President Donald Trump lashed out at The New York Times on Saturday, denying a report citing an official White House briefing.
The Failing @nytimes quotes “a senior White House official,” who doesn’t exist, as saying “even if the meeting were reinstated, holding it on June 12 would be impossible, given the lack of time and the amount of planning needed.” WRONG AGAIN! Use real people, not phony sources.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2018
ABC News correspondent Alex Mallin quickly de-bunked Trump’s claims.
.@realDonaldTrump is slamming the @nytimes for citing a senior White House official “who doesn’t exist,” but the portion of the article he appears to be referring to directly cites comments made at a background briefing the White House held for the whole press corps Thursday. pic.twitter.com/xVtZ1J4hPX
— Alex Mallin (@alex_mallin) May 26, 2018
Reporters for the newspaper, which Trump referred to as “failing and corrupt” in an earlier Saturday morning, were shocked that the president would make such a claim.
“Imagine being the WH background briefer who led this briefing, who now has his boss – the president of the US – saying he/she doesn’t exist,” reporter Maggie Haberman suggested.
“The president of the United States is now claiming that his own White House briefings are fake news and that an official his White House put in the briefing room ‘doesn’t exist,’” noted Peter Baker.
Reporters at other publications also joined in to scorn the White House.
“Doesn’t seem like there’s any reason to honor WH demands for anonymous briefings if the WH is going to then claim their own briefings are fake news,” argued NBC News reporter Benjy Sarlin.
One reporter went even further, outing the “senior White House official” who conducted the background briefing.
Yashar Ali, who writes for New York Magazine and the Huffington Post, revealed the official to be Matt Pottinger, who serves on the National Security Council.
Ali clarified that he was not bound by the background agreement.
“To be clear, the only reason I tweeted Matt’s name is because I’m not a White House reporter and I was not on this call,” he explained. “Not my agreement, so I can tweet.”
2. To be clear, the only reason I tweeted Matt’s name is because I’m not a White House reporter and I was not on this call. I do not believe reporters should violate off record or on background agreements under any circumstances. Not my agreement, so I can tweet.
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) May 26, 2018
4. I’ve obtained audio of the WH press briefing. You can hear Raj Shah, Deputy Press Secretary, introduce Pottinger (along with the terms – which are standard) and then Pottinger makes the statement that POTUS says was never made. Lots of reporters in briefing room and on phone. pic.twitter.com/2gEYkRSyTv
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) May 26, 2018
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Trump Swipes at Mark Zuckerberg Asking for White House Goodies: ‘He Didn’t Do Too Well’
Former President Donald J. Trump mocked Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and “big tech” during an interview on Tuesday when he appeared on Fox News with Sean Hannity.
Trump meandered throughout the interview and went off on a tangent claiming he did “big things” when discussing the 2020 election. Trump said Zuckerberg visited the White House “trying to get goodies,” but that “he didn’t do too well.”
Trump added, “So I thought that he was concerned we were doing things. We were doing things. Had we had a second term, we would have had that much, really, pretty much under control. We had some incredible things planned for big tech.”
Watch the video below.
Lincoln Project Trolls Trump with New TV Ad Where He’s Currently Vacationing
According to the Sun Sentinel, the group has bought air time in the West Palm Beach market from Wednesday through Jan. 5. Trump is scheduled to be in the area until Jan. 3.
“A major pillar of The Lincoln Project’s 2020 strategy was aiming to torment an audience of one — Trump — through advertising on cable shows he’s sure to watch on channels such as Fox News,” the Sentinel reports. “That’s the aim of the latest effort, which seeks to drive a wedge between Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who will preside over the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress at which the electoral votes making Joe Biden the next president will be counted.”
The ad focuses on recent reports that say Vice President Mike Pence is “backing away” from Trumpworld’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
“When Mike Pence is backing away from you, you know it’s over,” the ad states.
Watch the ad below.
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) December 22, 2020
‘A Parting Gift to Dictators’: Trump Issues Final Round of Foreign Military Sales in Middle East
On Monday, writing for The Washington Post, columnist Brian Klaas tore into outgoing President Donald Trump for a final round of foreign military sales in the Middle East that function as a “parting gift to dictators” — and suggested he could even be using them to set up a private quid pro quo down the road in his post-presidency.
“All three regimes have abysmal human rights records,” wrote Klaas. “Saudi Arabia has beheaded dissidents, subjugated women and detained female activists who have pushed for reforms, and murdered and dismembered Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The United Arab Emirates is home to torture, arbitrary detention and forced disappearances. Egypt’s dictatorship has carried
“Given past behavior, we know how these weapons will likely be used,” warned Klaas. “Despots will use them to help facilitate war crimes in places such as Yemen and the Sinai Peninsula while maintaining an iron grip over their own populations — all aided and abetted by the U.S. government.”
And even worse, Klaas argued, Trump himself could be using these sales to call in a personal favor from these countries in his post-presidency. “Once Trump leaves the White House, odds are good that he will cash in,” he wrote. “Seen in that light, the recently approved arms sales and military technology transfers are even more worrying. Are they just the beginning of a quid pro quo?”
All of this is occurring as President-elect Joe Biden alleges the Pentagon is obstructing him from getting all of the national security information he requires for the transition — something administration officials deny.
“For the past four years, Trump has painted the image of a United States that consistently sides with tyrants,” concluded Klaas. “Biden now has an opportunity to reverse Trump’s catastrophic foreign policy. He should take it.”
You can read more here.
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