Posts tagged with "CNN"

Whistleblower complaint remains in White House hands, despite demands by House Intel panel

September 19, 2019

Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire—who took over the post just over a month ago, on August 15, when Dan Coats stepped down— has refused to comply with a deadline to hand over a whistleblower complaint to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, CNN reports.

The committee had announced its intent to issue a subpoena on September 13, noting that the complaint had been deemed by the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, Michael Atkinson, to be “credible and urgent.”

At that time, Representative Adam Schiff (D-California), Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee put out a statement that read: “A month ago, a whistleblower within the intelligence community lawfully filed a complaint regarding a serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of law, or deficiency within the responsibility or authority of the Director of National Intelligence. The Inspector General of the Intelligence Community found that complaint not only credible, but urgent. More than ten days since the Director was obligated to transmit the complaint to the intelligence committees, the Committee has still not received the disclosure from the Director, in violation of the law.

“A Director of National Intelligence has never prevented a properly submitted whistleblower complaint that the IC IG determined to be credible and urgent from being provided to the congressional intelligence committees. Never. This raises serious concerns about whether White House, Department of Justice or other executive branch officials are trying to prevent a legitimate whistleblower complaint from reaching its intended recipient, the Congress, in order to cover up serious misconduct.

“After Watergate exposed significant intelligence abuses, a critical bargain was struck: In exchange for the Intelligence Community’s willingness to reveal closely guarded national security secrets, the congressional intelligence committees and leadership promised to handle that information responsibly.  It was also of vital importance that intelligence officials have a lawful and protected means of bringing misconduct to the attention of Congress and the public. By withholding a credible whistleblower complaint that potentially deals with executive branch wrongdoing, the DNI is in violation of the applicable statute and has made itself a party to the concealment of potentially serious misconduct.”

However, on the night of September 17, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence sent letters to committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, and Ranking Republican Devin Nunes of California, saying the complaint “does not meet the definition of ‘urgent concern’ because it does not relate to ‘intelligence activity,’ “ CNN reported.

The complaint “involves confidential and potentially privileged matters relating to the interests of other stakeholders within the Executive Branch,” a copy of the letter, obtained by CNN, says, adding that complying with the committee’s requests “will necessarily require appropriate consultations.”

In the letter, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence reveals that the complaint does not involve anyone in the intelligence community but rather “stakeholders within the Executive Branch.” As a result, its lawyer argues, the complaint is not of “urgent concern” to the committee.

The office says it plans to work with the House intelligence Committee but given that executive branch members are involved, there are “confidential and potentially privileged matters” that “will necessarily require appropriate consultations.”

What’s more, Maguire has indicated that he will not appear at a scheduled congressional hearing on Thursday; his office says he “is not available on such short notice.”

In response, Schiff said: “The IC IG determined that the complaint is both credible and urgent, which is why the Committee must move quickly. The Committee’s position is clear—the Acting DNI can either provide the complaint as required under the law, or he will be required to come before the Committee to tell the public why he is not following the clear letter of the law, including whether the White House or the Attorney General are directing him to do so. He has yet to provide the complaint in response to the Committee’s subpoena, so I expect him to appear on Thursday, under subpoena if necessary.”

According to CNN, Schiff also argued that Maguire had acted outside the authority of his post by consulting with the Department of Justice about the complaint as he involved “another entity within the Executive Branch in the handling of a whistleblower complaint.

Schiff declined to say whether he has been contacted by the whistleblower or their legal representation, saying he wouldn’t want to jeopardize them.

However, a source familiar with the situation told CNN on Tuesday that legal counsel for the unknown individual is discussing next steps.

However, the options appear to be limited.

A source familiar with the case told CNN that the Intelligence Community Whistleblowers Protection Act likely only offers one real path forward: circumventing the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and giving the complaint directly to the committee.

That route is not likely to be taken, CNN said: At the end of the day, the statute doesn’t clearly allow the whistleblower to go straight to Congress.

Research contact: @CNN

Familiar face: Trump’s ex-wife Marla Maples appears in HBO televangelist comedy

September 13, 2019

She’s Tiffany Trump’s mom and the Donald’s ex-wife—and Marla Maples finally has returned to the spotlight in a new television role, her first since she divorced the now-president in 1999.

The 55-year-old actress was down in South Carolina earlier this year, according to a report by CNN, where she shot her part in the HBO comedy series, The Righteous Gemstones.”

