After he won the Republican Party’s nomination for president, Donald Trump finally explained why he attacks the press. CBS News veteran journalist Leslie Stahl revealed what then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump told her, when she spoke in New York City at the Deadline Club’s Awards Dinner Monday evening.
Trump has a long and ugly history of attacking the press. For example, here he is one week before the 2016 election, calling out the “dishonest” press and even one NBC News journalist. It wasn’t the first time Trump had singled Katy Tur out by name. Months earlier he did and it was so bad she had to be escorted to safety by the Secret Service after his attack.
So what Trump told Stahl should come as no surprise.
He said, according to the CBS News veteran journalist, that he attacks the press to “discredit” them – so at some point Americans will no longer believe the media.
Stahl, a reporter since the 1970’s, was the first to interview Trump after he won the election. On Monday evening she told the assembled group of journalists that before she won that prestigious interview she had met with him in Trump Tower.
“He really is the same off camera that he is on camera,” she said, explaining the only ones present at that meeting were Trump, her editor, and herself.
“At one point he started to attack the press,” Stahl told reporters.
“There were no cameras, and I said, ‘You know, that is getting tired. Why are you doing this? You’re doing it over and over and it’s boring an it’s time to end that. You won the nomination – why do you keep hammering at this?'” she says she asked.
“‘You know why I do it?'” Stahl says Trump admitted. “‘I do it to discredit you all, to demean you all so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.'”
The Intercept’s Vanessa Gezari was the first to break the news, which she did via Twitter.
Stahl’s co-host at the event, PBS veteran journalist Judy Woodruff looked at her, and shook her head.
The Deadline Club posted video of Stahl and Woodruff. The entire exchange is interesting. It’s cued up to the relevant portion:
Many on social media expressed surprise. Not at what he said – it’s been obvious for years – but that he actually admitted it.
Here’s a former federal prosecutor weighing in:
If this doesn't alarm you, it should. https://t.co/7kDZZAKDaz
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) May 22, 2018
This is like when a movie villain tells everyone their diabolical plan out loud, except in Trump's case 40% of the population still allow themselves to fall for it… https://t.co/ybhqgHdkfw
— TrumpsTaxes (@TrumpsTaxes) May 22, 2018
I think that’s the first honest thing to come out of his mouth. https://t.co/9dc93Vmt4F
— Julie York (@julieannyork) May 22, 2018
— Kat 4 Obama (@Kat4Obama) May 22, 2018
The US President purposefully uses disinformation tactics to discredit the voices who would otherwise hold him accountable. This is a common tactic of disinformation, functioning to solidly authoritarian power by silencing dissent. https://t.co/NbFIeN2T6k
— Kate Starbird (@katestarbird) May 22, 2018
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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.
Trump’s $2,000 Stimulus Talk Could Hand Democrats the Senate Majority
An editorial that ran Monday in the The Wall Street Journal spelled out a Democratic victory in the Senate following President Donald J. Trump’s push for $2,000 stimulus checks.
The WSJ editorial board referred to the move as an “in-kind contribution to Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden.”
“Senate Republicans oppose the $2,000 for these sound reasons, but Mr. Trump has put them in a political spot. Democrats immediately joined Mr. Trump’s call for the $2,000, and on Monday they passed the larger amount through the House, 275-134,” the WSJ editorial board wrote.
“That leaves Mr. McConnell with a tough call of barring a vote as Democrats bang away in TV ads in Georgia against GOP incumbents David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. Or he can hold a vote, which would split the GOP caucus and upset fiscally conservative voters,” they continued.
“By all accounts Mr. Trump is angry about his election defeat, and he is lashing out at anyone who won’t indulge his hopeless campaign to overturn it. … Mr. Trump’s narcissism isn’t news,” they wrote. “But if Republicans lose the two Georgia seats and their majority, Republicans across the country should know to thank Mr. Trump for their 2021 tax increase.”
An important notation: The Wall Street Journal has not endorsed a presidential candidate since 1928, but the newspaper’s editorial board — along with other Rupert Murdoch-owned media outlets such as Fox News and the New York Post — has traditionally been favorable to Trump.
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