President Trump

Trump responds to CNN, says no First Amendment right to enter White House

Journalists have no First Amendment right to access the White House and CNN isn’t harmed by having reporter Jim Acosta barred from obtaining press credentials, the Justice Department said Wednesday, firing back at the cable network’s new lawsuit. CNN has 50 other journalists covering the White House and so the network isn’t punished by having one barred, the department said in a 28-page response filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. “No journalist has a First Amendment right to enter the White House,” the administration argued. The lawyers added: “The president is generally free to open the White House doors to political allies, in the hopes of furthering a particular agenda, and he is equally free to invite in only political foes, in the hopes of convincing them of his position. The First Amendment simply does not regulate these decisions. And the First Amendment does not impose stricter requirements when journalists, as a subset of the public, are granted or denied access to the White House.” The White House said Mr. Trump gave his personal blessing to strip Mr. Acosta’s pass last week after he verbally sparred with the president during a press conference, then got into an altercation with a White House intern. When the woman came to take the microphone from him, Mr. Acosta refused to give it back, using his hand to chop at the woman’s elbow as she tried to take control of the microphone. That contact has been widely debated. CNN downplayed it, while the White House said it was a physical assault on the woman, and used that as one justification for revoking Mr. Acosta’s press pass. The Justice Department said his conduct “disrupts press events and impedes other reporters from asking questions,” which officials said was “a more-than-sufficient reason for revoking his hard pass.” CNN counters that the move will produce a “chilling effect” in the media. Fox News, the Associated Press and other press outlets agreed, announcing Wednesday they will file friend-of-the-court briefs backing CNN. The Justice Department, though, pointed to a 2006 case involving a dispute between Maryland’s governor and the Baltimore Sun newspaper. A federal court in that case ruled the governor didn’t violate the First Amendment by ordering state employees not to speak with two reporters from the paper. “In reaching that conclusion, the court explained that providing ‘relatively less information’ to one reporter was permissible, even when done ‘on account of [that journalist’s] reporting,’” the lawyers argued.

The lawsuit filed in federal court by CNN against the White House for stripping Jim Acosta of his “hard pass” is beyond ridiculous.  The very notion that his First Amendment rights were somehow violated is silly.  As a refresher…  The First Amendment to the Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  The key words are “Congress shall make no law..”  Nowhere in there does it say the White House, or the President, or the Executive Branch may not prohibit a member of the press from going into the White House.  Nowhere.  Previous administrations have revoked “hard passes” for all sorts of reasons.  But, of course..this is Trump.  So, suddenly its “unheard of” or an “assault on the press” and other such ridiculous nonsense put out there by CNN, MSNBC, and other members of the dominantly liberal mainstream media.  We’re disappointed to see Fox News jump on the band wagon.  Jim is a self-serving, grand-standing, obnoxious tool who makes his broadcasts all about himself; not the president he’s supposed to be covering.  Historically, the President calls on reporters and answers questions.  Not Jim.  He likes to be combative with Trump.  And, he’s very open about it.  He’ll say, “I’m gonna challenge you on…”  That’s not his role.  It’s simply to report along with the rest of the press “pool”..and if given the opportunity to actually ask the president a question, the he should ask, then sit his ass down and pass the microphone to the next reporter…and allow the president to answer.  By the way.. The president is NOT obligated to have such Q & As with the press.  And, the whole incident with Jim getting physical with the poor White House intern just trying to do her job was the final straw for a White House press office that has endured Jim’s nonsense for far too long.  So, he had his hard pass rejected…and deservedly so.  Let’s hope the courts slap CNN down for this ridiculous lawsuit.

