President Donald Trump on Friday fired back at the hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe program.
Specifically, the president responded to allegations that the White House asked co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski to apologize personally to Trump for their negative coverage of him in exchange for him telling the National Enquirer to back off of a negative story planned about the couple.
“Watched low rated Morning Joe for first time in long time,” Trump said. “FAKE NEWS. He called me to stop a National Enquirer article. I said no! Bad show.”
Joe Scarborough quickly shot back at Trump on Twitter — and claimed that he had a paper trail to back up his version of events.
“I have texts from your top aides and phone records,” he wrote. “Also, those records show I haven’t spoken with you in many months. Why do you keep lying about things that are so easily disproven? What is wrong with you?”
In a Washington Post editorial published Friday, Scarborough and Brzezinski revealed that the White House earlier this year contacted them about a purportedly scandalous story that would soon be published in the National Enquirer, whose boss David Pecker is a longtime Trump ally.
“This year, top White House staff members warned that the National Enquirer was planning to publish a negative article about us unless we begged the president to have the story spiked,” they revealed. “We ignored their desperate pleas.”
Meanwhile, there’s this:
President Donald Trump enlisted a media ally to intimidate MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the “Morning Joe” hosts revealed Friday after the president hurled personal attacks against them on Twitter.
“I think we have to talk about it now, because it explains the relationship and his really strange obsession with this show and in particular, his really disturbing obsession with Mika,” Scarborough said. “We got a call that, hey, the National Enquirer is going to run a negative story against you guys, and Donald is friends, the president is friends with the guy that runs the National Enquirer, and they said, ‘If you call the president up and you apologize for your coverage, then he will pick up the phone and basically spike this story.’”
Scarborough said three of the top officials in the Trump administration made the calls, but the TV host refused to call the president and apologize.
“The calls kept coming, and kept coming, and they were like, ‘Call — you need to call, please call, come on, Joe — just pick up the phone and call him,’” Scarborough said.
Brzezinski said the tabloid sent reporters to harass her family and friends as White House officials begged them to call the president to apologize, and MSNBC contributor Donnie Deutsch described the situation as “blackmail.”
“Let me explain what they were threatening,” Brzezinski said. “They were calling my children, they were calling close friends. They were pinning the story on my ex-husband, (but) I knew he would never do that. So I knew it was a lie and they had nothing. These calls persisted for quite some time, and then Joe had the conversations that he had with the White House, where they said, ‘Oh, this could go away.”
Scarborough said Trump called him during the campaign and boasted that he was friends with Enquirer publisher David Pecker, CEO of American Media, and suggested the tabloid was planting stories to attack his political enemies.
“What makes it even worse for them is Donald Trump called me during the campaign and bragged about his friend who ran the National Enquirer,” Scarborough said, “and he’d say, ‘Have you seen the Ben Carson story? Have you seen the Ben Carson story? Have you seen the story in the Enquirer,’ and then he’d talk about it.”
The tabloid also published stories suggesting Sen. Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and that Jeb Bush was involved in the drug trade.
“There were all these stories planted in the National Enquirer for people that Donald Trump wanted to attack, and then he would talk about it on the campaign trail,” Scarborough said. “So when we heard it, I said, ‘Oh, so we’ve gone from campaign mode to now trying to attack us.’”
President Donald Trump has reportedly cast aside his Cabinet’s international trade plan and is mulling a move to out-and-out economic warfare with the rest of the world, including current trading partners like China and Germany.
Axios.com said Friday that a tense Monday meeting in the White House’s Roosevelt room saw the president’s team divided into factions, the larger more moderate group and a small cabal of “America First advisers” who demanded that tariffs be placed on all imported products, including steel.
These tariffs — taxes or “duties” paid on items imported from other countries — could extend to include crucial manufacturing materials like aluminum, semiconductors, paper and household appliances like washing machines.
Among around 25 officials, the vote count was “22 against and 3 in favor — but since one of the three is named Donald Trump, it was case closed,” wrote Mike Allen and Jonathan Swan.
No decisions have been made, Axios said, but the president is firmly convinced that he needs to impose tariffs on imports and refuses to let it drop, against the vast majority of his Cabinet members’ advice.
“In a plan pushed by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and backed by chief strategist Steve Bannon (not present at the meeting), trade policy director Peter Navarro and senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, the United States would impose tariffs on China and other big exporters of steel. Neither Mike Pence nor Jared Kushner weighed in either way,” wrote Allen and Swan.
