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Main article: Trump

Trump Gave Pope Francis A Copy Of MLK Jr. Writings And The Irony Was Almost Too Much

President Donald Trump met with Pope Francis for the first time on Wednesday, and, as customary for visits between dignitaries, the two men exchanged gifts.

In a not-so-subtle nod to Trump’s shaky track record on environmental issues, Francis gave the U.S. president a copy of his 2015 encyclical on the environment, “Laudato Si.

As his offering, Trump saw fit to present the pontiff with a first-edition set of writings by Martin Luther King Jr.

In some ways, the gesture was fitting. Francis spoke about King’s civil rights legacy during his address to Congress in 2015, and he frequently preaches on topics like nonviolence and the perils of capitalism, which were also close to King’s heart.

But Trump’s gift was filled with irony. The White House claimed the gift “honors Dr. King’s hope, vision, and inspiration for generations to come.” Whether Trump, himself, honors King’s message is a question many have pondered.

For one, Trump has had a troubling way of talking about black people over the years.

“I have a great relationship with the blacks,” he said in April 2011. “I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.”

In his years as a casino mogul, Trump allegedly disparaged his black employees as “lazy” in vividly bigoted terms, according to a 1991 book by John O’Donnell, a former president of Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino.

“I think the guy is lazy,” Trump said of a black employee, according to O’Donnell. “And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.”

Trump was also a leading proponent of “birtherism,” the racist conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States and was thus an illegitimate president. Trump claimed in 2011 to have sent people to Hawaii to investigate whether Obama was really born there. He insisted at the time that the researchers “cannot believe what they are finding.”

Two months before the election, Trump finally acknowledged that Obama was indeed born in the United States.

After his presidential win, Trump also consistently sidestepped opportunities to renounce white nationalist and former KKK leader David Duke, who told his radio audience that voting for any candidate other than Trump would be “treason to your heritage.”

When asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper if he would condemn Duke and say he didn’t want a vote from him or any other white supremacists, Trump claimed that he didn’t know anything about white supremacists or about Duke. When Tapper pressed him twice more, Trump said he couldn’t condemn a group he hadn’t yet researched.

The president has also surrounded himself with a number of advisors and cabinet picks who have a history of prejudice. He replaced former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the first African-American woman to hold the position, with Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), a conservative, white, Republican senator from Alabama with a history of racially insensitive comments.

To kick off Black History Month in February, Trump hosted a “conversation” at the White House and managed to make part of the discussion mostly about himself.

In his remarks, the president also seemed a little shaky on his history when he referred to Frederick Douglass ― a man who escaped slavery to become an acclaimed author, abolitionist and civil rights activist ― as “an example of somebody who has done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice.”

Whether Trump fully grasps the struggles and achievements of black Americans like King enough to bestow his writings on the pope is a question many Twitter users were pondering on Wednesday:

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may 25 17, 00:35
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Donald Trump Finally Met His Match In The Handshake Stakes

There’s a certain art to dealing with a Donald Trump handshake.

And Tajikistan’s strongman president, Emomali Rahmon, appears to have gotten it down to a tee.

The authoritarian ruler didn’t let the U.S president’s reputation as a fierce hand-grabber faze him when the pair met at a summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday.

In fact, he had the upper hand — as this viral clip shows:

Perhaps Rahmon analyzed footage of Trump’s February meeting with Japan’s prime minster Shinzō Abe to see how it shouldn’t be done:

Or maybe he studied Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s technique


Or he  might have just read HuffPost’s piece on how to defend yourself from a Trump-style handshake.

Here’s how Twitter users responded to Rahmon’s handshake encounter:

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may 24 17, 12:40
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Even In Saudi Arabia, Donald Trump Will Still Get His Steak With Ketchup

President Donald Trump’s love of eating well-done steak with lashings of ketchup is well-documented (and often maligned).

So much so that the caterers preparing the official meals during his upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia are reportedly planning to include it on the menu.

They will offer Trump his preferred dish alongside traditional local cuisine such as lamb and rice, according to The Associated Press. It is “part of a worldwide effort to accommodate America’s homebody president,” the news agency notes.

Twitter users seemed to be incredulous when they heard the news:

There’s no word, however, on whether Trump’s Saudi hosts plan to provide him with the equivalent of the red desk button the president pushes to instruct a butler to bring him Coca-Cola.

