He's been remarkably consistent in his advocacy of a police state targeting Muslims.
Tim MurphySep. 19, 2016 3:39 PM
Donald Trump used the weekend bombings in New York and New Jersey to amp up his call for profiling of Muslims. "You know, our police are amazing—our local police, they know who a lot of these people are," Trump said in a Monday appearance on Fox & Friends, referring to terrorists. But, he said, "they're afraid to do anything about it because they don't want to be accused of profiling, and they don't want to be accused of all sorts of things."
Only a few days after picking up the endorsement of the nation's largest police union, Trump was, without evidence, making an incendiary accusation about some of his most important supporters—that police are knowingly letting terrorists walk free because they're too politically correct. (In reality, the Elizabeth, New Jersey, police department that apprehended the alleged bomber was not familiar with the suspect, although the family's chicken shop had received noise complaints.)
Just as notable is what Trump proposed instead. As an example of what more effective policing would look like, the Republican presidential nominee pointed to Israel. "You know, in Israel they profile," he said. "They've done an unbelievable job, as good as you can do." If a person looks suspicious in Israel, "they will take that person in." He added, "They're trying to be politically correct in our country and this is only going to get worse."
There are many components to Israeli-style profiling, but a key aspect is racial profiling. Being of "Arab nationality" is enough to get you flagged by screeners, interrogated, and maybe strip-searched at an Israeli airport. The US State Department's travel advisory page for Israel even includes a warning about the country's racial profiling: "Some U.S. citizens of Arab or Muslim heritage have experienced significant difficulties and unequal and hostile treatment at Israel's borders and checkpoints." Case in point: Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, who is of Lebanese descent, was detained and interrogated at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport in 2010, despite having just returned from a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Trump, for his part, has previously made clear that he's interested in profiling Muslims specifically. "We're going to have to do things that we never did before," he told Yahoo News in November when asked if he'd consider warrantless wiretapping of American Muslims. He added, "We're going to have to do things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago." In that same interview, he declined to rule out creating a database of Muslims in the United States and suggested the government should conduct more surveillance of mosques. He proposed hiring ex-New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, whose department's "Demographics Unit" spied on select "ancestries of interest" and even infiltrated a Muslim Students Association rafting trip. (For its years of work, Kelly's Demographics Unit produced a total of zero terrorism indictments and was ultimately shut down as a result of a lawsuit.) Trump even entertained the idea that the government could shut down mosques.
A few weeks later, Trump took his religious profiling several giant steps further, unveiling his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States. Trump has never clarified how such a ban would be enforced, but it would by definition entail wide-scale profiling by customs officials. That proposal is still posted on his website. Trump revisited the subject in June, after the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando. "I think profiling is something that we're going to have to start thinking about as a country," he said, invoking Israel as an example of a successful program. He has repeatedly cited racial profiling—or fear of being accused of racial profiling—in his discussion of the shooters in the 2015 San Bernardino attack, alleging that neighbors of the couple had seen bombs scattered across the floor but not done anything. This was, again, baseless; there is no evidence that anyone ever saw the bombs.
Trump's positions on many issues have fluctuated wildly. But his solution to threats against Americans has been uncharacteristically consistent, if alarming to many observers: an expanded, unconstitutional police state targeting a religious minority.
For a few minutes Friday afternoon in New Paltz, New York, it felt like old times for Bernie Sanders. Looking out over a sea of college students in Bernie t-shirts and Bernie buttons and a very uncomfortable looking Bernie onesie, the Vermont senator ran through the issues that had fueled his strong showing upstate during New York's March primary: fracking, oligarchy, inequality.
But this time, Sanders was on a different mission—to elect Zephyr Teachout to Congress in the state's 19th district. National Democrats consider the swing district held by the retiring GOP Rep. Chris Gibson one of their most important pickup opportunities, critical to their hopes of retaking the House, and Sanders was effusive in his praise of law professor and campaign finance crusader he has described as a leading light of his "political revolution." Of the 435 members of the House, he said, Teachout was poised to be "the most outstanding" of the bunch—"a leader at a time when we need leaders." When the crowd started into one last chant of "Ber-nie!" the senator interrupted, determined to pass the torch. "Thank you," he said, "but that 'Ber-NIE'! has now got to be directed to 'Ze-PHYR!'"
Sanders has been mostly quiet since the chaotic Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, when hundreds of his supporters walked out of the arena after he ceded the nomination to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. But the Vermont independent had pledged to "vigorously" campaign for Clinton and downballot Democrats this fall and launched his own political non-profit to further the goals of his "revolution." Now, with less than two months to go until election day, Sanders is getting off the bench—and Democrats could really use the help.
