advisor until he resigned earlier this week, had been talking to Russian officials while Barack Obama was still president about lifting sanctions. “My first instinct was to fire him, but my brain told me to wait until the press found out,” said Trump. More.
President Donald Trump, who took a national security briefing on North Korea last week while dining in a public restaurant at his Mar-a-Lago restaurant, tweeted on an unsecured phone today that Americans shouldn’t forget about Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server while she was secretary of state. “I let her off the hook, but we shouldn’t forget how she risked national security with her emails,” Trump tweeted from his iPhone 7. In another tweet, Trump said he might have his Department of Justice take a look at what she did, even though he had said after the election he would let the matter drop, because “Russians, others could have hacked her like they did the DNC.” More.
President Donald Trump, on the defensive for staff contacts with the Russian government before he was sworn in as president, said the only scandal is the unsecured server Hillary Clinton used as secretary of state when Barack Obama was president. “You have 30,000 emails that could have been compromised because of Hillary Clinton’s illegal use of a private server,” said Trump, who continues to use an unsecured phone for conversations and tweeting and who has taken national security briefings in public locations, including the main dining room at his Mar-a-Lago resort. “We must get to the bottom of her use of a private server when she was communicating with foreign leaders.” To that end, he is directing the Department of Justice to open up an investigation into what Clinton did, and didn’t do, with her server. “Nothing less than our national security is at stake,” he said. More.
Shinzō Abe, the Japanese prime minister, made a desperate cry for help last week in the White House, where his hand was held against its will by the hand of President Donald Trump. “Nobody likes to be imprisoned, but few things are worse than having your hand imprisoned because your hand is the most important exponent of freedom a person has,” said Abe, the leader of Japan since 2012 and not normally a person given to abstract philosophical musings about freedom and hands. Abe said he empathizes with Melania Trump, wife of Donald Trump, who, during the presidential inauguration on January 20, made a similar desperate cry for help about her imprisonment by her husband. More.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the former prosecutor who led the investigation into the Benghazi attacks when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, says he is ready to “pull out all the stops” to learn whether laws were broken when Vice President Mike Pence and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn held talks with Russia about lifting sanctions while the presidential race was still going on. “If the contacts were in fact about the lifting of sanctions, then that would be a clear violation of U.S. law and appropriate steps would have to be taken,” says Gowdy, who earned a reputation in Congress for his tough prosecutorial approach when he led the special committee on what Hillary Clinton knew and didn’t know about the raid on the U.S. embassy in Libya that led to the deaths of four Americans, including the Libyan ambassador, Christopher Stevens. More.
3 Weeks Into Trump Presidency, White Supremacists Dismayed That Jews, Blacks Still Allowed to be American
Leaders of the National Aryan Front, American Freedom Party, Ku Klux Klan, and other white supremacist oganzations in the United States issued a joint letter to President Donald Trump today expressing concern over the slow pace of the “solution” they expect him to enact for people of inferior races and ethnicities. “While we appreciate the many priorities any new administration must contend with, the lack of meaningful progress on the white nationalist agenda is troubling,” the leaders say in the letter, which was hand-delivered to the White House this morning. The letter reminds Trump that his election depended in large part on the unwavering support from the white supremacist community, particularly when he was being criticized in the media during the primaries. “When other groups were challenging you for your accurate and appropriate concerns over the biased rulings of so-called Judge Gonzalo Curiel against Trump University, we were your most vocal and consistent supporters,” the letter says. More.
CENTER JUNCTION, Iowa—Calling it an example of how he’s helping “America become great again,” President Donald Trump praised the owner of a family-owned manufacturing company here for opening a paperclip factory in the United States instead of Mexico. “We’re going to make trenendous paperclips here,” Trump told a group of employees on the factory floor. “They’re going to be the best paper clips ever made, and they’re going to be made right here in Iowa, because no one knows how to make paperclips better than the fine people of Iowa.” More.