The show, starring Danny McBride and John Goodman, centers around a world-famous televangelist family with a long tradition of deviance, greed, and charitable work — all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Maples declined to comment through a spokesperson, but she posted an on-set photo, writing that she “couldn’t be happier.” The Georgia-born Maples said the last time she worked in the Carolinas, she was 18 years old, playing a small role in Stephen King’s Maximum Overdrive.

Months before the 2016 election, Maples hit primetime as a contestant on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. However, she has taken a low profile since Trump moved into the White House; as has Tiffany, who currently is studying law at Georgetown University.

Maples appeared in roles on several television programs while she was married to Trump, including Spin City and The Nanny.

Research contact: @CNN

Cheap thrills: Dollar General’s new $5 beauty brand is going viral

September 10, 2019

Fashionistas, take note: There’s a new brand in the beauty business—and it’s not sold at swanky cosmetics counters for big bucks, or at drugstores, either.

Launched last spring, Dollar General’s humble, $5-and-under Believe Beauty cosmetics line is available at the chain’s 15,000 locations nationwide—and it has gone viral, thanks to the raves of social media beauty bloggers.

According to a report by CNN, Dollar General partnered with a beauty manufacturer on the private-label line of lipsticks, eye shadows, foundations, nail polishes, and skin care essentials; and is giving it prime real estate at stores: It’s displaying the 150-product collection in dedicated sections at the end of store aisles, making it easy for customers to find.

The aspirational brand is “an important part of our strategy,” CEO Todd Vasos told the network news outlet.

Dollar General executives say they developed the brand to bolster the company’s hold on existing customers and improve its thin profit margins. Dollar General also hopes to draw Millennials with the brand. Millennials probably won’t post online about snacks or a new mop they bought at Dollar General, but they love showing off their new makeup online, CNN notes.

Dozens of Believe reviews on by beauty vloggers on YouTube already have racked up hundreds of thousands of page views. One 16-minute YouTube review from a beauty vlogger has 125,000 views. Instagram is flooded with more than 3,000 posts using “#believebeauty.”

All that social media attention means free advertising for Dollar General. It boosts the company’s image with younger shoppers and is helping lift the dollar-store empire.

“People like those kind of videos because it’s something different,” Taylor Horn, a blogger who reviewed Believe on her YouTube channel, told CNN Business. Her channel has more than 750,000 followers.

“It’s cool when lines like Believe Beauty launch, where it’s accessible,” she said. “I think it’s more achievable and the things that your everyday consumer can afford.”

Dollar General is following a similar strategy to Walgreens, Target, Zara, Forever 21 and even 7-Eleven, CNN points out. These companies have all added their own in-house cosmetics lines in recent years.

Research contact: @CNN

Trump slams Puerto Rico, even before hurricane hits

August 29, 2019

As Dorian picks up power in the Caribbean, hurtling ever-closer to Puerto Rico, President Donald Trump is picking up the same diatribe he used against the island’s leadership and population during Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm that hit the American territory in September 2017.

“We are tracking closely tropical storm Dorian as it heads, as usual, to Puerto Rico. FEMA and all others are ready, and will do a great job. When they do, let them know it, and give them a big Thank You – Not like last time. That includes from the incompetent Mayor of San Juan!” Trump tweeted from the White House Wednesday morning.

Indeed, Trump and local officials—specifically, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz—have continued to trade zingers in the aftermath of 2017’s Hurricane Maria over funding, the President’s disparaging remarks about the island, and more.

“Puerto Rico is one of the most corrupt places on earth,” Trump tweeted later on August 28, according to a report by CNN. “Their political system is broken and their politicians are either Incompetent or Corrupt. Congress approved Billions of Dollars last time, more than anyplace else has ever gotten, and it is sent to Crooked Pols. No good!” he wrote, adding, “And by the way, I’m the best thing that’s ever happened to Puerto Rico!”

Trump’s lack of empathy for Puerto Ricans has been at odds with his treatment of storm victims in the continental United States during his tenure in office, prompting criticism of racism, including from some local officials defending their home, CNN said..

Tropical storm Dorian is expected to be near a Category 1 hurricane as it approaches Puerto Rico Wednesday and could strengthen to a Category 2 hurricane before making landfall in Florida over Labor Day Weekend.