Trump looks to reshape liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

While much of the nation is focused on the health of ailing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President Trump’s more immediate and unending concern is the notoriously liberal U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. “Everything goes to the 9th Circuit,” Mr. Trump complained Friday in a bit of hyperbole. “Everything.” Senate Republicans’ padding of their majority in the midterm elections will allow Mr. Trump to move forward with his goal of reshaping the 9th Circuit, as part of his record-setting push to put more conservative judges on circuit courts. The Senate Judiciary Committee will take up five more of Mr. Trump’s judicial nominees Tuesday, including one appeals court judge. The 9th Circuit’s actions on a single day last week illustrated why Mr. Trump wants to change the ideological makeup of the sprawling appeals court, which covers nine Western states and two territories. A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit ruled on Thursday that Mr. Trump cannot stop an Obama administration program that protects young immigrants living in the U.S. illegally from deportation. On the same day, a federal district judge in Montana — part of the 9th Circuit — blocked construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, saying the Trump administration ignored the project’s impact on climate change. The judge, Brian Morris, is an Obama appointee. Mr. Trump signed an executive order on his second day in office approving the Keystone pipeline, which had been blocked by President Obama. The energy project became a symbol of Mr. Trump’s “America First” economic resurgence. “It was a political decision made by a judge,” Mr. Trump lamented Friday. “I think it’s a disgrace. It’s 48,000 jobs. I approved it; it’s ready to start.” He knows where the case is headed in the appeals pipeline. “I guess they’ll end up going to the 9th Circuit, as usual,” Mr. Trump said pessimistically. The appeals court, based in San Francisco, is authorized for 29 judges, and it has six vacancies. Of the 23 current judges, 16 were appointed by Democrats and seven by Republicans. That means if Mr. Trump fills all the vacancies, the 9th Circuit’s balance would be 16 Democratic appointees and 13 Republican — not a flip in ideology, but closer to partisan parity. The president has three nominations pending. “We’re slowly putting new judges in the 9th Circuit,” the president said.

Indeed..  And, with a few pickups in the Senate for the GOP, Trump can start putting a little more conservative nominees forward for a vote to confirm.  For more, click on the text above.    🙂

CNN’s Jim Acosta has press pass suspended by White House, Sarah Sanders announces

CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass to access the White House was suspended “until further notice” Wednesday, hours after he engaged in a contentious back-and-forth with President Trump. “I’ve just been denied entrance to the WH,” Acosta tweeted Wednesday night. “Secret Service just informed me I cannot enter the WH grounds for my 8pm hit.” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed Acosta’s tweet in a statement, claiming the suspension of his press credentials stemmed from his “placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern.” She called the behavior “absolutely unacceptable.” The CNN reporter, during a news conference at the White House earlier Wednesday, got into a heated debate with Trump after he asked the president about the migrant caravan. Trump told Acosta to let him do his job. “Honestly, I think you should let me run the country and you run CNN,” the president said. The reporter tried to ask him another question before a female White House aide walked over to him. Trump then told him, “That’s enough!” Acosta continued to try to talk as the intern was seen trying to take the microphone from his hand. She grabbed the microphone but Acosta wouldn’t give it up and there was brief contact between the two. Sanders in a statement — which Acosta later labeled “a lie” — said that “President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration. We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern..” “Contrary to CNN’s assertions, there is no greater demonstration of the President’s support for a free press than the event he held today. Only they would attack the President for not being supportive of a free press in the midst of him taking 68 questions from 35 different reporters over the course of an hour and a half — including several from the reporter in question,” Sanders said. “The fact that CNN is proud of the way their employee behaved is not only disgusting, it is an example of their outrageous disregard for everyone, including young women, who work in this Administration,” she added.

If you’ve not seen the video in question, watch it. Jim Acosta is an obnoxious, self-serving, elitist, grandstanding tool.  When he questions the President, it’s really all about him.  And, the way he acted toward the young female intern who was just trying to do her job, shows how arrogant he is.  What a nauseating tool…  And, for CNN to stand up for that prick, tells you everything you need to know about CNN.  It is what it is; agenda-driven fake news.  And they wonder why their ratings are in the toilet…  And for all of these liberal reporters and news organizations to wring their hands about the 1st Amendment, and the rights of the media?  Really?  Gimme a break..  Just you’re in the media doesn’t mean you have a right to question the president.  He gets to choose who asks him questions, and who is allowed at White House press events.  That’s always the way its been.  And, President Trump is notorious for marathon question and answer sessions with the press.  So, their whining is more fake news and bs.  Kudos to Fox News’ Chris Wallace for calling what Jim did “shameful.”  Exactly..  For more, click on the text above.

