Admission He Lied? Not Quite.
Donald Trump Friday morning, in an effort to pivot away from the most disastrous three weeks of his campaign, did something almost unprecedented: while not admitting he lied about a story he’s been telling at rallies for several days now, he backtracked.
The plane I saw on television was the hostage plane in Geneva, Switzerland, not the plane carrying $400 million in cash going to Iran!
â€” Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2016
Losing to Clinton in the polls, often by double digits this week, Trump pulled back from the story he made up about seeing a “top secret” video filmed by the government of Iran that showed $400 million in cash on a plane in Iran.
“It looks like we paid $400 million for the hostages,” Trump falsely claimed on Wednesday, telling supporters that America paid ransom for the U.S. service members temporarily detained after illegally entering Iranian waters.
â€œIâ€™ll never forget the scene this morning,â€ Trump on Wednesday told supporters at aÂ rally in Daytona Beach, Florida. â€œIran â€” I donâ€™t think youâ€™ve heard this anywhere but here â€” Iran provided all of that footage, the tape, of taking that money off thatÂ airplane. Right?â€
â€œNow, here’s the amazing thing: Over there, where that plane landed, top secret, you don’t have a lot of paparazzi. You know, the paparazzi doesn’t do so well over there, right?â€
â€œAnd they have a perfect tape, done by obviously a government camera, and the tape is of the people taking the money off the plane. Right? That means that in order to embarrass us further, Iran sent us the tapes. Right? It’s a military tape, it’s a tape that was a perfect angle, nice and steady, nobody getting nervous because they’re gonna be shot because they’re shooting a picture of money pouring off a plane.â€
Even after his campaign spokesperson admitted later on Wednesday what Trump saw was b-roll on Fox News, Trump repeated his lie all day Thursday.
But from Trump no apology to the U.S. government, no apology to the U.S. military, no apology to supporters he lied to, and no apology to all the Americans overseas, whose lives he put in danger by lying that the U.S. government will pay ransom for hostages, which it will not, as President Obama stated at a press conference at the Pentagon Thursday.
Some responses via Twitter:
Siren!!!: Trump admits he made up seeing video of plane w/$$ to Iran. To be clear, news isn’t he made crap up. It’s that he’s admitting it.
â€” Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) August 5, 2016
But you said you saw the money “pouring off” https://t.co/3Uw6hX3jIP
â€” DENALI (@timothypmurphy) August 5, 2016
Rare moment. Trump admits he made something up out of thin air. https://t.co/huJVa7NKZl
â€” Jim Roberts (@nycjim) August 5, 2016
Trump admits his mistake, a breaking news alert in #2016 ==> https://t.co/Yc2RSfpaQl
â€” Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) August 5, 2016
Last time Trump even hinted he was wrong about something is the Heidi Cruz retweet. 2 weeks ago he took that back. https://t.co/PAstBMuR94
â€” Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) August 5, 2016
So is Trump admitting a mistake or trying to say this is what he’s meant from the start? https://t.co/lUenJzb295
â€” Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) August 5, 2016
…is this the first Trump self-correction https://t.co/z8B6bf0Yib
â€” Spencer Ackerman (@attackerman) August 5, 2016
â€” ReadMe4Facts (@ReadMe4Facts) August 5, 2016
So he lied. https://t.co/Ag7hvuBcXt
â€” Chris Hansen (@hansen_chris) August 5, 2016
The media will try to spin this to “this is a sign of Trump pivoting toward being presidential” ignoring he blatantly lied for 2 days.
â€” Love Trumps Hate (@num1_fan) August 5, 2016
@jimsciutto Trump tweet no admission he lied. Only said he viewed wrong video. Clearly under-medicated. Embarrassed to admit I’m a Repub.
â€” Scott Coats (@insolution) August 5, 2016
No @MarkHalperin, Trump did not “clean” anything up. He didn’t admit a mistake. His tweet is incoherent. Doesn’t admit that he lied.
â€” Janet Johnson (@JJohnsonLaw) August 5, 2016
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Jobs Report Forces Fox News to Admit Biden Economy ‘A Lot Stronger Than Anybody Understands’
The monthly jobs report released Friday morning is being heralded as “robust,” “upbeat,” and “stronger than expected,” as unemployment again dropped to a near-50-year low (3.7%) while the economy added another 199,000 jobs.
“It’s the little engine that could, and this little locomotive keeps a chugging along…” declared professor of economics and public policy scholar Justin Wolfers.
“So the last three months have seen jobs growth at a very healthy average rate of +204k per month,” he added. “For context: Average monthly job growth from Jan 2000 to Dec 2019 was +87k.”
“If I had asked you a year ago to sketch what you thought a soft landing might look like,” he said, praising America’s post-COVID pandemic economy, “it’s likely you would have pretty much drawn the current economic data.”
On Thursday, Wolfers had discussed the incongruence between what economic data consistently shows about the strength of the U.S. economy, and what Americans are telling pollsters.
“There’s no question people are telling pollsters they’re miserable about the economy. But riddle me this,” he asked, “Why can’t we find evidence of this pessimism in anything other that public opinion polls? Every non-poll based indicator of confidence suggests folks are optimistic.”
Heather Long, The Washington Post economic columnist, offered this view in response to Friday’s jobs report.
“Step back for a minute and look at this US job market,” she wrote.