Trump declared a national emergency and ordered federal assistance to Puerto Rico on Tuesday. Yulín Cruz criticized Trump on that day, as her city prepared for another storm, telling the President to “get out of the way.”

“It seems like some people have learned the lessons of the past or are willing to say that they didn’t do right by us the first time and they are trying to do their best. That is not the case with the President of the United States. We are not going to be concerned by, frankly, his behavior, his lack of understanding, and it is ludicrous,” she told CNN.

Research contact: @CNN

‘A big storm’ is coming, warns Mark Sanford, as he considers contesting Trump in 2020

August 16, 2019

Mark Sanford—the former South Carolina Republican governor (2003-2011) and representative (1996-2001) who vanished for a week in 2009 and subsequently confessed to an extramarital affair—has announced that he is considering mounting a challenge to President Donald Trump in 2020, CNN reports.

There’s a big storm coming,” Sanford says in a campaign-style video released on August 12, adding that America is “in the most precarious financial position” and “not dealing with it could crush our economy, it could wipe out whatever we’ve saved, it could even destroy our republic.”

The former congressman has been privately considering whether to run since leaving office in January. Sanford’s presidential bid would be a long-shot against Trump, who has an  88% approval rating among Republican voters, according to the Gallup Presidential Job Approval Center..

Sanford told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he’s been encouraged to run for president by people who “have said we need to have a conversation about what it means to be a Republican.”

He suggested that South Carolina voters are weary of “the bully in the schoolyard routine” from Trump. “So I think something is afoot both on the financial front and frankly on the tone and tenor front,” he told CNN.

In fact, he told the cable news network, “I just got through watching two Democratic debates that offered little more than a long laundry list of new political promises that we can’t afford. [Then] … I listen to the president, who rules out action on the very things that drive our debt and spending.”

Sanford says some have suggested an advocacy group, while “others have suggested running in the Republican primary against the President as a way of elevating the issue and changing the debate.”

Sanford lost his primary race in 2018, running as a “Never Trumper” for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. Should he decide to run, Sanford also would take on former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, who announced in April that he was officially entering the race, as a Republican to take on Trump in 2020.

Sanford has said he expects to make his decision by September.

Research contact: @CNNPolitics

Trump aides see personal malice, not political strategy, in Twitter attacks on Baltimore, Cummings

August 2, 2019

After a week during which President Donald Trump was labeled a “racist” and a “white supremacist” for his affronts to “The Squad” of women of color in the House, the activist Reverend Al Sharpton, CNN anchor Don Lemon, Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland—and the latter’s home district, Baltimore, which Trump described as “rat-infested and  a “living hell”— the POTUS was asked by the media to explain his strategy.

“There’s no strategy. I have no strategy. There’s zero strategy,” he told reporters on July 30. “It’s very simple.”

However, most political pundits believe that he did have two underlying reasons for the attacks. First, he believes that his denigration of Puerto Ricans, immigrants, blacks, and others of color builds the loyalty of his largely white base nationwide.

Second, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal,  Trump was “set off by last week’s decision by the House Oversight Committee,” which Cummings chairs, to subpoena top White House aides, including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, for its probe into official emails and texts sent from personal accounts.

The news outlet also pointed to Cummings’ remarks at a news conference last week, at which he suggested further action against the administration was imminent. “There comes a point when silence becomes betrayal,” Cummings said, quoting Martin Luther King, Jr.

“People know this is the president. He’s going to fight back,” said one campaign adviser. “It’s not a surprise to anyone as much as it was before.”

Cummings responded on Twitter: “I will continue to do every day what I am duty-bounded to do—help my constituents to live their best lives and serve as a check on the Executive Branch.”

While Trump’s supporters have not come out in defense of the president’s remarks, they also have not criticized him to any great degree. Indeed, the Journal reports, Trump campaign officials do not view the gibes against Cummings as damaging to the president’s odds of re-election. The campaign sees the president’s polling numbers as most vulnerable when voters perceive the White House to be in chaos, when Mr. Trump’s base of supporters dislike legislation he signs, and when the president is perceived as “punching down,” one adviser told the news outlet.

In direct opposition to what he, himself, has said publicly, the president repeatedly has  bragged about his record on behalf of African-Americans. On Tuesday, he said African-Americans had “been calling the White House” and were “happy as hell.”

