Mix wrestling and mania, stir
Just when Donald Trump’s media-mauling tweets start feeling like the same-old same-old, he comes up with a Sunday morning surprise.
The president shared with his 33 million followers a doctored video (click here) that depicts him body-slamming and pummeling on the ground a figure with a CNN logo superimposed over his face. The GIF concludes with a graphic that says: “FNN: Fraud News Network.”
The clip — originally posted by a Trump fan on Reddit last week — was edited from a 2007 WrestleMania performance of Trump and WWE owner Vince McMahon having a pretend brawl outside the ring. (Video here.)
A day earlier, Trump defended his use of the Twitter medium for crass messaging. His three-day assault on MSNBC hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough drew scolding as “beneath the office” from GOP ranks as well as Democrats.
“My use of social media is not Presidential — it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL. Make America Great Again!” Trump wrote. See Newsday’s story by David M. Schwartz and Scott Eidler.
Threat? What threat?
Trump has called mainstream media organizations whose coverage displeases him “enemies of the American people.”
In May, an actual reporter was body-slammed by an actual Republican congressional candidate in Montana, resulting in a trip to the hospital for the victim and a guilty plea for assault by now-Rep. Greg Gianforte.
That’s context for why the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, CNN and others accused Trump Sunday of promoting and glorifying violence against journalists.
A White House homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, Thomas Bossert, was asked about the tweet on ABC’s “This Week.”
“I think no one would perceive that as a threat. I hope they don’t,” Bossert said. “But I do think that he’s beating up in a way on cable platforms that he has a right to respond to.”
Guess he fixed that
On Friday, White House aides had fretted to The Washington Post that Trump’s feuding with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” hosts was distracting from a more promising attack on CNN, which had to retract a story related to the Russia investigation. So for them, Trump looks to be back on target.
Reddit, but did they read it?
These included use of the N-word and a poster of CNN staffers and contributors with Jewish stars of David.
Trump wants voter info
“What are they trying to hide?” That was Trump’s complaint via Twitter Saturday that “numerous states are refusing to give information” to the commission he created to investigate voter fraud, Newsday’s Tom Brune reported.
Both Democratic and Republican election officials in at least 27 states, by CNN’s count, have balked at the commission’s attempt to obtain names, addresses, birth dates, party affiliations, partial Social Security numbers and voting history of registered voters in each state.
Objections include voter privacy and concern over the security of the data. Democrats including New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the commission was created as a pretext for voter suppression and to “perpetuate the myth” that millions of fraudulent ballots cost Trump a popular vote victory.
There was a big tent, literally and figurative, at Washington Post heiress Lally Weymouth’s annual summer party in Southampton Saturday night, according to Politico’s report of the guest list.
Trumpworld and Trump-friendly: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Kellyanne Conway, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy, billionaire Carl Icahn, deputy national security adviser Dina Powell.
From anti-Trumpworld: Billionaire funder of liberal groups George Soros, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Democratic donor Alan Patricof.
Others of note: GOP megadonor Charles Koch, Steven Spielberg, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) and former NYPD commissioners Ray Kelly and William Bratton.
What else is happening
- Trump is set to meet Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Germany, which is being held Friday and Saturday. Neither Trump’s Twitter nor the White House has given clues as to what they plan to talk about.
- Trump is pushing to get a Republican Senate bill to repeal and replace Obamacare “across the finish line,” but is open to a repeal-only option, White House legislative director Marc Short said on “Fox News Sunday.”
- Trump’s travel ban has disrupted family relationships for Iranian-American immigrants, who at 370,000, far outnumber those from other countries targeted by the order, ABC News reported.
- Ivanka Trump gave an extensive interview for a Washington Post profile. She said she doesn’t try to change her dad’s mind on stands that were campaign promises.
- While much of Trump’s agenda is stymied, Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt has moved swiftly to undo, delay or otherwise block more than 30 environmental rules, The New York Times reports.
- Special counsel Robert Mueller has recruited a top federal anti-corruption prosecutor from the Southern District of New York, Andrew Goldstein, for his Russia investigation.