On Trump, Progressives confused by irony and facts

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The NYT published an article asserting 40 “facts” indicting Trump. In truth, each of those “facts” was false or pure opinion based upon intractable bias.

The New York Times published an article by one of its opinion columnists, David Leonhardt, that purports to indict Trump in a mere 40 sentences, each asserting a supposedly devastating “fact” showing Trump to be a criminal, a fascist, or a fool. Reviewing these 40 sentences, I found that most are premised on erroneous facts, with the remainder relying on underlying assumptions that deserve to be challenged. A fisking is in order.

“He has pressured a foreign leader to interfere in the 2020 American presidential election.”

Follow this link and you’ll discover that it refers to the fact that Trump asked the president of Ukraine to finish a legitimate corruption investigation that then-Vice President Biden had stopped through the use of strong-arm tactics. We know that’s what Biden did because he boasted about it, loud and proud. Of course, reopening the investigation means Ukraine will resume asking questions about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in that country — which is no doubt the reason that Biden stopped the investigation in the first place.

As one would expect from alleged “news” reports of late, this is absolutely, completely 100% poppycock. John Solomon explains what actually happened — and it had nothing to do with Trump begging for Ukraine to throw the election (emphasis mine):

But there is a missing part of the story that the American public needs in order to assess what really happened: Giuliani’s contact with Zelensky adviser and attorney Andrei Yermak this summer was encouraged and facilitated by the U.S. State Department.

Giuliani didn’t initiate it. A senior U.S. diplomat contacted him in July and asked for permission to connect Yermak with him.

Then, Giuliani met in early August with Yermak on neutral ground — in Spain — before reporting back to State everything that occurred at the meeting.

[snip]

Why would Ukraine want to talk to Giuliani, and why would the State Department be involved in facilitating it?

According to interviews with more than a dozen Ukrainian and U.S. officials, Ukraine’s government under recently departed President Petro Poroshenko and, now, Zelensky has been trying since summer 2018 to hand over evidence about the conduct of Americans they believe might be involved in violations of U.S. law during the Obama years.

The Ukrainians say their efforts to get their allegations to U.S. authorities were thwarted first by the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, which failed to issue timely visas allowing them to visit America.

Then the Ukrainians hired a former U.S. attorney — not Giuliani — to hand-deliver the evidence of wrongdoing to the U.S. attorney’s office in New York, but the federal prosecutors never responded.

In other words, the Ukrainians have long been concerned about Americans engaged in illegal conduct in their country, but when they tried to raise those concerns, Deep State operatives rebuffed their efforts.

As for more specific information about what Trump’s allegedly “treasonous” phone call said . . . we don’t have any. Instead, the more credulous among us have been tricked again by one of those Lefty games of telephone. You know what I mean. We saw it with the latest Kavanaugh attack, which is that an alleged reporter heard something from someone who heard it from someone else who heard it from. The same is true with regard to the Ukraine telephone call, for it turns out that the Deep State whistleblower didn’t hear the call himself (herself?) and was not acting in his professional capacity when s/he relayed hearsay information to other Deep State officials:

It turns out the complaint is nothing more than a rumor reported by someone in the intelligence community. Buried in a lengthy CNN article about the complaint is the following paragraph:

The whistleblower didn’t have direct knowledge of the communications, an official briefed on the matter told CNN. Instead, the whistleblower’s concerns came in part from learning information that was not obtained during the course of their work, and those details have played a role in the administration’s determination that the complaint didn’t fit the reporting requirements under the intelligence whistleblower law, the official said.

Granted, this is yet another anonymous source giving more context on what another anonymous source told a different outlet, but it still calls the entire story into question.

In other words, this whole Ukraine thing has nothing to do with Trump having done anything wrong and everything to do with Biden abusing his power to protect his family. Biden gets points for family loyalty, but demerits for corruption.

“He urged a foreign country to intervene in the 2016 presidential election.”

Back in the days when Hollywood made anti-communist movies, one of the tropes was that communists have no sense of humor. The whole point of both the 1939 movie Ninotchka and its 1955 musical remake Silk Stockings was to show that believing in socialism is a singularly joyless activity and that only embracing capitalism can bring humor and laughter back to ones life. Indeed the whole campaign for the original movie was built around the gift of laughter:

Ninotchka garbo laughs

What Americans understood when socialism was still a dirty word is that being a Leftist is a very serious business. You’re remaking the world, after all. This photo of a hysterical, enraged, and deeply frightened Greta Thunberg is the modern incarnation of humorless, angry socialism:

The adults who did this to an Asberger’s child — meaning that she has high anxiety and often erroneous fixations — should be prosecuted for child abuse . . . but that’s for another post.

Moreover, when you’re in the midst of a revolution, you always have to keep an eye out for fellow revolutionaries, who might be more zealous than you or, worse, who might openly question your own zeal. In Soviet Russia, that last led to an actual death sentence. In today’s America, it means social media death. In our brave new revolutionary world, there is no place for humor.

