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Spicer Lies on Same Subject Two Days Straight

I’ve got to hand it to White House spokesliar Sean Spicer… When he tells a fib he sticks with it and remains remarkably consistent. He was asked in yesterday’s press briefing if Trump would retract his Twitter claim that President Obama released “122 vicious prisoners” from Guantanamo Bay, that they returned to terrorism and that it was “just another terrible decision” by the former president.

As I wrote yesterday,Trump was, as he loved to say in last year’s debates “WRONG!”

In Tuesday’s Q and non-A, an intrepid newshound asked about that tweet and inquired on when a retraction might be forthcoming. And despite what Trump actually wrote, here was Spicer’s response:

“Yes, I mean, obviously the President meant in totality the number that had been released on the battlefield — that have been released from Gitmo since — individuals have been released. So that is correct.”

He just flat-out lied about Trump’s intent and, sadly, our non-reporter failed to follow up and demand an answer.

In today’s briefing, NBC’s Chris Jansing asked almost the same question, also invoking Trump’s silly claims about voter fraud and wire tapping, and throwing in a side-order of reality by asking if Trump has “… a credibility problem.”

Spicer renewed yesterday’s lie, saying that what Trump really meant was that it “was 122 people total,” not necessarily attributable to President Obama — which of course does not match what Trump actually wrote. He then babbled on for a minute and half about the security value of Guantanamo Bay and the difference in how the Bush and Obama administrations viewed the prison. But he never answered the question.

Have a look for yourself:

He once again completely skipped over the lie Trump told on the subject just yesterday and iced that cake with his own lie — again. Will Spicer make the rare and always-challenging “lie three-peat” tomorrow? Only if there’s a another press briefing and the question is asked again.

Schumer Slams Trumpcare on Senate Floor

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) took to the Senate floor a few minutes ago to blast the new Republican health care proposal, Trumpcare. According to Schumer, the plan will cut services, give massive tax breaks to the wealthy and, not surprisingly, screw the middle-class.

“Donald Trump has talked about helping working America. The plan he has embraced, Trumpcare, helps the rich, hurts the average American, and that is not surprising given all the other things that they’re doing the same way,” said Schumer. “This administration continues — and health care is part of that — to talk like populists but act like those helping the wealthy special interests time after time after time.”

“Under Trumpcare, if you make over $250,000 a year, you will get a tax break on average of $200,000 a year. But if you’re in the middle class, the costs will increase by about $1,500 annually, and after 2020, by $2,000 a year. So Trumpcare is a health care handout for the wealthiest Americans and fake health care for everybody else.”

Here’s the full video:

Spicer Bobs, Weaves and Evades Today — Bigly

White House spokesman Sean Spicer just finished an actual on-camera press briefing and was busier than a Russian spy at a White House mixer in not answering questions. Here’s a couple of good clips in which two reporters asked him questions (from different angles) about Tweety McTweetstorm’s  assertion that President Obama personally had his phones tapped.

First up is Alexis Simendinger of Real Clear Politics, who asked what I thought was a reasonable question:  Will Trump keeping his mouth shut — or tweeting little fingers quiet — in public if he’s not going to give responses to those comments in public while any investigation is done on his Obama accusations.

Spicer actually says he’ll have to get back to her on that. I guess life can be very volatile when you’re dealing with a child.

Then came NBC’s Hallie Jackson who asked a question that’s on everyone’s mind: If Trump is so sure that Obama was ordering such surveillance and has proof, why is the White House asking Congress to look into this? If Trump already has the answers, Jackson reasons, why spend the time on an investigation?

Jackson’s face is priceless as Spicer gives an answer that’s complete gibberish. She also does a nice unrelated follow-up asking if Trump is ready yet to release his tax returns or if he is still under the mythical “audit” — of course, Spicer says “my understanding is he’s still under audit.”

And there you have it, folks. Another day of question and non-answer.

Trump Accuses Obama Again – Wrong Again

In yet another early-morning Twitter meltdown, President Mini-Mitts has once again attacked former President Barack Obama. This time it’s about the number of “vicious prisoners” Obama allegedly released from the Guantanamo Bay detention center who have returned to terrorism — and once again, as with the wire-tapping nonsense, Trump is completely wrong.

Trump posted this tweet early Tuesday morning:

But according to Politico this morning, Trump is apparently referring to a September 2016 document from the Director of National Intelligence that reports on the “Summary of the Reengagement of Detainees Formerly Held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.” Here’s a look at the chart that tells the story:

Trump is jumping on the row describing “Confirmed of Reengaging” where the number is indeed listed as 122. The problem is that 113 of those were released “Pre-22 January 2009” which, as any human with a brain larger than a walnut knows, was only 48 hours after Obama took office.

