Author Archives: Jon Ponder

Trump Denounces Birtherism As a ‘Smear,’ Calls Birthers ‘Nasty,’ ‘Vicious and Conniving’

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On Friday Donald Trump, the Republican Party nominee for president, reluctantly admitted that the issue he’d used to launch his political career was a lie.

“Who should have been demanding answers about a nasty smear? If it’s bogus, nobody.”
– CNN host Michael Smerconish

“President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period,” Trump said, in a sound bite at the end of 20-minute news conference at his new White-House adjacent hotel in Washington, D.C.

True to form, Trump refused to accept personal responsibility for the racially tinged falsehood that made him the darling of the GOP base, of course. Instead, he blamed someone else.

“She started it,” Trump said, in effect. Literally, he said, “Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy,” which is a lie.

And then he told another lie. “I finished it,” he said. “I finished it.” In fact, after the president released his long-form birth certificate, Trump refused to acknowledge its authenticity.

Trump’s announcement was preceded on Thursday by a bizarre, amateurishly constructed statement issued by his campaign (but likely written by the candidate himself) that laid the groundwork for blameshifting the rise of birtherism onto Clinton. In doing so, however, Trump inadvertently excoriated the birther movement and the 61 percent of his own followers who believe the president is foreign-born and thus ineligible to be president.

In the statement, he called birtherism a “smear” and an “ugly incident,” and described those who peddle it as “very nasty” and “vicious and conniving.”

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Polls Show Clinton Was Right about Trump’s Alt-Right ‘Basket of Deplorables’

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After shrugging off Donald Trump’s steady stream of lies and incendiary remarks about African-Americans, Latinos, women and Muslims for more than a year, the media is now in a full pearl-clutching froth over this “politically incorrect” statement by Hillary Clinton a fundraiser late last week:

You know, just to be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic?—?you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites…He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people — now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.

The fury with which Trump and surrogates have responded is evidence that Clinton struck a nerve. Predictably, their retaliation is based on lying. They insist that Clinton’s statement was a smear against all Republicans and conservatives when, in fact, she was specifically referring to the white supremacist alt-right base of Trump’s support.

Of course, as these things always go, the pundits are focused on whether Clinton’s statement was politically damaging while ignoring the fact that what she said is true.

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Did Trump Bribe Florida, Texas GOP Attorneys General in Trump University Scam?

Pay for Play? Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Donald Trump
Pay for Play? Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Donald Trump

Donald Trump has made it clear that he views campaign donations as bribes.

“As a businessman and a very substantial donor to very important people, when you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do,” Trump said in July 2015. “As a businessman, I need that.”

At a rally in Iowa in January, he put it even more plainly. “When I want something I get it,” Trump said. “When I call, they kiss my ass. It’s true.”

Now it is becoming clearer every day that Trump has given donations to at least two Republican state attorneys generals — Greg Abbott, who is now governor of Texas, and Pam Bondi of Florida — who then decided not to pursue fraud investigations into his Trump University get-rich scheme.

This scandal in which the Republican presidential nominee appears to have bribed state officials has largely been ignored by the Beltway media, who are instead fixated on Hillary Clinton’s ineptitude as a webmaster when she served as secretary of state.

But with new reports that Trump paid a $2,500 fine related to one of the donations, it appears unlikely that the “liberal media” can continue to ignore what could well be the biggest scandal of the 2016 campaign.

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Trump Can’t Stop Lying about Opposing the Iraq War

logo-trump-lies-150In his speech on terrorism last week Donald Trump repeated the lie that he opposed the Bush-Cheney invasion of Iraq in 2003.

“I was an opponent of the Iraq War from the beginning – a major difference between me and my opponent,” Trump said, reading prepared remarks from a teleprompter.”Though I was a private citizen,whose personal opinions on such matters were really not sought,I nonetheless publicly expressed my private doubts about the invasion. I was against it, believe me. Three months before the invasion I said, in an interview with Neil Cavuto, to whom I offer my best wishes for a speedy recovery, that quote, perhaps we shouldn’t be doing it yet and that the economy is a much bigger problem.”