I’m not writing this to bemoan the lack of comedy in late night TV, which is now devoted to joyless attacks on Trump, or the fact that comedy is dead on college campuses, where blank-eyed, angry students kill visiting comedians with strident cries of “That’s not funny. I’m offended.” I’ll leave that for other writers. What I want to talk about, because it will show up in other rebuttals to Leonhardt’s indictments, is that Progressives can’t take a joke.

Leonhardt’s umbrage is directed to the fact that Trump stated at a rally (to much laughter from the crowd), “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” The crowd was in on the joke, which is the fact that Hillary’s uber-illegal decision to forfeit the State Department’s secured email system for an unsecured system in her bathroom meant Russia already had the emails — and so did China and any of a number of bad actors in the world. The joke was that the national security horse had not only long since left the barn, it was grazing in a field somewhere outside of Moscow.

In other words, Trump wasn’t inviting a foreign country to steal America’s secrets. He was using humor to show that Hillary Clinton, by intentionally violating America’s national security laws, had long before handed those secrets over to other countries.

“He divulged classified information to foreign officials.”

Much as Progressives don’t like it, Trump is America’s president. And as president, commander in chief, and head of the executive branch of government, including national security, it is he who has the ultimate say about whether something is classified or not, and when to declassify something.  His power is plenary and he got it when the American people elected him.

Moreover, it appears that Leonhardt isn’t in the habit of reading his own newspaper, because the story to which he links is the recent report that Trump’s big mouth resulted in a spy having to be exfiltrated from Russia. Except that, as even the Times later had to acknowledge, it was the media’s collective big mouth that exposed the spy during the Obama administration. Moreover, the CIA made the decision to withdraw the spy in 2016, again during the Obama administration. As for the other alleged security breaches in the linked article, let me say again: The president gets to make the call about what is and is not classified; not the New York Times.

“He publicly undermined American intelligence agents while standing next to a hostile foreign autocrat.”

Again, this is an example of the fact that being a Leftist means never understanding a joke. It also represents another chapter in the never-ending book entitled I Don’t Care What Mueller Said Or The Evidence Shows — I Still Think Trump Colluded With Russia. Thus, the article to which Leonhardt links, although it was written long after the Mueller report and after Mueller’s Sergeant Schultz-style testimony (“I know nothing. Nothing!”), is premised on the debunked theory that Trump colluded with Russia to win the election. The article also ignores entirely the fact that Hillary paid for all of the baseless and salacious claims that came out of Russia meaning that she, not Trump, conspired with a foreign agency to try to win the election.

So let’s go back to the claim that Trump “publicly undermined American intelligence agents.” One of Trump’s chief negotiating skills is to create an amicable environment within which to negotiate. He doesn’t insult the person unless, of course, the person insults him first, in which case Trump is a no-holds barred fighter. What he’ll fight like a demon over is the substantive matter at issue.

In this case, reporters were demanding that Trump call Putin a spy to his face. Doing so would have made a viable negotiation impossible. Putin would have been publicly offended and could not possibly engage in meaningful discussions with Trump. In other words, the media, intentionally or not, was doing its best to sabotage talks before they began.

Trump did the only thing possible under the circumstances — he made a joke, and it was a good one too, considering that we’ve learned in the last two years that high-level operatives in the intelligence community actively worked within American politics to destroy a candidate and, when that candidate still won the election, engaged in a coup attempt to get him out of office. All things considered, Trump’s little joke that “They [intelligence agencies] said they think it’s Russia [but] I have President Putin; he just said it’s not Russia,” was a perfect way both to defuse his relationship with Putin before talks began and to lob a humorous grenade in the direction of those who, for the first time in American history, tried to thrown an election.

“He hired a national security adviser who [sic] he knew had secretly worked as a foreign lobbyist.”

Considering that Leonhardt works for a newspaper, you’d think he could do better than to use a newspaper article from early 2017 to attack Michael Flynn. In the two years since then, we’ve learned a lot about the intelligence agencies’ successful attempt to take out Flynn and about Robert Mueller’s despicable tactic of destroying someone economically and going after his family in order to get him to plead guilty to the process crime of lying to the FBI.

Worse, in the years since the linked article was written, we’ve learned that there probably wasn’t a process crime at all because the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn contemporaneously agreed that he wasn’t intentionally lying. There’s also the little “fruit of the poisonous tree” problem, given that the entire basis for questioning Flynn for a Logan Act violation was a blatant attempt to create a process crime without any good faith belief that an underlying crime had been committed.

And what about the merits of the claim that Flynn “secretly worked as a foreign lobbyist”? Well, not quite, according to The Hill. In November 2016, Flynn wrote an op-ed defending Erdogan, who had survived a coup attempt, in which Flynn claimed that the American-based coup-plotter, an Imam named Fethullah Gulen, was a “shady Islamic mullah.” That article gave intelligence agencies, who were already gunning for Flynn because he’d challenged Obama’s Iran Deal and because he’d clashed with intel types on myriad occasions, an opening.