Trump chides reporter for ‘racist’ question: ‘So insulting to me’

President Trump said Wednesday that a reporter’s question about whether he foments white nationalism was a “racist” question. “To say that is so insulting to me,” Mr. Trump told a NPR NewsHour reporter Yamiche Alcindo during a a press conference at the White House. She had questioned Mr. Trump about whether his calling himself a nationalist was a dog whistle for white nationalists, an often repeated charge in the news media. She said using the word makes people think the Republican Party is aligned with white nationalists. “That’s such a racist question,” responded the president, who noted his high approval rating among black Americans. Mr. Trump said there as no connection between nationalism and white nationalism. “You know what the word is, I love our country,” Mr. Trump said.

Isn’t it great seeing a president actually punch back against these obnoxious, race-baiting liberal reporters trying to gin up fake news?  Excellent!!      🙂

Trump turns tables, scores wins over Russia

President Trump’s often-criticized effort to forge better relations with Russia has morphed into a confrontational stance that this week scored economic and national security wins. German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that her government is backing construction of a shipping depot for importing liquefied natural gas from the U.S., bowing to Mr. Trump’s demand that she loosen Russia’s grip on the country’s energy supply. Mr. Trump then went directly after Moscow. He announced that the U.S. was pulling out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty that for the past 31 years limited the development and deployment of missile or launch systems that can threaten Russia’s European neighbors. The president accused Russia of violating the missile system ban for years and, to the Kremlin’s dismay, vowed to force an expensive new arms race. Russian President Vladimir Putin was riled. At a meeting Tuesday in Moscow with National Security Adviser John R. Bolton, Mr. Putin described the developments as “unprovoked moves that are hard to call friendly.” He said a face-to-face meeting with Mr. Trump was in order. Later, Mr. Trump said he is willing to sit down with Mr. Putin when the two men are in Paris next month for events marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. “It hasn’t been set up yet, but we probably will” meet, Mr. Trump said at the White House. When he last faced off with Mr. Putin at a July summit in Helsinki, Mr. Trump was roundly criticized for being too soft and timidly accepting the Russian’s denial that his country meddled in the 2016 presidential election. In Paris, Mr. Putin might be looking to reset the relationship. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Edward R. Royce told The Washington Times that he welcomed the advances against Russia, saying the LNG terminal would help make Germany “less vulnerable to Russian manipulation.” The California Republican backed up Mr. Trump on quitting the nuclear missile treaty. “The Russians have been violating INF for years, making this deal unsustainable. We need durable arms control agreements,” he said. Russia’s violations of the missile system ban go back 10 years, with allegations of cheating leveled by the Obama administration and European leaders.

More winning!!  For more, click on the text above.     🙂

Trump signs sweeping opioids bill, says effort will make ‘big dent’ in deadly crisis

President Trump signed a mammoth opioids bill Wednesday designed to expand treatment options, fund nonaddictive painkillers and stop the flow of deadly synthetic drugs from abroad, calling it a critical piece of ongoing efforts to put a “big dent” in the crisis. The president offered handshakes all around after signing the bill in the ornate East Room of the White House, handing his pen to House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden, who steered the effort on his side of the Capitol. A bipartisan effort, the bill cleared both chambers by wide margins and offered a respite from partisan bickering over the Supreme Court and midterm contests. It also came hours after authorities intercepted mailed pipe bombs targeting CNN and past and present Democratic leaders. Mr. Trump told addiction survivors, law enforcement and other guests the bill capped “historic” efforts he’s taken in the last year to rein in the drug overdose epidemic, which killed a record 70,000 people in 2017. He cited indictments of Chinese nationals suspected of trafficking fentanyl, the launch of a Just Say No-style campaign against opioid use and a crackdown on doctors who wrote fraudulent prescriptions for opioids. And officials from a series of private companies, from Amazon to Facebook, shook hands with Mr. Trump while a narrator listed their efforts to combat addiction. “You won’t see the results immediately, but you’ll see the results in the future, and the very quick future,” Mr. Trump said. Dozens of lawmakers from both parties contributed to the legislative effort, which lifts cap on Medicaid funding for drug treatment, extends help to addicted mothers and empowers package inspectors to root out deadly fentanyl from China. Yet only one Democrat — Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire — was on hand for the signing, which comes less than two weeks before Election Day. A key part of the bill, the STOP Act, forces the U.S. Postal Service to collect advanced electronic data on packages entering the U.S. Private couriers such as UPS and FedEx already procure advanced data, which U.S. Customs and Border Protection uses to target suspicious packages that might contain fentanyl from clandestine labs in China and elsewhere. All packages from China, and 70 percent of the overall flow, must have the information available by the end of this year, and 100 percent global compliance is due by 2021. “This should cut down, almost immediately, the suspicious packages coming in from places like Mexico and China that contain illicit opioids like fentanyl,” White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway said. Officials say fentanyl has become the number-one killer in the drug-overdose crisis.