The Independent in the UK has the same analysis.

So once again, we have the impulsive toddler, tweeting about something that isn’t true, and wasting all the grown-ups’ time.

Democrats, Sanders Blast Trump on Claims Against Obama

Democrats in the United States Senate came out strong today after Donald Trump’s weekend Twitter meltdown in which he accused President Obama of personally ordering wire-tapping against him last year. Trump’s charges were made all the more ridiculous, given that the U.S. president does not have the authority to make such a unilateral request.

“The White House has offered no clear evidence or facts to support this claim,” said Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), in a statement. “The President should stop these absurd attempts to distract from the real oversight needed on Russian interference.”

“The President’s repeated practice of making bizarre and unsubstantiated statements undermines the truth and tarnishes the integrity of our democratic institutions. It is patently clear that and independent special prosecutor is needed to fully investigate Trump Administration and campaign connections to Russia and Russian interference so the American people can learn the truth and regain confidence in our democracy.”

Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) echoed Bennet’s belief that Trump is simply trying to distract the American people from larger issues involving Russia, saying on Twitter “Trump’s tweets are designed to distract from Russian election, possible collusion with Trump officials and potential cover-up.”

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said that the latest Twitter tantrum only perpetuates the much larger issue of Trump’s inability to tell the truth and to distinguish reality from fantasy.

“President Trump cannot continue to lie, lie, lie. It diminishes the office of the president and our standing in the world,” said Sanders. “Mr. Trump claimed without any evidence that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower last year — a claim which the FBI and intelligence officials have rejected as false.”

Here’s more from Sanders:

“He said that 3 to 5 million people voted illegally. Another lie. He said ‘it looked like a million and a half people’ at his inauguration. Not even close. He said his 2016 victory ‘was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan.’ Also a lie.

“And Mr. Trump has been lying long before he was president when he started the ‘birther’ conspiracy against President Obama in an attempt to delegitimize our country’s first black president. The United States will not be respected or taken seriously around the world if Donald Trump continues to shamelessly lie.”

Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) agreed that Trump is using his ludicrous allegations against Obama to derail the news cycle from the issue of his administration’s close ties to Russia and the extent to which he now occupies the White House based on that interference.

“I’ll remind you that the big issue here that I think President Trump is trying to distract us from is whether or not there was collusion between the Trump campaign and our last presidential election, and the larger issue that faces all of us is whether we’re going to defend our democracy against Russian aggression,” said Coons.

And, like Sanders, Coons reinforced the notion that Trump wouldn’t recognize the truth if it was as sexy to him as Vladimir Putin praising his intellect.

“Let’s remember the record here. Donald Trump dedicated years of his life to running around our country claiming that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States without a shred of evidence, and immediately after his election claimed millions of people voted illegally and demanded an investigation, which even in this investigation-prone Republican Congress they haven’t taken him up on it because there’s no evidence of that either.”

Senate Democrats Quickly Assail Muslim Ban 2.0

Senate Democrats have been quick to react to the Trump Administration’s second kick at the can on banning Muslims from the U.S. after Trump signed his latest executive order this morning. It is essentially the same racist, xenophobic decree Trump issued in January — to disastrous results and legal rebukes — and he’s introduced it again with the main modification being that it now only discriminates against people from six countries instead of seven.

Here are some responses from Democrats in the U.S. Senate over the last couple of hours:

Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)

“Today’s order is just a second version of Trump’s previous Muslim-ban – equally immoral and un-American. The intent is the same and sends the same discriminatory message that Muslim immigrants are not welcome. Despite what Trump claims, this ban will not make our country safer – the Department of Homeland Security, intelligence agency and national security officials, and officials abroad have stated that it will in fact, do the opposite. The ban will threaten and undermine our relationships with allies abroad, and serve as a valuable recruiting tool for ISIS. This is not who we are and it needs to be repealed.”

Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

“Just like the old ban, the new ban makes our country less safe. Giving ISIS propaganda while ‘solving’ a problem that the Department of Homeland Security itself says doesn’t exist is, to put it diplomatically, unwise.”

Cory Booker (D-NJ)

“A rebranded Muslim ban is still a Muslim ban. Plain and simple.”

Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

“President Trump is recklessly pursuing a campaign promise at the expense of fundamental American values and our safety. The Trump administration’s decision to delay this revised ban in order to maximize positive press coverage sends a clear message that this directive is about politics, not national security.