I’ll say right off the bat that I think it showed bad judgment and bad taste for Flynn to defend Erdogan, who is (in my opinion) a bad actor. Nevertheless, it appears that Flynn didn’t realize that Bijan Rafiekian, who co-founded Flynn Intel Group (“FIG”), had the group working with Turkey. Instead, what Flynn knew was that a Dutch-based company called Inovo BV got paid $530,000 to do PR work to boost Turkey’s image. It was Inovo that had ties to the Turkish government. In March 2017, FIG did a retroactive registration as foreign agents on Turkey’s behalf. By December 2017, Flynn claimed that was a false filing and that he knew about Turkey all along. Well, maybe….

The problem with my wholeheartedly believing that Flynn’s December 2017 statement is true is that, by December 2017, Mueller had Flynn in a vice and was hell bent on destroying him. Flynn was trying to salvage his life savings, avoid jail, and protect his son from Mueller’s army. Things may be quite different in a few weeks if Judge Sullivan grants the discovery motion that Flynn’s new attorney, Sidney Powell, filed. In it, she alleges that the alphabet agencies railroaded Flynn and that they’re hiding the documents that prove it — including exculpatory documents that they were required by law to produce to Flynn and his counsel.

Frankly, of all the charges Leonhardt levies against Trump, this is probably the most serious, not in terms of Trump being treasonous, but just in terms of bad judgment — but I remember, as others may not, that Trump was treated like such a pariah, he had a hard time finding people willing to work with him in the beginning. He was in a “beggars can’t be choosers” position, and, at least on paper. And as I said, it’s entirely possible that Flynn is simply another victim of the Deep State who will be gloriously exonerated in the near future.

“He encourages foreign leaders to enrich him and his family by staying at his hotels.”

This is the “emoluments clause” argument that Democrats cannot let go. However, the emoluments clause was never meant to address a situation in which a foreign government tries to curry favor with the president by staying in a hotel from which president’s family, after taxes and costs, will earn a small amount of money.

Let’s start with the source, which is the Constitution. At Art. II, Section 1, it states as follows:

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

It scarcely needs to be said that Trump’s businesses, to the extent they provide him with money, do not constitute payments from either the federal government or the individual states. Incidentally, Trump, unlike any other president before him, donates every penny of his salary as president to charity or government agencies.

the real question, then, is whether hotel stays fall into the next part of the emoluments clause, the part that bars any person — including the president — “without the Consent of the Congress” from accepting “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” (Const. Art. I, Section 9.) Both history and constitutional analysis reveal that Indirect income from foreign nationals using Trump hotels does not fall into that category, since any monies are so diffuse they can only be incidental to Trump’s overall wealth.

But wait, there’s more, which I’ll quote from National Review article on the subject:

Trump’s opponents claim that every time, say, a foreign diplomat books a room in a Trump hotel or pays for a meal in a Trump restaurant, the Constitution is violated. They seek to force the president to sell off all his holdings and demand disclosure of his tax returns to track foreign payments.

Before assuming office, President Trump disposed of his publicly traded and liquid investments. He put his illiquid assets (e.g., hotels, golf courses, and commercial properties) into a trust. He further resigned from all official positions with the Trump Organization and turned over management of the businesses to his adult sons. None of this is enough for his enemies.

[snip]

the term “emolument” is not in our modern vocabularies. In his first inaugural address, George Washington used the term as synonymous with government salary when he refused “any share of the personal emoluments, which may be indispensably included in a permanent provision for the Executive Department.”

In Hoyt v. United States (1850), the U.S. Supreme Court defined emolument as “embracing every species of compensation or pecuniary profit derived from a discharge of the duties of the office.” Accordingly, President Trump argues that “emolument” must be understood as a prohibited benefit arising from the services a federal officer provides to a foreign power, either on account of his office (making a decision favorable to a foreign government for pay) or as an employee/agent of the foreign power. He further argues that the foreign-emoluments clause does not prohibit his companies from engaging in market transactions on the same terms as any other citizen or private business.

Early presidential practice supports the president’s interpretation. Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe all owned massive plantations and sold agricultural commodities in Europe. Undoubtedly, some of their customers were foreign governments, but no political opponent ever raised the specter that they were violating the foreign-emoluments clause.

‘Nuff said, I think.

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“He genuflects to murderous dictators.”

First, politics makes for some ugly bedfellows. For example, I loath the Saudis because they are violent, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, and anti-Christian, but they’ve also been our stalwart allies throughout the Cold War and after. (Also, I currently have hope that Prince Mohamed bin Salman will be an effective reformer and I appreciate that Saudi Arabia and Israel are discovering that life is better when they cooperate than when they don’t.)

Second, because I know Leonhardt’s statement refers to Kim Jong-un, the New York Times is effectively saying that the only way to deal with him is what’s been done before: insult him and then, when he rattles his saber, give him money. That, after all, is what Clinton, Bush, and Obama did — and every time, the North Korean saber grew bigger until a nuclear bomb practically landed in Trump’s lap. Trump is using a different tactic, which is to try and bring the Swiss-educated dictator back into the fold by offering him wealth, respect, and personal security instead of national poverty, world isolation, and the constant fear of being assassinated in the dog-eat-dog world of a total tyranny.