Opinion/Analysis: What Trump needs to do now with Saudi Arabia

If, as appears increasingly likely, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, then he has joined Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un among the ranks of rogue leaders who assassinate their critics on foreign soil. The only difference is that the Russian president and North Korean leader weren’t reckless and stupid enough to kill their opponents inside their own consulates. The disappearance of Khashoggi, a Post contributing columnist, is a horrific crime. His loss will be felt deeply for those who cherish freedom of expression and believe that all people, including those in the Arab world, deserve to be free. Khashoggi’s disappearance is also a betrayal of President Trump. Upon taking office, Trump made Saudi Arabia his first foreign trip and put his new administration’s reputation and prestige behind the crown prince and his reforms. The crown prince, or MBS, as he is widely known, has possibly repaid those efforts by brutally killing a permanent U.S. resident. His betrayal has now put Trump in an impossible bind. The president must now find a way to reconcile three sets of irreconcilable facts: Fact No. 1: The United States can’t simply ignore or sweep Khashoggi’s death under the table. Even if Trump wants to do so, Congress won’t let him — nor should it. There must be consequences. Fact No. 2: MBS is not going anywhere. Saudi Arabia is a monarchy. He is the son of the king. He has spent the past few years systematically eliminating his rivals and consolidating power. The idea that a new leader is going to emerge to replace him is not realistic. And if, by chance, such a leader did emerge, it would likely be someone who wants to roll back the crown prince’s efforts to rein in the religious establishment, clean up corruption and open up Saudi society. Be careful what you wish for. Fact No. 3: We need Saudi Arabia, less as a source of oil — the fracking revolution has dramatically expanded our energy independence — than as a counterweight to Iran, which is the main strategic menace to U.S. interests in the region. Saudi Arabia is our most important ally in countering that threat. No other country in the Middle East can play that role. A permanent breach with Saudi Arabia is not an acceptable outcome. How does Trump reconcile these three irreconcilable realities? The answer is: He can’t. The result is going to be unpleasant and unsatisfying. Many Democrats taking shots at the president as he tries to figure out a path forward need to check their hypocrisy. As my American Enterprise Institute colleague Danielle Pletka pointed out, “if you can’t restrain yourself from blaming Trump, spare a moment to blame [President Barack] Obama for the war in Syria,” where more than 470,000 men, women and children have died while the United States has stood by and done nothing. If you had a role in Middle East policy in the past eight years, that finger you are pointing at the Trump administration has blood dripping off it. So, what is going to happen? While we do need Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia also needs us. Trump said that he has told King Salman that Saudi Arabia would not last “two weeks” without U.S. military support. He’s right. We saved the Saudis from Saddam Hussein’s aggression and now protect them from Iran’s. Moreover, the United States has other leverage. Trump should make clear that Saudi Arabia’s actions have squandered the once bipartisan support in Congress for the kingdom — and that, unlike Saudi Arabia, the United States is not a monarchy. Congress has a say in our Middle East policy. It can impose costs on Saudi Arabia, by blocking military aid and arms sales. A bipartisan group of senators sent a letter to Trump calling for an investigation under the Magnitsky Act — a U.S. law that mandates sanctions, including travel restrictions and freezing assets, of foreign individuals who have committed gross violations of human rights. Magnitsky sanctions would have real teeth, because members of the royal family love to travel outside the Arabian Peninsula, where they can do things they cannot do at home. If MBS wants to avoid a rupture in relations, then he must accept responsibility and make restitution. He must acknowledge that he understands the gravity of this mistake — that he has made Saudi Arabia an international pariah, and is willing to do what is necessary to dig himself out of that hole through steps such as the release of political prisoners. And he must commit to stopping this kind of brutal behavior. Because his professed desire to modernize Saudi Arabia is incompatible with the medieval horrors that apparently took place in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Agreed, and well said, Marc.  Author Marc Thiessen is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).