“Arbitrarily imposing travel restrictions on certain Muslim-majority countries only makes us less safe by reinforcing terrorist propaganda and recruitment. It’s shameful that this administration would needlessly separate families and single out refugees who are fleeing violence and seeking a better life. Immigrants make up the fabric of this country, and they continue to enrich our communities and strengthen our economy. America is better than this.”

Ed Markey (D-MA)

“If at first you don’t succeed on a travel ban, fail, fail, again. President Trump’s two travel ban executive orders are a bad movie with a bad sequel. The executive order remains blatantly discriminatory and still encourages the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to engage in religious-based questioning. We cannot allow the Trump administration to write bigotry into U.S. immigration policy.

“This new travel ban will not make our nation safer and only serves as a recruitment tool for ISIS and other terrorists. The courts blocked Donald Trump’s first Muslim ban because it trampled on Constitutional rights, and I anticipate this new attempt to repackage it will meet the same fate.”Markey

Sasse Statement on Trump’s Wiretapping Allegations

Conservative Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) made a damning statement on Donald Trump’s ridiculous assertion that President Obama personally ordered wire-tapping of Trump in the closing months of the 2016 presidential election. Sasse says that Trump should provide further information if he is going to level such a charge.

Here is the full statement:

“The president today made some very serious allegations, and the informed citizens that a republic requires deserve more information. If there were wiretaps of then-candidate Trump’s organization or campaign, then it was either with FISA Court authorization or without such authorization. If without, the President should explain what sort of wiretap it was and how he knows this. It is possible he was illegally tapped.

“On the other hand, if it was with a legal FISA court order, then an application for surveillance exists that the Court found credible. The President should ask that this full application regarding surveillance of foreign operatives or operations be made available, ideally to the full public, and at a bare minimum to the US Senate.

“We are in the midst of a civilization-warping crisis of public trust, and the President’s allegations today demand the thorough and dispassionate attention of serious patriots. A quest for the full truth, rather than knee-jerk partisanship, must be our guide if we are going to rebuild civic trust and health.”

And here Sasse points out the can of worms that Trump unwittingly opened on himself: either he is lying in his statement about Obama’s actions or there truly was a FISA court ordered issued — which Obama could not have requested — which means the subject of the investigation about Trump will eventually come to light.  In other words, what probable cause did the FISA court find to even issue the court order?

Either way, it doesn’t turn out well for Trump and this all illustrates again what we’ve already known, which is that Trump has a toddler’s impulse control in making such serious accusations.  But it also shows that he simply is not very bright.

CNN Retires Running Clock on Trump Mean Tweets

In the ultimate sign of how far the American presidency has fallen in just a few months, CNN earlier this week began a running clock to track just how long Tweety McTweetstorm could go without attacking anyone on Twitter.

“He hasn’t knocked, tweaked or attacked anyone on Twitter since Sunday afternoon, when he claimed, ‘Russia talk is FAKE NEWS put out by the Dems, and played up by the media, in order to mask the big election defeat and the illegal leaks,'” wrote CNN on Wednesday.

Well, we all knew that wouldn’t last very long.

CNN retired that clock today after a Trump tweet storm last night in which he petulantly attacked Democrats and blamed them for all of Jeff Sessions’ woes in, well, lying to the United States Congress. He capped that off this morning by calling it “pathetic” that Senate Democrats have taken so long to agree with his Cabinet of Deplorables — apparently not understanding that the U.S. Constitution requires that senators do something more than simply validate his bad choices.

So the mean-tweet abstention clock goes away, but it ends with what has to be a new record for this guy, with CNN calculating Trump’s grown-up phase at 4 days, 8 hours and 22 minutes.

Out of all the sad “new normals” we are contending with, how bad is it that an American president is now being measured by something like this?

Schumer Calls for Sessions’ Resignation

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) just called for a special prosecutor to look into Russia’s influence on the 2016 presidential election and to investigate news that Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have perjured himself before Congress by denying conversations with Russian officials during the campaign.

He also called on Sessions to resign.

“Because the Department of Justice should be above reproach, for the good of the country, Attorney General Sessions should resign,” said Schumer this morning. “But, whatever one’s views are on resignation, the most important thing we must do is ensure the integrity of the investigation. Has it already been compromised? What can we do to ensure it moves forward in a way that ultimately leads to the unvarnished truth?”

Durbin on Trump’s Curious Omission From Tuesday’s Speech

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) went to the Senate floor this afternoon and talked about one major event, one foreign country, that was curiously left out of President Mini-Mitts’ speech last night… You’ll never guess what.

“There were some omissions that I found very interesting,” said Durbin. “Not once, not one time in the course of an hour did President Trump ever say the word ‘Russia.’ Not one time.”

Have a look.

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