Third, people who live in Progressive houses shouldn’t throw stones. Exhibit A is Obama making nice with Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a man whom Obama described someone with whom he’d forged “bonds of trust.” Indeed, looking back, you really can’t blame Flynn for working with Erdogan given Obama’s liking for the man.

Exhibit B is Obama’s reverential bow before the Saudi King. Right now, the Progressives are gunning for the Saudis because they see the Saudis as a barrier to reinstatement of Obama’s Iran deal. Back in the day, though, Obama became the first American president ever to bow before a foreign monarch. It wasn’t a good look.

Exhibit C is Obama’s chumminess with Raul Castro, brother of Fidel. Cuba’s communist government is a dictatorship that has murdered, imprisoned, impoverished, and starved its people for over 60 years. I think we can call the Castro brothers murderous dictators — and yet, here we have a picture in which Obama looks like a puppet with the murderous Raul literally pulling his strings:

Exhibit D is Obama with Hugo Chavez, the man who, through socialism, started the rape of Venezuela. Under his and Maduro’s leadership, Venezuela went from one of the richest countries in Latin America, to one of the poorest, with people dying of starvation and disease — when they weren’t being murdered in the streets by their own government. It is a tragedy beyond comprehending, but Obama still managed a friendly smile and a handshake for this murderous dictator:

“He has alienated America’s closest allies.”

This is a matter of opinion. By “America’s closest allies,” I assume Leonhardt is referring to European leaders. But European leaders have not been acting like allies. They won’t pony up money for their own defense, they undermine American efforts to restrain Iran, and they provide succor for Islamists who murder Americans and Israelis. They liked Obama, who reflected their values, but they were routinely hostile to the country he led (never mind all the money from America that kept their soft socialism afloat for decades after WWII). With Trump in office, they’re no longer make any pretense of hiding their disdain for both our country and its duly elected president.

So no, Trump hasn’t alienated anyone. He’s simply revealed that European leaders resent America, no doubt because America had to rescue Europe twice and keep it afloat for the entirety of the Cold War. It made Europeans feel weak, so they responded, like trapped rats, by turning vicious. Trump’s presidency merely exposed what was there all along.

But what about other alliances? Do others like Trump? In a word, yes.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Trump get along extremely well.

Trump also gets along extremely well with India’s popular Prime Minister Modi, something the media has been at pains to hide. Just the other day, the media went out of its way to ignore a rally for Modi in Houston that attracted 50,000 people who greeted Trump with resounding cheers. I happen to like this earlier picture of the two leaders:

Trump also gets along extremely well with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyanu. Much as the media doesn’t like Israel, the reality is that Israel has been America’s friend through thick and thin for 60 years now. It is one of America’s most stable allies and, when it comes to technology, both military and civilian (oh, and medical), it is one of our most important allies.

When Trump visited Saudi Arabia, the respect accorded him was so great that, not only did his wife and daughter not cover themselves Saudi-style, but his daughter, Ivanka, had important meetings with high ranking Saudi officials:

Now that’s respect. I bet you all can think of other leaders I haven’t thought of.

“He lied to the American people about his company’s business dealings in Russia.”

Like the emoluments clause and the Russia conspiracy, this is one that the Democrats just won’t let die a natural, decent death. Putting aside Hillary’s profitable dealings with Russia (often at America’s expense), there was nothing nefarious in Trump’s business dealings with Russia before he went into politics.

A comprehensive IBT article details the Trump business interests in Russia. The main takeaways are that, during the Soviet era, Trump said it wasn’t profitable to do business in Russia; in 2008 Donald Trump Jr. puffed about Russian money; in 2015, before throwing his hat in the ring, Trump talked about building a Trump Tower in Moscow; and in 2013, Trump held the Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow.

Trump’s conduct was neither illegal or nefarious. The Democrats just gave it an evil gloss when paired with the imaginary Russia collusion accusation. Stripped of the heavy breathing, we get a hotelier who saw Russia as a good emerging market after the Soviet Union fell. End of story.

“He tells new lies virtually every week — about the economy, voter fraud, even the weather.”

The above statement offers a cognitive bias that’s impossible to overcome. Those who like Trump understand that he employs puffery, boasting, and New York style humor to make his points. Those who hate Trump are incapable of appreciating these things. As Salena Zito so perfectly said, “When he makes claims like this [i.e., using statistics from sources other than those that the Progressives prefer], the press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.”

In other words, although Leonhardt dresses this statement up as “fact,” it is actually an opinion — and one with which I disagree.

“He spends hours on end watching television and days on end staying at resorts.”

So what? Obama was a famously lazy president. Trump is a ferociously energetic president, who went to work within hours of his inauguration. He hardly sleeps and he churns out material constantly. So what if he watches TV? So what if he hangs out at his resort? Weren’t were told during the Obama presidency that it was racist to point out Obama’s endless rounds of golf? I guess it’s not racist to do so if the golfer is the wrong color (i.e., white).