“4.7 million more jobs than pre-pandemic
Below 4% unemployment for two years
Wages growing faster than inflation
Women (ages 25 to 54) at an all-time high for labor force participation”
Even Fox News was forced to deliver positive comments while reporting on Friday’s monthly numbers.
“Overall you’ve got to look at this report as a big positive,” admitted pro-Trump Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo. “We’ve got more jobs created than expected.”
Speaking to the former chief economist of The White House National Economic Council under President Trump, Bartiromo said, “Joe LaVorgna, you’ve been saying this, the economy is a lot stronger than anybody understands.”
Watch below or at this link.
it’s time for my favorite Friday tradition — Maria Bartiromo having to cope with announcing another strong jobs report pic.twitter.com/bsOIQToEwe
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 8, 2023
Right Wing Evangelicals Are ‘Marinating’ in ‘Information Aimed at Making Them Fearful, Hostile’: Journalist
Rather, he argued, it is part of a deliberate campaign to radicalize and terrify them into loyalty — and part of what’s driving that is a “disproportionality crisis” of the information they are receiving.
““If you go to church on Sunday morning, you are going to be in the word with your pastor for, you know, 30 minutes, maybe 40, 45 minutes, and you sing some songs, and you say the prayers, and then you are out in the world for the rest of the week,” said Alberta. “And for most of these folks, as they’re out in the world, they are marinating in talk radio, in cable news, in social media—all of this information that is aimed at making them angry, fearful, hostile.”
Whereas they may hear Jesus’ message of tolerance, love, and forgiveness “on Sunday morning for 45 minutes, but then for 4, 5, 6, 10 hours during the week, you’re hearing the exact opposite. And it’s that ratio being so far out of whack that I think is really at the heart of the crisis here.”
And that’s assuming they’re at a church that will even give them messages of love and forgiveness in the first place — many pro-Trump pastors, like Greg Locke of Tennessee, have messages that are far angrier.
“[Trump] may not share their views, he may not sit in the pews with them, he may not read the good book like they do, but in some way, that’s his superpower,” Alberta explained. “He is free to fight in ways that are, you know, unrestrained, unmoored from biblical virtue. And that relationship with Trump has obviously evolved over the last eight years. What started as this very uneasy alliance for a lot of evangelicals with Trump has now morphed into this situation where, look, desperate times call for desperate measures. The barbarians are at the gates and we need a barbarian to keep them at bay.” This means that Trump’s increasingly dictatorial rhetoric is a natural outlet for the rage and frustration these evangelical voters are being fed.
None of this is to say that Trump has completely unified the evangelical world. Cracks have appeared in recent months, with prominent evangelical leaders like Bob Vander Plaats of Iowa endorsing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis out of concern about Trump’s electoral viability.
Editor’s note: Tim Alberta is an award-winning g journalist, a staff writer for The Atlantic, and author of “The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals in an Age of Extremism,” and “American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump.”
‘Straight Up Flout the Law’: Trump Declares Judge Chutkan No Longer Has Power Over His Case
Reacting to U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan’s ruling last week that Donald Trump is not immune from prosecution just because he was President during the time he attempted to subvert the U.S. Constitution and overthrow the government by overturning the results of the election, attorneys for the criminally-indicted ex-president on Thursday declared the judge no longer has any power over the case while they appeal her ruling.
Noting that the appeal “could take weeks or months,” Politico reports, “In the meantime, he says, Chutkan must postpone all deadlines and cede her authority over the matter.”
“Citing ‘political costs to President Trump and this country’ if the case were to move forward, Trump’s lawyers argued Thursday that he’s entitled to an ‘automatic stay’ while he appeals Chutkan’s ruling last week.”
Trump’s appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is “asking that court to overturn Chutkan’s ruling and dismiss the indictment against him,” Forbes adds.
Trump had also argued that he is immune from prosecution because the Senate did not convict him after his second House impeachment, this one for “incitement of insurrection.” Judge Chutkan also denied that claim.
“’The filing of President Trump’s notice of appeal has deprived this Court of jurisdiction over this case in its entirety pending resolution of the appeal,’ Trump attorneys Todd Blanche and John Lauro wrote. ‘Therefore, a stay of all further proceedings is mandatory and automatic,'” Politico reports. “Trump’s attorneys indicated that even if Chutkan doesn’t grant the stay, they plan to ask the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to do so and intend to operate as if there is one in place.”
Trump lawyers say unless Chutkan reverses her ruling, they will ignore all deadlines and other court procedures, unless they are told otherwise.
The Trump lawyers’ motion says, “all current deadlines must be held in abeyance until, at minimum, this motion is resolved. President Trump will proceed based on that understanding and the authorities set forth herein absent further order of the Court.”
“Very much in character,” The Economist’s Supreme Court reporter Steven Mazie wrote of the move by attorneys for the ex-president. “Trump is purporting to straight up flout the law.”
Former U.S. DOJ official and FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissman, a professor of law, said Trump was acting “Impudently.”
Former federal prosecutor Dennis Aftergut, of counsel to Lawyers Defending American Democracy, on Monday at Slate wrote Judge Chutkan’s opinion ruling Trump cannot claim presidential immunity for trying to overturn the 2020 election, “is meticulously crafted with the Supreme Court in mind. The decision deploys every methodology of constitutional interpretation, including textualism, each variety of so-called originalism, attention to constitutional structure and underlying premises, functional considerations, and history.”
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