Trump sets off on Friday for his first official trip as president to the Middle East and Western Europe. Over the course of nine days, he is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia, Israel, a G7 meeting in Sicily, a NATO summit in Belgium and the Vatican.

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may 19 17, 15:07
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Jeffrey Toobin Unloads On 'Grotesque' Comey Firing

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin did not mince words when responding to President Donald Trump’s firing of James Comey on Tuesday.

Toobin compared the dismissal of the FBI director while investigations into ties between the president’s campaign and Russia are ongoing to Richard Nixon’s firing of Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox in 1973. 

“It is a grotesque abuse of power by the president of the United States,” Toobin said. “This is the kind of things that goes on in non-democracies. That when there is an investigation that reaches near the president of the United States or the leader of a non-democracy, they fire the people who are in charge of the investigation.”

Many people applauded Toobin’s direct and pointed criticism of the shocking move, while other networks were bungling the delivery of the news


Toobin’s own brief tweets say it all. 

The president dismissed Comey as he was leading an investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia and that country’s influence on the 2016 presidential election. Comey learned about his own termination after seeing it on TV and initially thought it was a joke, according to several reports. 

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, also compared the move to Nixon’s firing of Cox

“Today’s action by President Trump completely obliterates any semblance of an independent investigation into Russian efforts to influence our election, and places our nation on the verge of a constitutional crisis,” he said. “There is little doubt that the President’s actions harken our nation back to Watergate and the Saturday Night Massacre. This decision makes it clear that we must have an independent, non-partisan commission to investigate both Russian interference in the U.S. election and allegations of collusion between the government of Vladimir Putin and the Trump campaign. Today’s actions reek of a cover up and appear to be part of an ongoing effort by the Trump White House to impede the investigation into Russian ties and interference in our elections.”

The White House sent a letter saying that Comey’s firing came in an effort to restore “public trust and confidence.” In October, just two weeks before the election, the FBI director said the Department of Justice was reviewing additional emails that could be related to its investigation into Hillary Clinton, months after saying he would not recommend charges against her.  

Speculation abounds as to why Trump dismissed the director now. The New York Times’ editorial board said it believes Trump fired Comey because his investigation “could bring down a president.” Trump, however, seems to think both sides of the aisle will eventually thank him for the decision. 

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may 10 17, 17:46
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Celebrities Are Heartbroken Over Trump's Proposed Arts Funding Cuts

President Donald Trump is officially at war with the arts.

Late Wednesday night, the president released his budget proposals for the federal government’s spending in 2018. Apart from directing more funds to military and defense programs, Trump proposed major cuts to departments across sectors like education, justice and agriculture. 

In addition to these changes, Trump’s proposal is calling for the elimination of arts agencies across the country that support networks like PBS and NPR and other non-profit arts groups. Under Trump’s vision, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, with their $971 million collective budgets, would no longer receive government funding. 

To give you some perspective, Trump’s proposed spending for the Defense Department in 2018 rounds out to $639 billion. 

Politically engaged celebrities like Jamie Lee Curtis, Mark Ruffalo and Billy Eichner immediately took to social media to publicly resist these proposals and lend their support to those most impacted by these changes. 

Check out how Hollywood reacted to Trump’s budget cuts below. 

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mar 16 17, 22:17
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Donald Trump’s Son Is Giddy Over Rachel Maddow Airing His Dad’s Tax Return

Donald Trump Jr. suggested he was going to sleep well on Tuesday night after firing off a series of tweets thanking MSNBC host Rachel Maddow for airing a portion of his father’s 2005 federal tax return

Maddow teased earlier Tuesday that her show planned to reveal a portion of President Donald Trump’s tax return. The obtained documents indicate that Trump made $150 million in 2005 and paid $38 million in taxes.

Trump broke with tradition and refused to release his tax returns during the presidential election campaign.

After a lengthy introduction, Maddow had Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston on to discuss the documents. Johnston, who has reported on Trump for decades, said he had received the documents unsolicited in the mail. He even suggested the president himself might have leaked the documents, though offered no evidence.

The White House said it was “totally llegal” to publish Trump’s tax return ― though The Washington Post noted the First Amendment likely protects such an action.