There’s also the strong possibility that, when Leonhardt makes this claim, he’s still getting confused by the gorilla channel joke that so many in the media took seriously.

“He often declines to read briefing books or perform other basic functions of a president’s job.”

Again, this is opinion. I think it’s fairly obvious that Trump is an auditory learner, preferring to have people provide oral, rather than written, briefings. Regardless of how he’s getting the information, he’s achieved a great deal more than Obama ever did in terms of making the economy grow, lowering unemployment across all demographics, slimming the welfare roles, reinvigorating the military, and keeping his campaign promises, such as building the wall, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, cutting back on over-regulation, and so forth.

At the end of the day, the well-read Obama had a sluggish economy, record unemployment, unenforceable agreements on climate and with Iran, a weakened military, and a self-destructing Affordable Care Act.

In other words, it appears that Trump is doing just fine — and then some — when it comes knowing what’s going on and performing his “basic functions.”

“He has aides, as well as members of his own party in Congress, who mock him behind his back as unfit for office.”

The GOP loathes Trump. He’s a disrupter. Of course, they’re going to go after him.

Conservative voters understand that there’s a schism on the Republican side of the aisle, with Republicans divided unequally into a huge bollus of pro-Trumpers and a dwindling, constantly humiliated little cadre of NeverTrumpers facing off. Significantly, the NeverTrumper’s dwindling numbers are composed primarily of Washington insiders, since they had a good little sinecure whining about Progressive initiatives and Trump, by actually addressing the things about which they whined, is upsetting their apple cart. After all, if you’ve built your brand being the perpetual opposition, you lose money when there’s nothing left to oppose.

For this reason, it’s instructive to true conservatives to see that the NeverTrumpers are backing Democrat candidates even as Trump enacts the most conservative agenda since Reagan, or even before. In other words, Trump’s supporters fully understand that Trump is weeding out Big Government types, faux-conservatives, and do-nothings, and they greatly appreciate that he is doing this, both through his actions and merely by being Trump.

“He has repeatedly denigrated a deceased United States senator who was a war hero.”

McCain was a rat-weasel. The Left hated him right up until he got into a fight with Trump (with McCain throwing the first verbal punch). Then, suddenly, McCain became a saint-like figure who is worthy of such reverence that the rough-and-tumble of American politics no longer has meaning.

Read my paragraph immediately above about Trump haters and you’ll understand why conservatives appreciate that Trump took no guff from McCain. One can be a POW who survived horrible treatment, with all honor due for that fact, and still be a horrible human being with bad values and no decency.

“He insulted a Gold Star family — the survivors of American troops killed in action.”

Again, Trump is a counter-puncher and a dirty fighter. The Gold Star family insulted Trump, so he insulted them back.

For years, Republican politicians politely took it on the chin when they were savaged in the crudest, most vile terms. Funnily enough, that did not make Democrats respect them more.

No wonder, then, that conservatives and Republicans (who are not always the same group) thirsted for someone who would fight back. Trump does. He never throws the first punch, but he always finishes the fight good and hard.

“He described a former first lady, not long after she died, as “nasty.”

See my point above about Trump being a counter-puncher. Barbara Bush was a nasty woman. She was proud, strong, funny, loving, and . . . extraordinarily mean and vicious. When she attacked Trump, he never forgot and he called her out.

I don’t believe in de mortuis nil nisi bonum if the dead person was on record being vile to achieve political ends.

“He described white supremacists as ‘some very fine people.'”

The Democrats cannot let go of this hoax. It is an absolute certainty that Trump described as “some very fine people” only those people who showed up because they were disturbed about statues being torn down, something that has a very banana republic feel to it. Trump made absolutely clear only a couple of minutes later that he condemned absolutely the white supremacists who showed up as well:

very fine people hoax

If Trump weren’t a public figure, he would be able to sue every media outlet in America for defamation and win.

“He told four women of color, all citizens and members of Congress, to ‘go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came.’

First, although the tweet was taken as going to “the squad” of four new Democrat congresswoman, in fact Trump simply refers to “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen. I’ve always understood it to refer, primarily, to Ilhan Omar, who in fact comes from a broken country yet constantly denigrates America and, secondarily, to Rashida Tlaib, who may be from Michigan, but acts as if she comes from — and represents — an imaginary country called Palestine and also constantly denigrates America.

As for the other two in the squad — and, mind you, Trump does not refer to either “the squad,” AOC, or Pressley directly, or even the number four — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez plays up her Puerto Rican roots over her American upbringing and constantly denigrates America, while Rep. Ayanna Pressley is a hanger-on-er, whom nobody remembers most of the time.

Another problem with Leonhardt’s “fact” is that, whether Trump was talking to one, two, three, or four Progressive congress woman, he didn’t tell them to exile themselves from America. The fact is that Trump said that, if their political ideas are as great as they claim, the Progressive congresswoman should use them to fix their broken countries (Somalia and the imaginary Palestine). Then, having proved that their theories work, they can bring them back to America.

But don’t take my word for it. Read Trump’s tweets:

Fact: Trump didn’t say what Leonhardt accuses him of having said.

