President Donald Trump has claimed that he doesn’t know Lev Parnas, the political operative who served as one of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s henchmen in trying to get the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
However, an old Instagram post uncovered by the Wall Street Journal shows that Trump once actually wrote Parnas a personal note that lauded him for his friendship.
In an Instagram post from August 2018, Parnas displayed a note that was signed by both the president and first lady Melania Trump that thanked him for his political work.
“Thank you for your friendship and dedication to our cause,” the president and first lady wrote. “Leaders like you in Florida are the key to fulfilling our bold agenda to Make America Great Again!”
Parnas was indicted earlier this month on campaign-finance fraud charges after he allegedly engineered steering donations from a Russian national into American political campaigns. Parnas was a key player in Giuliani’s efforts to put pressure on the Ukrainian government to investigate the president’s political rivals, and Trump has subsequently tried to distance himself from Parnas even though there are multiple photos showing the two men together.
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‘Let’s Go’: Trump Grows Furious as Chris Wallace Punches Holes in His Lies About Biden
In the preview of an interview with Chris Wallace, President Donald Trump grows visibly furious as the Fox News host punches holes in his lies about presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
“They want to defund the police and Biden wants to defund the police,” Trump tells Wallace.
“Sir, he does not,” the Fox News Sunday host interrupts.
“Look,” Trump, growing visibly agitated, tells Wallace. “He signed a charter, with Bernie Sanders –”
“And it says nothing about defunding the police,” Wallace, smirking, tells the president.
“Oh really? It says ‘abolish,’ it says – Let’s go!” Trump, frustrated, says, throwing his hands up. “Get me the charter, please,” Trump tells someone off-camera.
The interview cuts out and Wallace, laughing, tells Fox News’ Bill Hemmer highlights from the 100-page compact was brought over.
“He went through it, and he found a lot of things that he objected to, that Biden has agreed to,” Wallace explained, “but he couldn’t find any indication – because there isn’t any – that Joe Biden has sought to defund and abolish the police.”
Trump interrupts interview to show proof that Biden plans to defund the police. It did not go well pic.twitter.com/ZwEwFpmcOg
— Peter Wade 🤦♂️ (@brooklynmutt) July 17, 2020
White House Desperately Claims Tear Gas Was Not Used to Clear Protestors for Trump’s Bible Photo Op – Proof It Was
The Trump White House – and the Trump campaign – are desperately claiming rubber bullets and tear gas were not used to clear what by all accounts were peaceful protestors from Lafayette Park and St. John’s Church on Monday. The attack on the protestors took place just before President Donald Trump walked over for his now-infamous Bible-holding photo-op.
“No tear gas was used and no rubber bullets were used,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Wednesday afternoon in the latest round of falsehoods from the administration.
When pressed by CNN’s Jim Acosta, McEnany, as she often does, repeated the exact same line: “No tear gas was used and no rubber bullets were used.”
Acosta detailed several personal accounts of people who were victims of the tear gas and rubber bullets, including an Episcopal priest.
“Chemical agents were used,” Acosta pressed.
“No one was tear gassed, let me make that clear,” McEnany replied. “It’s been confirmed by DoD and by Park Services.”
Reporter: If the White House had to do it all over again, would you have gassed and pummeled protesters to clear the park so the president could have a photo op?
McEnany: “No tear gas was used and no rubber bullets were used” pic.twitter.com/EoeR1131L8
— Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) June 3, 2020
Earlier Wednesday Secretary of Defense Mark Esper specified that the National Guard did not use tear gas.
Clearly some federal law enforcement agency did.
Here’s video of the tear gassing from Yahoo News’ White House Correspondent Hunter Walker:
Here is the unedited clip from my livestream showing the moments protesters were tear gassed and cleared from Lafayette Park ahead of Trump’s visit to St. John’s Church. I am posting this because people are trying to say it did not happen. https://t.co/vlqMyICsjZ
— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) June 2, 2020
MSNBC’s Garret Haake was on the scene Monday when protestors were attacked with tear gas and rubber bullets. He denies that any violence was taking place against any law enforcement officers.
“I want to be super clear about what did and didn’t happen. Nothing happened on the side that the protestors were in,” Haake said, Monday, noting that he had been there since 2 PM. “It was by far the most peaceful day of protests that we’ve had in D.C. since this started.”
