Posts tagged with "Mediaite"

Trump retweets article that ‘outs’ impeachment whistleblower

December 30, 2019

On December 26, Donald Trump retweeted an article that had appeared in the Washington Examiner earlier this month—allegedly revealing the name of “the whistleblower” who had filed a complaint about the president’s dealings with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The whistleblower made his or her report after a July 25 phone call between the U.S. and Ukraine leaders, during which Trump purportedly extorted Zelensky—withholding nearly $400 million in congressionally approved military aid and a White House meeting until Zelensky agreed to publicly announce an investigation into the 2016 election; as well as into dealings in Ukraine by Democratic candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

According to a report by Mediaite, the Thursday night email represented the first time that Trump had exposed the name of the whistleblower in any manner.

Trump apparently was “goaded” into retweeting the Washington Examiner story after the whistleblower’s attorney, Mark Zaid, slammed Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) for her attacks on the informant and called on her to step down from the Senate whistleblower caucus.

When the president’s reelection team, known as the Trump War Room, jumped in to defend Blackburn, Trump also took to Twitter.

Now, there is bound to blowback for Trump. Several conservative outlets to date have identified the person alleged to be the whistleblower. No major news organization has yet reported the name.

Angry tweets from Americans followed the president’s revelation—many asking for another article of impeachment to be drafted for his “outing” of the whistleblower.

Research contact: @Mediaite

Karl Rove compares Trump to Stalin and advises him to ‘tone down’ anti-media rhetoric

August 8, 2018

Karl Rove, the Republican political consultant and policy advisor who is largely credited for the election of George W. Bush in 2000—and widely known for his proclivity for dirty tricks—advised President Donald Trump to cut out his “over the top” anti-media rhetoric during an appearance on Fox News on August 6, according to a same-day report by Mediaite.

Rove’s comments came after Trump took again to Twitter over the weekend, characterizing the news media as “the Enemy of the People,” and alleging, : “[They] purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!”

In short, Mediaite said, Rove told Trump to suck it up. “I think this is over the top,” he said, adding, “. Every president has problems with the media. I was in the White House for seven years, I didn’t like the coverage they gave George W. Bush, particularly the liberal New York Times.”

Rove said the president should criticize the media “on a case-by-case basis,” and “make a respectful disagreement.

“I think calling names is not helpful to our country from any side,” said Bush’s former chief of staff. ”

The former White House official then addressed Trump’s use of the phrase “enemy of the people” to describe the press.

“That just grates on me,” he said. “I grew up during the time of the Cold War. That is a phrase that was used by [Communist leader] Stalin against the enemies of the communist regime. I think the president would be well advised to tone down the rhetoric.”

Rove went on to note that Trump’s disapproval ratings are high, and that he can’t simply appeal to his “hard-core” supporters at rallies.

According to Gallup, Trump currently has a 38% approval rating and a 57% disapproval rating.

Research contact: @aidnmclaughlin

Trump ‘considers’ Putin request to hand over McFaul for interrogation

July 20, 2018

As U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned at their July 16 press conference in Helsinki, Finland, Russia has offered to cooperate in the questioning of 12 of its citizens who have been indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for hacking the Democratic National Committee (DNC) during the run-up to the 2016 election.

In turn, Putin has requested that the United States turn over former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, as well as several other Americans, for questioning by its Federal Security Service (FSB) over what McFaul has said are “trumped up” charges.

According to White House Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders, that request from Putin is currently “under consideration” by the Trump administration—and the president will provide his answer after he meets with his team.

The Trump administration’s ambiguity over whether the former U.S. ambassador would be made available for questioning by the Russians has the U.S. diplomatic community up in arms and has left the seasoned diplomat in question “flabbergasted” over Trump’s seeming unwillingness to defend him against Putin, Mediaite reported on July 18.

Speaking to top MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow on her show on July 18, Mediaite reports that McFaul explained that Putin had been trying to get at him for years. “Vladimir Putin has been after me for a long time, even when I was ambassador, harassing me in ways no other U.S. Ambassador there has ever experienced,” he said to Maddow. “He’s done some outrageous things around the world but even to our diplomats and even to me personally.”

Then, referring to the fact Trump seemed willing to turn a U.S.citizen and diplomat over to Russia for questioning, he added: “What I was totally flabbergasted by was [that] the White House would not defend me. I’m an American citizen. I worked for the government for five years. It would have been so easy to bat it back.” 

Indeed, showing his diplomatic chops, McFaul said that he hoped the White House would come around to the correct answer—a resounding “no”—soon.

In further discussion with Maddow, McFaul made it clear that exposing him to the Russians would be an “outrageous act.”

“You just have to push back on crazy stuff like that. It’s in not just the interests of people like me …; it’s in the American national interests. You can’t in any way dignify such an outrageous claim of tit for tat, moral equivalency, which for some reason our president continues to do when it comes to Vladimir Putin.”

Research contact: @Mediaite

Maddow breaks down on-air over plight of immigrant babies

June 21, 2018

MSNBC’s star moderator Rachel Maddow dissolved in tears at the end of her show on June 19 when trying to read breaking news from the Associated Press about the whereabouts of babies separated from their parents at the southern U.S. border under President Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policy. She handed the program off to Lawrence O’Donnell, host of The Last Word, who was on-site at a Border Patrol Processing Center for children in McAllen, Texas, Mediaite reports.

The AP story read, in part:

Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border to at least three “tender age” shelters in South Texas, The Associated Press has learned.

Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the Rio Grande Valley [Texas] shelters described playrooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis. The government also plans to open a fourth shelter to house hundreds of young migrant children in Houston, where city leaders denounced the move Tuesday.

Since the White House announced its zero tolerance policy in early May, more than 2,300 children have been taken from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, resulting in a new influx of young children requiring government care. The government has faced withering critiques over images of some of the children in cages inside U.S. Border Patrol processing stations.

When Maddow could not read the script, she asked for a graphic to be shown on the screen instead. When that was unavailable, she said, tears flowing, “I think I’m going to have to hand this off. I’m sorry.”

O’Donnell did succeed in reading the full story on-air.

Later, Maddow apologized on Twitter:  “Ugh, I’m sorry. If nothing else, it is my job to actually be able to speak while I’m on TV,” she wrote. Then, after concluding what she was trying to say, she added: “Again, I apologize for losing it there for a moment. Not the way I intended that to go, not by a mile.”

Since the White House announced its zero tolerance policy in early May, AP notes, more than 2,300 children have been taken from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, resulting in an influx of young children requiring government care.

Research contact: @garanceburke