“He made a joke about Pocahontas during a ceremony honoring Native American World War II veterans.”

The Native Americans at that ceremony were not offended, merely confused. Had they not been confused, they still wouldn’t have been offended because the joke wasn’t about Pocahontas.

That is, Trump wasn’t insulting that fascinating and important historic figure. Instead, he was throwing in a cutting remark about a white woman who falsely claimed to be a Native American so she could take Ivy League jobs that were reserved for genuine minorities. Now that’s offensive.

“He launched his political career by falsely claiming that the first black president was not really American.”

Again, Leonhardt completely misstates (or maybe deliberately lies about) what Trump said. Contemporaneous reporting reveals that Trump took note of the fact that Obama’s birth certificate had become a cause célèbre because some people claimed that Obama was born in Kenya. Indeed, you can see where they might think that, because Obama’s literary agency stated that in an author’s bio in the 1990s, and it’s inconceivable that Obama didn’t provide the info, or at least know or approve of the bio as written:

With the debate raging across the country, Trump didn’t take sides. Instead, he insisted that Obama produce the birth certificate to quiet the debate, something that Obama, rather peculiarly, refused to do:

“I want him to show his birth certificate. I want him to show his birth certificate,” Trump shouted to the show’s five co-hosts. “There’s something on that birth certificate that he doesn’t like.”

Indeed, contrary to Leonhardt’s assertion, when it came to the question of Obama’s natal country, Trump held that he came from America (emphasis mine):

Trump, who was on the show to discuss his own potential presidential run in 2012, said he felt Obama was probably born in the U.S.

But the follicle-challenged “Apprentice” host argued the president has been reluctant to definitively prove his detractors wrong.

“I really believe there’s a birth certificate,” Trump said. “Why doesn’t he show his birth certificate? And you know what? I wish he would. I think it’s a terrible pale [sic] that’s hanging over him.”

So Leonhardt’s “fact” is a lie.

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“He launched his presidential campaign by describing Mexicans as “rapists.”

Once again, Leonhardt’s facts and actual facts diverge. What Trump said is that illegal immigration means that the raff and scaff who inhabit every country — in this case, with the country being Mexico — were crossing the borders. He also implied that Mexico wasn’t sad to see its worst citizens leave so that it could hang on to the good ones:

The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems.

Thank you. It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

It’s apparent that he’s saying that too many illegal immigrants are from the criminal class (think MS13 or Maryland rapists), while he acknowledges that other illegal immigrants are not criminals. That is most decidedly not the same as saying that all Mexicans are rapists.

As always, it’s hard to tell whether the collective Progressive media is so stupid it believes this crude misinterpretation or just too vicious to let a manifest falsehood go.

“He has described women, variously, as “a dog,” “a pig” and “horseface,” as well as “bleeding badly from a facelift” and having “blood coming out of her wherever.”

Yeah, these appellations were tacky. On the other hand, did I mention the thing about counter-punching and being the first conservative ever to hit back at the endless stream of lies and insults emanating from a Democrat-run media machine? If you insult Trump, he’ll come back at you twice as hard.

“He has been accused of sexual assault or misconduct by multiple women.”

Yes, he was accused — and every one of those accusers was a Democrat party operative or Hillary fanatic. Bias and context matter. I can accuse Leonhardt of being a big fat doody face, but that’s kind of meaningless once you learn that I’ve never actually met him although I dislike his politics.

All of these accusers vanished back into the woodwork immediately after the election, suggesting that their charges were both false and opportunistic. They were also a trial run for the attacks on Kavanaugh.

“He enthusiastically campaigned for a Senate candidate who was accused of molesting multiple teenage girls.”

Are you noticing a pattern here of Democrat women smearing Republican politicians with charges of sexual wrongdoing? This charge too appeared when Moore, who had been in politics for years, was threatening Democrat power and disappeared the instant he lost the election. There is no serious proof at all that Moore behaved criminally or inappropriately.

What happened in Alabama with Roy Moore was that Progressives (and some NeverTrumpers) used sleazy, unsubstantiated accusations to tar a political opponent. There were no videos, no confessions, no blue dresses. Instead, there were just old, stale charges from arguably quite unreliable sources. Rather than convincing me that Moore did something truly bad, my takeaway was that Moore was making the wrong people very nervous.

I think it’s also relevant that when the #MeToo movement finally went wild in Hollywood, it was stalwart Democrat men, not conservatives, who proved to have been bad actors.

“He waved around his arms, while giving a speech, to ridicule a physically disabled person.”

No, no, and no again. I won’t debunk this myself, but will instead direct you to another solid debunking.

Incidentally, it was Obama who made an explicitly derogatory remark about people with handicaps, for he once said his bowling was so bad he looked like someone in the Special Olympics. Ouch!

“He has encouraged his supporters to commit violence against his political opponents.”

Agreed. It was appalling when the president said “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun. Because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl.”

Oh, wait. That wasn’t Trump; that was Obama.

But it really was bad when Trump said of his political opponents, “They can come for a ride, but they gotta sit in the back.”