But Trump’s eldest child seemed to delight in Maddow’s audience learning about his father’s wealth and tax return. Donald Trump Jr. also tweeted that it was “simply awesome” to watch “the mainstream media aka #fakenews implode.”

He added in an instagram post, “While they will do absolutely anything to take him down they always seem to make him look better as a byproduct of their biased and seemingly anti-American hatred. #fakenews.”

Take a look at the tweets below.

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mar 15 17, 13:25
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'SNL's' Movie Trailer Honors The Republican Who Stood Up To Trump

Saturday Night Live” wanted to honor the brave Republican who stood up to President Donald Trump, so they made a trailer for that hero’s biopic. 

The trailer has all the makings of an instant classic: suspense, inspiration, Octavia Spencer. All it’s missing is its star.

“A country in chaos, a nation divided, led by a president with unchecked power,” an ominous voice-over says. “Until one Republican decided enough was enough. A patriot who put country over party, who finally stood up for his nation’s founding values.”

That person is, of course, still to be determined ― much like in real life.

“So you want to speak out against the president? Aren’t you scared?” a man asks the TBD hero.

TBD’s response was... well, we don’t know, but it was probably brave. And he had a “rallying cry that spoke to all people” ― not that we know what it is.

“SNL’s” fake trailer for the “The TBD Story” hopefully provides some inspiration to Republicans in Congress, who have kept quiet despite the controversy surrounding the Trump campaign’s communications with Russia, Trump’s own hateful and xenophobic rhetoric and his unsubstantiated claims against former president Barack Obama.

Even though this conservative hero hasn’t stepped forward yet, the trailer got one thing right: “It’s definitely not Paul Ryan,” according to a fake review from Rolling Stone.

And a lot of people are anxious for “The TBD Story’s” real-life debut.

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mar 5 17, 10:04
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James Corden Burns Trump In 2017 Grammys Opening

James Corden may have come out tripping in his Grammys opening, but he stuck the landing.

The host started things by pretending to overcome stage malfunctions and faux falling down steps. 

It was all a bit confusing because viewers didn’t know if everything was planned or not, but then Corden hit his stride with a rap, preparing us for the show and taking a shot at Trump.

“Live it all up because this is the best and with President Trump we don’t know what comes next,” said Corden.

Corden, who’s already called out Trump’s travel ban, seemed to reference its divisiveness again, saying, “We sit here tonight, no matter our race or where we were born or color or face. Music is art, remember forever. We can survive by sticking together.”

Following Corden, Jennifer Lopez came on stage and kept the same sentiment going, saying, “At this particular point in history our voices are needed more than ever.”

As far as Grammys openings go, it was pretty yuge. 

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feb 13 17, 05:04
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National Security Adviser Michael Flynn Under Fire For Reported Phone Call With Russian Ambassador

Democrats on Friday began calling for the removal of Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s national security adviser, over reports he discussed sanctions and cooperation with Russia’s ambassador to the United States before President Donald Trump was sworn in to office.

Top Trump officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, said last month that Flynn and Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, talked simply to arrange a phone call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump. But according to a report published in The Washington Post Thursday, Flynn told the ambassador that Trump would ease sanctions on the country once he took office. At the time of Flynn’s call, former President Barack Obama was about to impose new sanctions on Russia for interfering in the November presidential election. The sanctions were imposed after intelligence officials concluded that Russia had interfered, with the goal of boosting Trump’s chances of winning. Officials told The New York Times that Flynn did not explicitly promise sanctions relief, but there was the suggestion that it would be possible

Flynn initially denied to the Post that he had ever discussed sanctions with Kislyak, but a spokesman later backtracked, saying Flynn simply had “no recollection” of whether they were discussed.

Last month, Pence said that Flynn and Kislyak “did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia.” An official on Friday told the Post that Pence made the comments based on conversations with Flynn. Pence aides also expressed frustration to Politico over the situation Flynn had put their boss in.

Such a conversation could place Flynn in violation of the Logan Act, which bars private citizens from negotiating with foreign governments.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, said that if the report is true, Flynn should be fired.

“If he did so, and then he and other Administration officials misled the American people, his conduct would be all the more pernicious and he should no longer serve in this Administration or any other,” Schiff said in a statement.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, also said he was troubled by the reported actions. 