Factcheck.org, the rigorously nonpartisan fact checking organization, says this statement is not true:

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Trump: ‘I Will Always Tell You the Truth’

logo-trump-lies-150Reading from a teleprompter at a rally in Charlotte, Donald Trump sounded very much like he was trying his best to be a politician. He even promised not to lie.

“…One thing I can promise you is this. I will always tell you the truth,” he said.

That promise may prove to be one of the biggest lies he tells during the campaign. That remains to be seen. For now, here is right-leaning Politifact’s review of the biggest lies Trump told during the first year of his campaign, from June 2015 to June 2016.

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Why Trump Is Doing Better in Florida Than Other Swing States

“Florida is the only battleground that moved in Trump’s direction after both conventions,” writes James Hohmann in the Washington Post. The state used to reflect national trends, Hohmann says, but those days may be over. He set out to find out why things are becoming so dreary in the Sunshine State. Here’s what he found.

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Right Winger Loesch on Trump’s New Racist Campaign Chair: ‘One of the Worst People on God’s Green Earth’

All I know is one of the worst people on God’s green earth was just instituted as the chairman and CEO of the Trump campaign. And if you are, as I am, not wanting to see Hillary Clinton in the White House, you need to seriously, seriously be concerned about that.

– Dana Loesch, right-wing radio host, referring to Stephen Bannon, head of the racist website Brietbart.com and now chair of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Trump on Withdrawal from Iraq in 2007: ‘Declare Victory and Leave’

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Donald Trump has used up the last couple of news cycles repeating the ridiculous lie that Pres. Obama is the “founder of ISIS.” He also said the bloodthirsty terror group “honors” the president.

The flimsy basis of Trump’s false narrative is that U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq early in the president’s first term, and that ISIS arose to fill the power vacuum created by the U.S. withdrawal.

Never mind that ISIS began as an affiliate of Al Qaeda in Iraq, an insurgency that established itself in 2003 after the Bush administration fired more than 300,000 Iraqi soldiers and sent them home jobless, with few prospects and fully armed.

Never mind that the date of the U.S. troop withdrawal was specified in the Status of Forces agreement negotiated by the Bush administration and the democratically elected government of Iraq.

And never mind that Donald Trump himself was strongly in favor of the withdrawal at the time. When CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Trump in March 2007 what he thought the U.S. should do, Trump replied “Declare victory and leave.”

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Trump on Hillary in 2007: ‘Very, Very Brilliant’

TRUMP: Very talented, very smart. She’s a friend of mine, so I’m a little bit prejudiced. She’s a very, very capable person and I think she’ll probably be the nominee. We’ll see, but I think she’ll probably be the nominee. … I think she’s a very, very brilliant person, and as a senator in New York, she has done a great job. Everybody loves her. She just won an election with a tremendous majority and she really — she’s become very, very popular in New York. And it wasn’t easy.

– Donald Trump praising Hillary Clinton in an interview on CNN in 2007

Trump Smears Heartbroken Mother of Fallen Hero Soldier

Capt. Humayun Khan
Capt. Humayun Khan

During the course of his bizarre presidential campaign, Donald Trump has made countless scandalous statements that would have disqualified a normal candidate. He has mimicked a disabled man, insinuated that a conservative reporter asked him a tough question because she was menstruating and suggested that the Republicans’ 2012 nominee Mitt Romney would have traded oral sex for his endorsement.

So far, Trump’s Teflon veneer has held firm. Support from his hard-core supporters has not wavered, and it is not likely to. These are the same clueless voters who elected George W. Bush, twice.

But just hours after the general election began, Trump disparaged the parents of Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in action in Iraq in 2004. In particular, Trump smeared Capt. Khan’s mother, Ghazala, by insinuating husband forced her to be silent while he addressed the Democratic National Convention Thursday night.

Now Ghazala Khan is speaking out.

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