Oh, my! Wrong again. That was also Obama.

Still, Trump was really out of line when he talked about kicking people’s asses.

Boy, is my face red. That was Obama too.

Here’s what Trump has done and still does: Trump the counter-puncher counsels his supporters to counter-punch. If they hit you, don’t cower, he says. Hit back. He’s not big on turning the other cheek. Insult deserves insult and punch deserves punch.

I raised my kids the same way. I told them that they should never ever throw the first punch but, if someone punched them, they had the right to finish the fight. When the hyenas circle, the only way to survive is to show you’re alive and have fight in you.

“He has called for his opponents and critics to be investigated and jailed.”

Yeah, Trump has called for some of his opponents and critics to be investigated and, if found guilty, to be jailed, and was right to have done so. As report after report has come down in the last few months, it’s apparent that the Obama government operatives behaved badly during his administration (Hillary’s national security violations, Lois Lerner’s illegal use of the IRS as a partisan tool, Eric Holder’s illegal Fast and Furious operation, Biden’s potential use of financial extortion against Ukraine, to name just a few). Moreover, once Trump became the Republican candidate and after he was elected, first the Obama administration and then administration holdovers violated one law after another in a coup attempt against a duly elected president of the United States.

Trump is not engaging in a Lavrentiy “show me the man and I’ll find you the crime” Beria style witch hunt. Rather, he is saying that, to the extent there are laws on the books, and Democrats from Hillary on down blatantly and repeatedly violated those laws, they need to be brought to justice.

As I said, Trump is right to do this. If there’s one law for the Democrats and another law for everyone else in America (i.e., Democrats don’t even get indicted, while every Tom, Jane, and Joe Shmo ends up in jail), the rule of law in America is over. Instead, we are headed into true banana republic territory.

“He uses a phrase popular with dictators — “the enemy of the people” — to describe journalists.”

If we had real journalists, this might be offensive. But since we have a mainstream media that functions as a branch of the Democrat party. Rather than reporting facts, the media routinely works to destroy Republicans in ways that include revealing wartime secrets, trying to overthrow elections, and, lately, reporting every bit of gossip and garbage as if it’s real news — all in stark contrast to the groveling obeisance shown Obama.

Under these circumstances, Trump’s not far off the mark. The people elected Donald Trump and the media, by trying through unethical means to undo that election, are an enemy of the people.

“He attempts to undermine any independent source of information that he does not like, including judges, scientists, journalists, election officials, the F.B.I., the C.I.A., the Congressional Budget Office and the National Weather Service.”

The media and other Democrats can give it but they can’t take it. Trump has never used his presidential powers unethically to attack his political opponents and, yes, enemies. However, he does something that horrifies Democrats: He routinely, and loudly, calls out the bad actors. He calls out the partisan hacks. He calls out the dishonest brokers. He calls out the corrupt Deep Staters. He calls out those who falsify scientific records to achieve political ends.

Again, Americans have watched, appalled, as the administrative state has become a permanent self-serving entity, the members of which have nothing but disdain for Americans. Instead, these members of the perpetual bureaucratic class imagine some vast international brotherhood of bureaucrats and politicians, all controlling the little people for the little people’s own good and for the brotherhood’s enrichment. For me and people like me, it’s refreshing to see Trump calling them out and speaking the truth about their behavior.

Again, not a single one of these people Leonhardt names has been denied due process when/if their wrongdoing finally caught up with them. None have been tortured. Their families have not been “disappeared.” They haven’t languished in jail or been executed. Instead, Trump merely pointed to the things they did and said and then explained to the American people why these things were problems.

To which I say Bravo!

“He has tried to harass the chairman of the Federal Reserve into lowering interest rates.”

Don’t you love this language? Trump didn’t actually harass the chairmen of the Federal Reserve. Instead, “he tried to harass.” In other words, once again, Trump spoke. Ye, gads! The gall of the man.

“He said that a judge could not be objective because of his Mexican heritage.”

Yeah, I’m not going to go too far here to defend Trump, other than to say that what he did is a typical litigation tactic.

My bias is that I loathe judges, especially Democrat ones — and I’ve loathed them since I was a Democrat. With few exceptions, I learned when I worked as a litigator in San Francisco that Democrat judges tend to rule based upon their belly buttons, rather than the law. Back then, I didn’t realize it was a Democrat thing. I just knew I hated certain judges.

When I crossed the Rubicon and became a conservative, I went back and checked the bios on the rotten judges, at which time I learned that every last one was a Democrat. As for the few good judges, I am not exaggerating when I say that every last one was a Republican.

“He obstructed justice by trying to influence an investigation into his presidential campaign.”

When Mueller and his team, despite spending tens of millions of dollars and destroying several people both professionally and financially, could not find any evidence whatsoever that Trump worked with the Russians to win the White House, they threw a little poison pill in the report to give Democrats something to hold onto: Trump, they said, was kind of obnoxious during the investigation. They said this even though he gave them full access to everyone involved other than himself and handed over millions of pages of documents.