He went on to say that “mounted federal police” came by before the curfew went into effect “clearing people out of the street. In front of them they were using flash bangs, tear gas, I lost my regular mask and had to replace it with my gas mask.”
“That’s what the tape shows, that’s what history’s going to show,” Haake, somewhat agitated, added. “I’m a little shook by the whole thing, to be completely honest.”
.@GarrettHaake describes law enforcement response to D.C. protest: “It was by far the most peaceful day of protest that we’ve had in D.C. … Before the curfew was into effect, we had mounted federal police … clearing people out of the street.” pic.twitter.com/HZ6y32C0Xu
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) June 2, 2020
Here’s an NBC News report from Tuesday on the use of tear gas, “so that President Trump could visit that historic site.”
“You could hear the flash-bangs from inside the White House as they were going off.” @kwelkernbc reports on police in D.C. firing tear gas and pepper spray at peaceful protesters just moments before President Trump walked across the area to take a photo at St. John’s Church. pic.twitter.com/4RPF9ObSYk
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) June 2, 2020
And yet, the U.S. Park Police are telling a very different – and very false – tale. But they admit to using “pepper balls” and “smoke canisters.”
“To curtail the violence that was underway, the USPP, following established policy, issued three warnings over a loudspeaker to alert demonstrators on H Street to evacuate the area. Horse mounted patrol, Civil Disturbance Units and additional personnel were used to clear the area. As many of the protestors became more combative, continued to throw projectiles, and attempted to grab officers’ weapons, officers then employed the use of smoke canisters and pepper balls. No tear gas was used by USPP officers or other assisting law enforcement partners to close the area at Lafayette Park. Subsequently, the fence was installed.”
As The Washington Post reports, pepper spray is “one of the most commonly used tear gases in the world.”
And the CDC agrees.
“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: ‘Riot control agents (sometimes referred to as ‘tear gas’) are chemical compounds that temporarily make people unable to function by causing irritation to the eyes, mouth, throat, lungs, and skin.'”
The Post also notes the Trump re-election campaign is contacting media outlets demanding they correct the record, to say tear gas was not used. Media Matters published their response.
Tear gas was used.
So were rubber bullets.
Trump Now Insists He’s ‘Always Known This Is a Pandemic’ – After Calling Coronavirus a ‘Hoax’
In one of his his most recent lies President Donald Trump now says he’s always known and felt the coronavirus crisis is a pandemic.
In Tuesday’s coronavirus press conference Trump was asked about his new tone this week. The President appears, at least during these press events, to acknowledge the pandemic is a crisis. But he has spent months denying its severity, and dismissing it as a “hoax.”
“I have seen that, where people actually liked it,” he said Tuesday of his lies about coronavirus. “But I didn’t feel different. I’ve always known this is a real – this is a pandemic.”
“I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic,” he lied.
Trump, who not a month ago characterized Democratic criticism of the coronavirus response as a “hoax,” now claims, “I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.” pic.twitter.com/6GTpZ59b75
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 17, 2020
Countless news reports make clear that’s a lie.
The New York Times has documented in one article what Trump has been saying about the coronavirus.
His first recorded remarks were on January 22.
“Are there worries about a pandemic at this point?” a reporter asked Turmp.
“No. Not at all,” the president replied. “And we have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”
There’s more. Like this:
On Jan. 24, he tweeted, “It will all work out well.” On Jan. 28, he retweeted a headline from One America News, an outlet with a history of spreading false conspiracy theories: “Johnson & Johnson to create coronavirus vaccine.” On Jan. 30, during a speech in Michigan, he said: “We have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment — five. And those people are all recuperating successfully.”
Back in February at a campaign rally Trump called the coronavirus the Democrats “new hoax.”
Trump denies he’s been sending mixed messages on the coronavirus and claims he’s been treating it as an urgent issue since the beginning.
But until a few days ago, Trump was telling his supporters this whole thing was a hoax.pic.twitter.com/cmkgVs7V2U
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) March 14, 2020
From the beginning he has spent months minimizing the crisis – including not pushing and trying to minimize the number of tests in an effort to improve his re-election chances.
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