Category Archives: Verbatim

Carson: Slaves Were Immigrants, Too

That’s what America is about. A land of dreams and opportunity. There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less.

— Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, referring to slaves as “immigrants” dreaming of a better life in a talk with department employees, The Hill reports.

Sean Spicer Goes Through the Looking Glass

If we start down the rabbit hole of discussing this stuff, we end up in a very difficult place.

— White House press secretary Sean Spicer, quoted by the Boston Globe, on the basis for President Trump’s claims that former President Obama ordered wiretaps on his phones.

The Tool of an Authoritarian

— House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, in an interview on CNN, on President Trump’s suggesting he was wiretapped during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Lindsey Graham Is Either ‘Worried’ of ‘Very Worried’

I’m very worried that our president is suggesting the former president has done something illegal. I’d be very worried if in fact the Obama administration was able to obtain a warrant lawfully about Trump campaign activity with foreign governments. It’s my job as United States senator to get to the bottom of this.

— Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), quoted by The Hill.

Trump Lies to Undermine the Media

And he lied, of course. And I don’t mean in the speech itself. He lied directly to the faces of the media muckety-mucks that afternoon, telling them that he was going to embrace some kind of immigration reform. For a few hours, much of the press duly reported this — until they heard the speech itself, which did no such thing. The lie, we were told, was a ‘misdirection,’ in order to get some favorable coverage from the media that afternoon. … But think about that for a minute. This wasn’t a trial balloon, delivered by some anonymous sources to see the impact of a potential policy. This wasn’t even a defensible fib, for national-security reasons. It was an outright lie from the president himself in order to delegitimize the press. If the New York Times or the evening news reports something completely untrue — indeed refuted just a few hours later — what happens to their credibility? Bannon is not kidding when he describes the free press as the opposition. For shameless demagogues, it always is. And this creepily authoritarian administration will happily lie to its face.

Andrew Sullivan

‘Trumpism’ Defined

The first thing we learned was that Trumpism is an utter repudiation of modern conservatism. For the last 40 years, the Republican Party has been a coalition of three tendencies [foreign-policy hawks, social conservatives, fiscal hawks]… Trump rejected or ignored all of them. … Trump’s speech … offered those of us who want to replace him an occasion to ask the big question: How in the 21st century should government unleash initiative and dynamism while also preserving order? Trump’s answer: Nationalize intimidation but privatize compassion. Don’t look to government to offer a warm hand; look to it to confront your enemies with a hard fist.

David Brooks

Graham Wants Candidate Tax Returns — in 2020

I think that prospectively what I’ll do is, any candidate running in 2020 needs to release their tax returns. You just make it a law.

— Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), saying he wants all presidential candidates to be required by law to release their tax returns, starting in 2020, Politico reports. He then explained that the law would apply to Trump, “if he’s a candidate for president” in 2020.

Bush Says Media Is ‘Indispensable’ to Democracy

I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy. We needed the media to hold people like me to account. Power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive, and it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power.

— Former President George W. Bush, in an interview on the Today Show.

ICE Detains Muhammad Ali Jr.

The son of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali was detained for hours by immigration officials at a Florida airport. … Officials held and questioned Ali Jr. for nearly two hours, repeatedly asking him, ‘Where did you get your name from?’ and ‘Are you Muslim?’ When Ali Jr. responded that yes, he is a Muslim, the officers kept questioning him about his religion and where he was born. Ali Jr. was born in Philadelphia in 1972 and holds a U.S. passport.

Louisville Courier-Journal

Spicer Said Media Shouldn’t Be Banned — In December

I think we have a respect for the press when it comes to the government. That is something you can’t ban an entity from. Conservative, liberal or otherwise, that’s what makes a democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship.

— White House press secretary Sean Spicer, quoted by the Washington Post, on Dec. 16, 2016. On Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, Spicer blocked several media outlets from a White House briefing.