Research contact: Rebecca.Ballhaus@wsj.com

Valerie Jarrett: Trump’s attacks ‘are intended to silence [people of color] in obedience’

July 30, 2019

On July 29, Valerie Jarrett, who served as a senior adviser to former President Barack Obama from 2009 through 2017, blasted President Donald Trump for his repeated racist attacks against political opponents, CNN reported.

Indeed, she said, the president’s provocations and taunts against people of color—among them, “The Squad” of four progressive female House legislators, Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), and the Reverend Al Sharpton—”are intended to silence us in obedience.”.

On Friday, July 26, Jarrett joined nearly 150 African-Americans who worked in the Obama administration in writing an op-ed published in The Washington Post to support and defend The Squad—Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan), and Ayanna Pressley (D-Massachusetts).

Earlier this month, Trump targeted the four women with racist language, telling them “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

All of that, despite the fact that three of the four were born in the United States, and the fourth is a naturalized US citizen.

“What we said in this letter is we’re not going to be sitting idly by. We’re Americans, we’re patriotic, we love our country,” Jarrett said in an interview on CNN with “New Day” co-anchor Alisyn Camerota. “One of the important ways that you demonstrate that love is by speaking up when you see behavior that you think is divisive and destructive to our country, and that’s what we’ve been observing during the course of President Trump’s time in office.”

Over the past few days, Trump continued his attacks against notable people of color by tweeting against both Cummings and Sharpton.

Following a weekend in which he labeled Baltimore, where Cummings lives and which he represents, a “disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess,” on Monday, in yet another tweet, the president said, “Baltimore, under the leadership of Elijah Cummings, has the worst Crime Statistics in the Nation. 25 years of all talk, no action. So tired of listening to the same old Bull…Next, Reverend Al will show up and complain & Protest. Nothing will get done for the people in need]. Sad!

Jarrett also the noted the correlation between those who criticize the President and those who become targets of his attacks. “It’s this pattern, anyone who speaks up against the president is fair game for this personal criticism and anger, and that’s not what makes our country strong,” Jarrett told CNN.

Research contact: @ValerieJarrett

Despite chilling warnings from Mueller, GOP blocks election security bills

July 26, 2019

America is under attack. That was the biggest takeaway from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony on Capitol Hill on July 24—not that President Donald Trump may have obstructed justice, although that’s what most people continue to argue about, CNN reported this week.

“In your investigation,” Representative Will Hurd (R-Texas) of the House Intelligence Committee asked Mueller, “did you think that this was a single attempt by the Russians to get involved in our election? Or did you find evidence to suggest that they will try to do this again?”

Mueller responded, with a chilling effect:  “No, it wasn’t a single attempt.” And he was quick to note that the Russians still are working to influence U.S. elections—predicting that their influence will be felt when Americans go to the polls in 2020.

“They’re doing it as we sit here,” Mueller testified. “And they expect to do it during the next campaign.”

He then warned that America’s intelligence agencies must find a way to coordinate better in order to assure secure elections going forward.

In his report, the former special counsel disclosed that Russian hackers had compromised local election systems of two Florida counties in 2016—a development later confirmed by Florida’s Republican  Governor Ron DeSantis, although he said no votes were changed. And while Mueller did not bring conspiracy charges, it’s been well documented that Russians in 2016 were doing their best to help Trump, not Clinton, win.

“Did your investigation find that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from one of the candidates winning?” Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-California) of the Judiciary Committee entreated him.

“It did,” Mueller replied.

Lofgren then asked for specificity: “Which one?”

“Well,” Mueller said, “it would be Trump.”

Yet despite Mueller’s testimony, his report, and alarming statements from elsewhere in Washington, public urgency on addressing Russian interference for the 2020 election appears lacking.

Indeed, according to a report by The Hill, Senate Republicans blocked two election security bills and a cybersecurity measure on Wednesday, July 24,  in the wake of former special counsel Robert Mueller warning about meddling attempts during his public testimony before congressional lawmakers.  

Democrats tried to get consent to pass two bills that would require campaigns to alert the FBI and Federal Election Commission about foreign offers of assistance, as well as a bill to let the Senate Sergeant at Arms offer voluntary cyber assistance for personal devices and accounts of senators and staff.

But Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi) blocked each of the bills. She didn’t give reason for her objections, or say if she was objecting on behalf of herself or the Senate GOP caucus. A spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.