After campaigning with Teachout, Sanders boarded a plane to Pittsburgh, where he was set to stump for Katie McGinty, the Democratic nominee for Senate in Pennsylvania. (Joining Sanders in Steel City: Braddock, Pennsylvania, mayor John Fetterman, a Sanders backer who lost to McGinty in the primary.) Then he has a busy weekend of rallies and organizing events planned for Ohio, where he and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are crisscrossing the state to campaign for Clinton, hitting the cities and college campuses where Sanders performed best in the March primary. After trailing for months, Trump has led the last three polls in Ohio and now leads in the Real Clear Politics average in the state.
Sanders' campaign tour comes at a time when a significant portion of his supporters are still unsure who to vote for. According to a New York Times/CBS News poll released on Thursday, 36 percent of voters under the age of 30 are supporting third-party candidates. Ten percent of those voters are backing Green Party nominee Jill Stein, who has made a show of appealing to disaffected Sanders supporters and has earned the backing of a handful of Democratic National Convention delegates. In July, Stein even offered to give Sanders a spot on the Green Party ticket if he would drop out of the Democratic race to join the third-party.
The 44-year-old Teachout, a Fordham University Law School professor and former Howard Dean staffer who has written a book about political corruption, was one of a handful of House candidates who Sanders endorsed during the primaries. Two years ago she ran for governor in the Democratic primary against the incumbent Andrew Cuomo and won 32 of 62 counties despite minimal funding and zero establishment support. Her unlikely success, and her unabashedly progressive platform, foreshadowed Sanders' long-shot campaign this spring.
Although Clinton should win New York's electoral votes easily, Teachout's Hudson Valley district—infused with a Vermont-ish mix of family farmers, college students, and old-school hippies—is emblematic of the kind of place in swing districts and purple states where Sanders' word carries the most weight. A local string band called Yard Sale, which described itself as "local and organic," performed on a stage fashioned from a shipping container for the crowd compromised largely of students from the nearby State University of New York at New Paltz. "We're gonna reach out/ for Teachout/ everybody/ join along," a band member sang.
Sanders couched his support in personal terms, citing a meeting he and Teachout had attended years ago opposing the North American Free Trade Agreement and calling Teachout's House race the clearest battle on the map between the "oligarchy" and the progressive left. (Teachout has challenged the billionaire hedge-funder Paul Singer, a backer of her Republican opponent John Faso—a former fracking pipeline lobbyist—to a debate.) When it was Teachout's turn, she addressed the audience, many of whom were hearing her speak for the first time, in a language that sounded familiar. She railed against the "hedge fund billionaires," such as Singer, funding a super-PAC in support of her opponent, and asked her supporters if they knew what her average donation was—a staple of Sanders stump speeches. "Nineteen dollars!" came the response.
But there were plenty of reminders of the challenges facing Sanders as he tries to herd his coalition into the Democratic tent. Perhaps wary of resurrecting old wounds (the Vermont senator was jeered when he called for party unity at a delegate meeting in Philly) neither candidate mentioned the name at the top of the Democratic ticket, and Sanders alluded to Trump only in passing.
Safiyyah Alston, a sophomore at SUNY-Ulster with a Three Bernie Moon t-shirt and flowers in her hair, told me she still just wanted to see Sanders on the ballot. "I support him now!" she said. "If he jumped in the race I'd support him." But she was still trying to get to yes with Clinton. Lorraine Vigoriti, another Bernie backer in a t-shirt that read "#ForeverBernie" with a drawing of a forlorn looking senator walking into the distance, told me it was "Jill or nobody." Why nobody? She was worried that if she so much as cast a vote it would be "stolen" by Clinton supporters at the polling location and converted into a Hillary vote; better to just stay home.
As organizers took apart the stage and wrangled attendees for volunteering shifts toward Teachout's goal of 70,000 door-knocks, I found 21-year-old Oscar Salazar in a onesie covered in photos of Bernie's smiling face. He had driven up from Westchester County, determined to travel "wherever Bernie speaks or wherever the Pokemon take me," he said. Salazar had backed Sanders during the primary, of course, and was now leaning toward Stein in the general election. "I'm tired of voting for the lesser of two evils," he said, although this was the first year he'd ever voted. Still, the primary hadn't soured him on Democrats entirely. He liked what he'd heard from Teachout—now he was planning to phone-bank for her.
On Thursday night Donald Trump spokesman Jason Miller sent out a statement declaring that the Republican presidential nominee believes President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Miller's statement credited Trump with heroically pushing Obama to release his long-form birth certificate in 2011, putting an end to a "vicious and conniving" smear first crafted by Hillary Clinton in 2008.