The vast majority of the meeting’s attendees argued strenuously against imposing tariffs on imports, saying that the plan is bad politics and would result in economic turmoil on a global scale — impacting not just China, but U.S. relations with a number of key economic and military allies like Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico and the United Kingdom.
“At one point, Trump was told his almost entire cabinet thought this was a bad idea. But everyone left the room believing the country is headed toward a major trade confrontation,” said Axios.
Trump’s reasoning, a source said, is that the measure probably won’t pass, but the president’s supporters will love the idea and enjoy the stagecraft of the resulting battle.
The resulting decision is expected to be announced in the days ahead.
The White House has spent the last 24 hours in a PR tailspin over Pres. Trump’s hateful, personal attacks on the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” That story that took on new dimensions of ugliness on Friday with the revelation that the Trump White House tried to “blackmail” the hosts into publicly groveling before him or see themselves smeared in the pages of the The National Enquirer.
We have learned that our nation can function just fine for six months without a rational, intelligent, competent President. We have learned that our nation can endure — at least for six months — with a bullying, incompetent, lying, braying jackass as president. Not certain if we will make it much longer.
Peter Smith, a Republican opposition researcher who implied he was working with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, sought access to emails stolen—likely by Russian hackers—from Hillary Clinton’s private email before the 2016 election, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Smith told his inner circle and potential recruits he was “talking to Michael Flynn about the his attempts to obtain those emails, computer-security expert Eric York told the Journal.
The Journal notes that federal investigators probing the link between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives have analyzed intelligence reports that purport to show “Russian hackers discussing how to obtain emails from Mrs. Clinton’s server and then transmit them to Mr. Flynn via an intermediary.”
In an interview with the Journal before his death on May 14, Smith said his team found at least two groups of Russia hackers who claimed to possess emails from Clinton’s private server. Smith said he “told all the groups to give them to WikiLeaks” after he said he was unable to determine the documents’ authenticity. He also told the Journal they “had a line of communication” open with Flynn and Flynn Intel Group.
Trump himself once called on “Russia” to “find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” The White House—which has repeatedly dismissed the Russian investigation as a “witch hunt”—declined to comment. Flynn also declined to comment, according to the Journal.
Read the full report at WSJ.
President Donald Trump will meet privately with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on the sidelines of next week’s G20 summit — and he has asked aides to identify bargaining chips he can trade away during the discussion.
The president has asked national security council staff to come up with a list of “deliverables” to offer in his conversations with Putin, reported The Guardian.
Two former officials who are familiar with the preparations told the newspaper that Trump may offer to return two diplomatic compounds in the U.S. vacated by the Russians on orders of the Obama administration in response to the Kremlin’s election interference.
It’s not clear what Putin might be asked in return, the sources said, although it ‘s a good bet Trump will ask Putin to forgive the several hundred million $$$ debt Trump has to Russian banks.
Former President Barack Obama ordered Russian officials to leave the compounds in Maryland and New York, which he said were used for intelligence-related purposes, and expelled 35 Russian officials he described as intel operatives.
The Trump administration considered handing back the compound early last month if Russia would permit the construction of a new U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg, but that agreement was scrapped a few days later after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.
Officials with the National Security Council and State Department strongly object to offering one-sided concession aimed at improving the tone of U.S.-Russia relations, The Guardian reported.
“They have been asked for deliverables, but there is resistance to offering anything up without anything back in return,” one former official told the newspaper.
Administration officials also are uneasy with Trump’s insistence on meeting personally with Putin at the G20 summit in Germany, although national security adviser H.R. McMaster confirmed the two leaders would meet on the sidelines in Hamburg.
Trump and his campaign associates are under investigation by Congress and the Justice Department for possible ties to Russia before the election, as well as possible efforts afterward to conceal those ties.
The president has made efforts since his election to lift sanctions imposed on Russia for interfering in Ukraine, and Congress is considering legislation to lock those sanctions in place by law.
The measure passed 98-2 in the Senate, but the bill has stalled in the House over technicalities as the White House reportedly seeks to water down its penalties.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday defended President Donald Trump’s decision to attack MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski’s physical appearance by saying that the president is a “fighter” who will always hit back when attacked.
“I don’t think you can expect someone to be personally attacked day after day, minute by minute, and sit back,” Sanders said. “Look, the American people elected a fighter. They didn’t elect somebody to sit back and do nothing. That’s — they knew what they were getting when they voted for Donald Trump, and he won overwhelmingly.”
Sanders was then asked if she approved of Trump attacking a woman’s appearance.
“Look, everybody wants to make this a — an attack on a woman,” she said. “What about the constant attacks that he receives, or the rest of us? I’m a woman, and I’ve been attacked by this show multiple times but I don’t cry foul because of it.”