Under Senate rules, any one senator can ask for consent to pass a bill, but any one senator is able to object.

What’s more,  election interference bills face an uphill climb in the Senate, where Republicans aren’t expected to move legislation through the Rules Committee, the panel with primary jurisdiction, and have warned about attempts to “federalize” elections. 

Democrats cited Mueller as they tried to get consent on Wednesday evening to pass their bills.

Mr. Mueller’s testimony should serve as a warning to every member of this body about what could happen in 2020, literally in our next elections,” said Senator Mark Warner (D-Virgina), the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. 

He added that “unfortunately, in the nearly three years since we uncovered Russia’s attack on our democracy, this body has not held a single vote on stand-alone legislation to protect our elections.” 

Research contact: @thehill

Trump on accusation of sexual assault: E. Jean Carroll is ‘totally lying’ and ‘not my type’

June 26, 2019

Talking to anchor Billy Bush on ‘Access Hollywood” in a decade-old videotape released by his political opponents in 2016, then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump said,” You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful [women]—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything….Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”

And interestingly enough—faced with current accusations of sexual assault—the president does not bother to deny that he is capable of such an act.

Instead, as The Hill reported after an exclusive interview with the president, Trump said on June 24 that New York-based writer E. Jean Carroll was “totally lying” when she accused him of raping her more than two decades ago, adding that she is “not my type.”

“I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened, OK?” Trump told the Hill newspaper in an interview.

In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday night, Carroll responded: “I love that I’m not his type. Don’t you love that you’re not his type?”

She pointed out that Trump has denied all the accusations from women who have accused him of sexual misconduct. “He denies, he turns it around, he threatens and he attacks,” Carroll said.

Carroll’s account of the alleged incident was detailed in an excerpt of her forthcoming book published June 21 in New York Magazine. The excerpt included a photo that identified Carroll, Trump, his then-wife, Ivana Trump, and Carroll’s then-husband, John Johnson, attending the same party around 1987.

Trump dismissed the photo on June 22, telling reporters, “Standing with my coat on in a line—give me a break—with my back to the camera. I have no idea who she is.”

Carroll, a longtime advice columnist for Elle magazine, alleged in her book that she ran into Trump at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City during fall 1995 or spring 1996. The two recognized each other and Trump asked her for advice on purchasing a gift for a woman, Carroll told The Hill.

After she suggested buying a handbag or a hat, Carroll said that Trump turned his attention to lingerie. The two joked that the other should try the clothing on before they eventually made their way to the dressing room, she said in her account.

Once inside, Trump allegedly lunged at her, pushed her against a wall and kissed her before pulling down her tights and raping her. Carroll wrote that she fought Trump off and then ran out of the dressing room. She said the alleged incident lasted no more than three minutes.

Explaining why she didn’t come forward until now, Carroll wrote about the retribution and dismissal she expected to receive and called herself “a coward.”

Carroll denied that politics played any role in her decision to speak out. “I’m barely political. I can’t name you the candidates who are running right now,” she told CNN. “I’m not organized . . . I’m just fed up.”

President Trump and accusations of sexual misconduct: the complete list

She plans to continue speaking out about the alleged assault by Trump, she told The Hill. “We have to hold him accountable — not only him but a lot of guys,” she said.

Research contact: @thehill

Trump tells ‘tall tales’ on Telemundo about his relationship with Hispanics

June 25, 2019

As of June 7—869 days into his term of office—President Donald Trump had told, 10,796 lies and misstatements to the American people, according to The Washington Post

That number undoubtedly has increased over the past few weeks. And, CNN reports, it grew by at least three after the president spoke exclusively with Noticiero Telemundo anchor José Díaz Balart on June 20 for his Spanish-language news update.

During that television face-to-face, Donald Trump made three glaringly inaccurate statements about the Hispanic population, alone. He also made false representations about Chinese immigration to the United States; and about the Veterans Choice healthcare program—saying he had passed that legislation, which was, in fact, signed into law by former President Barack Obama.

Family separations

But that was far from Trump’s only fabrication concerning Obama. According to CNN, during the interview, Trump claimed that the former president had created—and then left him with—a family separation policy.

“When I became president, President Obama had a separation policy,” Trump said. “I didn’t have it. He had it. I brought the families together. I’m the one that put ’em together.”