Saying war with China or any other country will require the combat leadership of a certain seven-year Navy veteran, Senate Democrats this morning introduced the “Stephen K. Bannon Combat Leadership Act of 2017.” Under the bill, Stephen K, Bannon, a top advisor to President Donald Trump and an acknowledged “lover of war,” will have to “lead troops into battle in the first, second, and third waves of attack against enemies of the United States in any theater of war of his devising.” The legislation names “the South China Sea” as a potential “theater of war” but also says other areas of the world would qualify as long as “the lives of U.S. troops are at stake as a result of war started by Stephen K. Bannon.” More.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said the decree by President Donald Trump to institute martial law in the United States “to protect Americans from foreign and domestic enemies” is an unfortunate necessity given the state of the world, but he took issue with the “hasty and sloppy” execution of the law. “Should the Administration have put out guidance earlier to minimize confusion? Yes, I think it could have,” Ryan said. “The order was clearly drafted in haste—I get that, given the threats we face from people who want to harm American liberty and freedom—but the people on the ground that must carry it out should have had detail instructions. The result was the confusion and unnecessary mistakes that characterized the rollout.” More.
British Prime Minister Theresa May says she held the hand of President Donald Trump as they walked to the White House press room for their news conference earlier this week so she would know where his hand was at all times. “Frankly, I thought it was more important to keep tabs on his hand than worry about any ridicule I might incur from the international community,” May said today. May said she normally doesn’t worry about where the hands of world leaders are, but she didn’t want to take a chance on joining the more than two dozen women who have accused Trump of groping them. “If it were just one woman who was accusing him, then I wouldn’t be too concerned,” she said. “But there have been some two dozen, which is not a small number.” More.
The United States was arrested today by its own Department of Justice for humiliating its new leader, Donald Trump. The country is accused of showing up in only small numbers to President Trump’s inauguration, laughing at the musical acts performing at his event, and turning out bigger crowds at protest marches around the country the next day. “We will only affirm that a country had been arrested and that it is awaiting a hearing at which bail will be set,” says Sean Schinner, spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Justice. In the arrest report, in addition to the humiliation it served up on inauguration day, the country is accused of “watching shows poking fun at the president, listening to and attending shows of musical artists that refused to play at his inauguration, and not believing him when he says he would have won more votes than his opponent had not millions of illegals been allowed to vote.” More.
President Donald Trump says his first three days in office have been the “most presidential of any president at any time in the history of the United States” and the incredible presidential quality of his presidency will only get “more presidential” from here. Trump says his first action on his first day was to suspend, “very presidentially,” a rule that President Obama implemented right before he left office to lower the insurance premium for federally backed FHA home loans. The lower premiums were expected to make homeownership more affordable for millions of middle class households, which Trump called a very “unpresidential move” because it wasn’t done with the kind of presidential quality he would have done it with. More.
After 146 years, the iconic traveling show company, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, says it’s closing its doors because of low attendance. “Ticket sales have been declining for years, but they really took a nose dive starting about 18 months ago,” says Kenneth Feld, CEO of Feld Entertainment, the producer of Ringling. Feld attributed the dramatic drop in attendance to the company’s decision to stop using elephants, the growing unease people feel around clowns, and the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump. More.
Lawmakers in the U.S. Senate this week are tweaking 2017 budget legislation to allocate money for construction of the Mexican border wall, a priority of incoming president Donald Trump, but the budgetary maneuver faces a high hurdle to get past Democrats—and might not even be necessary. A consortium of Russian businessmen, including one who is a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has come forward with a proposal to create a private fund that would pay for the wall, enabling Trump to meet his highest-profile campaign promise without taking money away from other U.S. priorities or adding to the federal deficit. More.
It’s been a busy six months for Arthur Mann, whose book, When Your President is a Psychopath (Knolle, 2016), unexpectedly rocketed to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. We caught up with Mann, a professor of psychology at MIT, while he was between flights at LaGuardia Airport in New York City. To recap our conversation, Mann said there’s an easy way to cope with Donald Trump’s presidency, but it’s probably not what you think. More.