Sanders was then asked if she thought Trump should be seen as a role model for her children.
“Look, I’ve been asked before, when it comes to role models, as a person of faith, I think we all have one perfect role model and when I’m asked that question, I point to God,” she replied. “I point to my faith and that’s where I would tell me kids… none of us are perfect and certainly there’s only one that is and that’s where I would point that direction.”
Here’s a clue for Sarah: She said “I don’t think you can expect someone to be personally attacked day after day, minute by minute, and sit back,”. Well, Sarah, you dumbass, President Barack Obama took an avalanche of shit every single day he was in office and you didn’t see him whining, whimpering, and tweeting in return. GROWTHEFUCKUP.
Mintues before claiming that Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski was “bleeding badly from a face-lift” when she and co-host Joe Scarborough visited him at Mar-A-Lago, President Donald Trump referred to Brzezinski as “low I.Q. Crazy Mika.” The president was upset he was critcized on the MSNBC program.
Trump is known for dishing out vicious insults to those who speak ill of him, and attacking an ememy’s I.Q. is one of his most classic burns. Let’s peruse the president’s Twitter history for some examples.
- In April 2013, he tweeted that Hardball host Chris Matthews “must have the lowest IQ on television” for “telling people that domestic terrorists are from the right.”
- Also in April 2013, he corrected a user who said his I.Q. was probably somewhere between that of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. “Much higher than both,” Trump responded.
- A month later, he reiterated the contention that his I.Q. is higher than Obama’s.
- Also in May 2013, he retweeted someone who said Trump’s I.Q. was higher than that of “idiot Jon Stewart,” adding, “That’s true. And by a lot.”
- Two days later, he attacked a random Twitter user who asked him if an I.Q. of 60 was good.
- May 2013 was a busy month for Trump when it came to I.Q.-related tweets. On the 26th, he retweeted someone who said he had a higher I.Q. than “idiot Lord Sugar,” referring to British businessman Alan Sugar, “which is why Trump has much more money.” Trump was pleased. “True on both fronts!” he replied.
- In January 2015, he retweeted someone who praised Trump and Ted Cruz while saying “the country’s been run by low I.Q. people for years.”
- In July 2015, he attacked Rick Perry, now his administration’s energy secretery, saying that Perry “failed on the border” and that he “should be forced to take an IQ test before being allowed to enter the GOP debate.”
- In December 2015, he wondered why The Washington Post has “low IQ people.”
- Also in December 2015, he tweeted that right-leaning journalist Rick Wilson was “dumb as a rock” and that he “shouldn’t be allowed on television unless given an I.Q. test.”
He also once said that he has a “much higher I.Q.” than both political strategist Karl Rove and conservative political commentator George Will.
But just as much as Trump bashes others for their low I.Q.s, he touts his own score, which he claims is “one of the highest.”
Is there any truth to Trump’s claim that he has an astronomical I.Q.? Short for “intelligence quotient,” a person’s I.Q. can be measured through various standardized tests. There are several that can be used in calculating an I.Q. score, but there doesn’t appear to be any evidence that Trump has taken any of them, or that an I.Q. score has been registered.
Trump’s reliance on I.Q. as a way to prove his intelligence amounts to nothing more than a salesman’s trick. Intelligence is abstract, so by floating something relatively concrete like an I.Q. score, it lends his claims of intelligence a false sense of legitimacy. In January, he said at a congressional leadership luncheon that his Cabinet has “by far the highest I.Q. of any Cabinet ever assembled.” He of course has no idea what the I.Q. scores of his Cabinet members actually are, but saying they are high at least sounds more legitimate than simply saying the members are smart. Ironically, one of the members of Trump’s high-I.Q. Cabinet is Rick Perry, whose I.Q. Trump questioned during the campaign.
There isn’t much hard evidence to suggest Trump is particularly posessed any sort of objective intelligence. He received only an undergraduate degree—not an M.B.A.—from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He also attended the prestigious school for only two years, transferring from Fordham University in the Bronx. The Washington Post points out that in her 2001 book The Trumps, Gwenda Blair writes that Trump’s grades at Fordham were “respectable,” and that his admission into Wharton was due to a family connection to the admissions officer and his family’s wealth. Wharton did not list Trump as graduating with any honors.
Trump’s I.Q. score, then, is a mystery, and it could be that he’s never actually had it calculated. As it is with health care, foreign policy, climate science and the benefits of exercise, when it comes to measuring his own intelligence, ignorance is bliss for President Trump.