Here's the statement:
Hillary Clinton's campaign first raised this issue to smear then-candidate Barack Obama in her very nasty, failed 2008 campaign for President. This type of vicious and conniving behavior is straight from the Clinton Playbook. As usual, however, Hillary Clinton was too weak to get an answer. Even the MSNBC show Morning Joe admits that it was Clinton's henchmen who first raised this issue, not Donald J. Trump.
In 2011, Mr. Trump was finally able to bring this ugly incident to its conclusion by successfully compelling President Obama to release his birth certificate. Mr. Trump did a great service to the President and the country by bringing closure to the issue that Hillary Clinton and her team first raised. Inarguably, Donald J. Trump is a closer. Having successfully obtained President Obama's birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States.
Except that's not true. Indeed, virtually every line of the statement is a lie.
Hillary Clinton did not allege that the president was born in Kenya. Trump did not compel Obama to release his birth certificate "when others had not"—Obama had already released a copy of his birth certificate, but critics, including Trump, believed it to be a fake. So Obama released a longer birth certificate in 2011—but that release did not bring "closure" to the issue.Instead, Trump called it a forgery, citing "Israeli science," and announced that he was sending a team of investigators to Hawaii to uncover the truth. He suggested that a Hawaiian health official who knew of the cover-up had died in suspicious circumstances.
How amazing, the State Health Director who verified copies of Obama's “birth certificate” died in plane crash today. All others lived
Donald Trump Jr.'s position on women and diapers is in keeping with the view held by his father, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. In a 2005 interview unearthed by BuzzFeed, the senior Trump told radio hosts Opie and Anthony that he doesn't change diapers because it's a woman's responsibility. "There's a lot of women out there that demand that the husband act like the wife, and you know, there's a lot of husbands that listen to that," he said. But not Trump.
In a later interview with Howard Stern, Trump emphasized that his wife, Melania, is responsible for all childcare: "She takes care of the baby and I pay all of the costs."
But the most telling Donald Trump Jr. came a year after the one above:
At dinner w our greenskeeper who missed his sister's wedding 2 work (luv loyalty 2 us) "No big deal hopefully she'll have another someday";)
Clinton opened herself up to attack with her "deplorables" comment, but not this attack.
Tim MurphySep. 15, 2016 4:22 PM
Donald Trump dropped by the Waldorf Astoria in Midtown Manhattan on Thursday to outline his economic proposals to a roomful of New York businessmen. Most of it you've heard before: He'll cut corporate taxes and pay for it by renegotiating trade deals and demanding that foreign countries like Japan and South Korea reimburse 100 percent of the cost of stationing American troops there. ("They don't pay us! I say, 'Why? Because we don't ask!'")
But Trump also took some time to disparage his opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for heaping "scorn and disdain" on tens of millions of Americans. Trump was referring to Clinton's comments last Friday, at a fundraiser just a few miles away hosted by Barbra Streisand, when Clinton said half of Trump's supporters were "irredeemable" on account of their racist, sexist, or homophobic views. (This was all a way of saying—if you've been living under a rock—that those voters were a "basket of deplorables" she had no shot at winning.)
Clinton has received a good deal of blowback for those comments. But speaking to an almost entirely white room on Thursday, Trump ripped into Clinton in a way that severely distorted her comments.
"My opponent described tens of millions of American citizens as deplorable and irredeemable," he said. "How can Hillary Clinton seek to lead this country when she considers its citizens beyond redemption? The hardworking people she calls deplorable are the most admirable people I know. They are cops and soldiers, teachers and firefighters, young and old, moms and dads, blacks, whites, and Latinos. But above everything else, they are all American. They love their families, they love their country, and they want a better future."
Trump on Clinton: "The hard working people she calls deplorables are the most admirable people I know." https://t.co/qhf20TjJIL
Except Clinton wasn't referring to black and Latino voters as "deplorables." She was referring to people who don't like black and Latino voters as deplorable. It's a difficult dance: Trump is trying to deflect his campaign's documented embrace of white nationalist supporters and the like—his campaign CEO ran a website that has a "black crime" vertical—by recasting Clinton's criticism of such bigotry as bigoted.
Trump, one day removed from a visit to Flint, Michigan—and just a few hours after disparaging the pastor who had welcomed him to her church—used the embattled city as both a cautionary tale and a punch line. Telling the affluent attendees of Thursday's event that he "spent a lot of time in the city of Flint," he pivoted to a discussion of Ford's announcement Wednesday that it was moving much of its small-car manufacturing from Michigan to Mexico.
"It used to be cars were made in Flint and you couldn't drink the water in Mexico," Trump said. "Now cars are made in Mexico and you couldn't drink the water in Flint."
After the speech, as he was interviewed onstage by the hedge fund titan John Paulson, Trump returned to the idea of political correctness he had attacked earlier. PC thinking was ruining America, he said. "People are afraid to walk, they're afraid to talk, they can't speak," he said. It's deplorable.