Mueller couldn’t deny how forthcoming Trump and his people were. Nevertheless, complained Mueller, Trump said mean things; discussed with his attorney whether he could end the investigation, after which he did nothing; and generally was not enthusiastic about being investigated by the same group of people whom he knew had created and published the false stories that led to the investigation in the first place. Other than rabid anti-Trumpers, of whom Leonhardt is one, people were not impressed.

“He violated federal law by directing his lawyer to pay $280,000 in hush money to cover up two apparent extramarital affairs.”

No, he did not violate federal law by directing his lawyer to pay $280,000 in hush money. It would have been a violation of federal law had Cohen used campaign funds to silence the women. However, he did not. Cohen used Trump’s own money, so there was no violation. Also, Trump consistently denies knowing about the payment at the time it was made, although he said he has since reimbursed Cohen for the money paid to Stormy Daniels.

Sordid? Yes. But the American people didn’t elect a saint. They elected a shaker, a mover, and a fighter.

“He made his fortune partly through wide-scale financial fraud.”

The headline of the linked story tells it all (emphasis mine): “Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father” In other words, we have no proof; we’re just guessing.

“He has refused to release his tax returns.”

So what? Last I looked, there was nothing in the Constitution or the federal statutes requiring someone to release his tax returns to prove his fitness for the presidency. Admittedly, there was no such thing as a tax return in 1783, but Congress could have amended the Constitution at any time after taxes became the bane of American life.

Producing tax returns has become a “thing” amongst presidential candidates in large part, I suspect, because they’re career politicians who’ve earned straight government salaries for decades. Producing tax returns is a reasonable way to prove that they weren’t augmenting their salaries with graft. Then, Hillary hit upon the idea of setting up a separate foundation for the graft, so her returns looked clean, thereby making ridiculous the whole exercise.

I applaud Trump for keeping a zone of privacy about himself. The last thing he needs is financially illiterate journalists and politicians leafing through his private financial information and drawing risible conclusions.

“He falsely accused his predecessor of wiretapping him.”

You can truthfully claim that Obama did not “wiretap” Trump if you’re a simplistic literalist and, by using the term wiretapping, you mean this:

However, if you understand that Trump meant that the Obama administration spied on him, Leonardt is the one who is lying. It’s all coming out now that, through fallacious applications to the FISA court, Obama’s security apparatus was able to obtain FISA warrants that were void from the get-go. Armed with those ill-gotten FISA warrants, Obama’s Deep Staters listened in on Trump and everyone connected to him.

If that doesn’t outrage you, you may have lost contact entirely with notions about free and fair elections, about the rule of law, about ethical law enforcement agencies, and about the clean and honest transfer of power in a republican democracy.

“He claimed that federal law-enforcement agents and prosecutors regularly fabricated evidence, thereby damaging the credibility of criminal investigations across the country.”

See the above. When it comes to actually supporting true law enforcement, nobody does it better than Trump. It was the Obama administration who, using Trayvon Martin and Ferguson as springboards, denigrated police across America and sparked a hot war between police and the people they try to keep safe. Trump calls out the bad actors with specificity, and throws his wholehearted support behind the myriad reputable, hard-working law-enforcement agents and prosecutors across America.

“He has ordered children to be physically separated from their parents.”

How heartless.  If only this wasn’t an Obama administration policy as well; if only illegal aliens crashing the border were not kidnapping children to claim as their own in order to get into the country; and if only men and children could be housed safely in a single detention facility.

This is one of those situations where there are tough choices that have to be made with the safety of the child in mind.  Crying about how heartless it is to separate the children is nothing but pure demagoguery that makes wonderful NYT press, but that actually endangers illegal alien children.

“He has suggested that America is no different from or better than Vladimir Putin’s Russia.”

This falls into the category of “How dare Trump repeat our talking points.” If you follow Leonhardt’s link, you’ll see that, when O’Reilly said Putin is a killer, Trump responded that America has killed. By making this statement, he perfectly parroted Progressive talking points about America being a warmongering destablizer around the world, a killer of black men within America, and an exploiter of brown people from its inception.

I also suspect that Trump was trolling Obama, the king of drone attacks that frequently targeted resulted in collateral civilian deaths.

“He has called America a ‘hellhole.’”

If you follow all the links to the LA Times to CBS, what you will find is a 2015 article where Trump did indeed refer to the America being created by Obama a “hell hole” and that Trump said he was thinking of running for the Presidency to “make America great again.”  A significant majority of the electoral college firmly agreed over a year later.

I also think Trump was again trolling the Democrats. If you’ve paid any attention to the Democrat presidential candidates this time around, you’ll see that they describe America in dystopian terms as an impoverished, violent, racist . . . hellhole. Trump long ago accepted the Democrats’ characterization of our once great nation and promised to reverse that damage.

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About Bookworm 1175 Articles
Bookworm came late to conservativism but embraced it with passion. She's been blogging since 2004 at Bookworm Room about anything that captures her fancy -- and that's usually politics. Her blog's motto is "Conservatives deal with facts and reach conclusions; liberals have conclusions and sell them as facts."