Interviewer José Díaz-Balart challenged Trump on the assertion, pointing out that thousands of children were reunited with their parents in the last year after his administration’s zero-tolerance policy had separated them. But Trump pushed back, wrongly insisting that he “inherited separation, and I changed the plan, and I brought people together.”

CNN Facts First: Trump did not inherit an Obama policy of routinely separating migrant children from their parents. Separations were rare under Obama. Trump made them standard.

In March 2017, John Kelly, then the secretary of Homeland Securitytold CNN that he was thinking about implementing a separation program “to deter more movement along this terribly dangerous network.” (In May, Kelly joined the board of Caliburn International. A conglomerate that operates the largest facility for migrant children in the country, according to a report by The Chicago Tribune.)

In April 2018, Jeff Sessions, then the attorney general, announced a new “zero tolerance” policy in which everybody caught crossing the border illegally would be criminally prosecuted — a change he explicitly noted would result in regular separations.

“If you’re smuggling a child, we’re going to prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you, probably, as required by law. If you don’t want your child to be separated, then don’t bring them across the border illegally,” Sessions said.

Separations did sometimes occur under Obama, but they were non-routine and much less frequent, according to immigration experts and former Obama officials. They occurred in exceptional cases, such as those where the parent was being criminally prosecuted for carrying drugs across the border or other serious crimes.

It is technically true, CNN notes, that Trump is the one who ended the separation policy: in June 2018, he signed an executive order to detain families together. But he was ending his own policy, not Obama’s, and he only signed the order after a furious public outcry.

Popularity among Hispanics

During the same interview, much to the incredulity of  Díaz-Balart, CNN reports, Trump claimed he had seen a significant increase in his popularity with Hispanics—a 17-point spike that had brought him to 50% approval.

Trump: “And you know my poll numbers with Hispanics went up 17 points?” Díaz-Balart: “Well…” Trump: “Okay, explain that. I’ve been tough…” Díaz-Balart: “You’ve been tough, but…” Trump: “…and yet my poll numbers with Hispanics have gone way up.”

Trump: “Well, right now I’m at 50%…for a Republican, I’m at 50%. I went up 17 points. You know why? The Hispanics…” Díaz-Balart: “I have not seen any poll that says…” Trump: “Well, we’ll show it to you.” Díaz-Balart : “With all due respect, that you have…” Trump: “We’ll show it to you.” Díaz-Balart: “50% of the Latino support…” Trump: “No, no. We’ll show it to you. But let me tell you. We went up 17 points. You saw that. I went up 17 points because I’m tough at the border. Because the Hispanics want toughness at the border. They don’t want people coming and taking their jobs. They don’t want criminals to come because they understand the border better than anybody.”

CNN Facts First: Trump does not have a 50%t approval rating among Hispanics, according to the latest public polling.

According to the cable news network, there was one January poll, by Marist/NPR/PBS, that showed that his approval rating with Latinos had indeed increased to 50 %. Trump immediately began touting this poll upon its release, and it might have been what he was referring to in the Telemundo interview five months later.

But polls conducted after January, including polls from the same pollster, have not shown an approval rating even close to 50%.

In fact, in the Marist/NPR/PBS poll in June, Trump’s approval among Latinos was just 24%.

Matt Barreto, co-founder of Latino Decisions and a political science professor at the University of California-Los Angeles, told CNN that the recent data suggest “Trump has NOT made any inroads with Latinos.”

Hispanic wealth

Trump also claimed in the Telemundo interview that Hispanics were losing wealth under Obama.

“Hispanics today are—have the average net wealth—the wealthiest they’ve ever been, under Trump. Not under Obama. ‘Cause under Obama they were going the wrong way.”

CNN Facts First: Hispanic wealth and income were increasing under Obama—not “going the wrong way.”

Between 2013 and 2016, Latino median household wealth rose from $13,700 to $20,600, the Hispanic Wealth Project noted in its 2019 State of Hispanic Wealth report.

Separate Census Bureau data on household income cited by CNN also showed a steady increase for Hispanics during the Obama era. In 2017 dollars, mean income for Hispanics increased from $59,818 in 2009, Obama’s first year, to $68,252 in 2016, his last full year.

The 2017 figure, under Trump, was a record: $68,319. But this was a continuation of the Obama-era trend, and it was an increase of a mere 0.001%.

Research contact: @CNN