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said the White House should suspend Flynn while it investigated.

Rep. Eliot Engel (D.N.Y.), the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs committee, also called on


The details of Flynn’s conversation last month are the latest in a series of unflattering leaks about him. Last month, people close to Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, described Flynn to the New York Times as a bad leader. The Times also reported that Trump felt Flynn talked too much, and Trump ordered his team to remove Flynn’s son from the transition team after the younger Flynn tweeted an untrue conspiracy theory.

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feb 10 17, 21:34
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The KKK And Their Friends Are Overjoyed With President Trump's First 10 Days

President Donald Trump may have historically low approval ratings overall, but for many of America’s most politically extreme figures, the commander-in-chief has been a dream come true.

A wide range of fringe figures in the public sphere and on the web ― including white nationalists, anti-Semites, so-called “men’s rights activists” and others with discriminatory views ― have acclaimed Trump’s first week in office, focusing in particular on his executive actions ordering the construction of a border wall with Mexico and banning refugees from entering the country.

“Hail Prez Trump! America First!”

, the former Ku Klux Klan imperial wizard and still outspoken white supremacist and anti-Semite, the day of Trump’s inauguration. “Save USA borders not foreign. Make nations (((Israel)))? pay own defense! NO to (((Neocon))) warmongers!” (Those multiple parentheses are called “echoes,” and they’re used by anti-Semites to indicate people and things perceived to be nefariously Jewish.)

“President Trump has the potential to be placed amongst the greatest,”

on Sunday.

Richard Spencer, arguably the best-known member of the so-called “alt-right” white nationalist movement, has voiced similar support for Trump’s agenda. “This is getting awesome,” Spencer

after Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates on Monday. “The Wall is a symbol, a symbol of the will to survive. #Trump,” he opined in
 last week.

In a blog post on his website over the weekend, Spencer sneered at criticism of the administration’s decision not to specifically mention the 6 million Jewish victims in its Holocaust Day statement. “[W]hen viewed from the perspective of Jewish activists, Trump’s statement becomes outrageous, as it dethrones Jews from a special position in the universe,”

This is getting awesome.
Richard Spencer, a leading figure among white nationalists

The far-right extremists see Trump so far fulfilling some of their deepest policy wishes, according to Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“These are exactly the type of ‘banish the black and brown people’ policies they’ve been hoping for,” said Beirich. “They’re pretty happy with the guy. The Muslim ban in particular is right up their alley.”  

Jared Taylor, editor-in-chief of the white nationalist publication American Renaissance, greeted Trump’s inauguration as a welcome development, describing the new president’s ascension as “a sign of rising white consciousness.”

“Our movement has the wind in its sails as never before,” Taylor wrote last week. “Let us seize this moment and make the most of it.”

Well-known conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has altered his famously dire outlook about the country since President Trump was sworn in. In addition to claiming that his website Infowars had received White House press credentials (a notion disputed by the White House press office), Jones said in a recent video that Trump will help combat the wicked forces he perceives to be running the federal government.

“[W]e’re devolving in a good way, power from the federal government back to the people, back from the centralized MSM [mainstream media] to the people, just like Trump said in his speech,” Jones declared.

Infowars has been reporting favorably about Trump’s orders on the border wall and the refugee ban.

Mike Cernovich, another conspiracy theorist and men’s rights blogger with close ties to white nationalists, has vociferously defended the president’s policies, especially the refugee ban and the border wall.

“Every terrorist attack now belongs to the left,” Cernovich

about opposition to the anti-Muslim ban over the weekend.  

Our movement has the wind in its sails as never before. Let us seize this moment and make the most of it.
Jared Taylor, editor-in-chief of American Renaissance

Reaction has been even more fervent on extremist online message boards. On Tuesday, one of the top posts on Reddit’s AltRight subreddit was

 “LMFAO!! Trump calls out communist jew Chuck Schumer for his ‘fake tears’ when shilling for the Islamic invasion!” That slam echoes Trump’s own criticism of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s tearful remarks about the refugee ban.

The subject of another popular Reddit post predicted approvingly that the administration’s actions presaged a democratic decline. It was titled “I get the feeling that Trump deep down is planning on going full fash,” meaning fascist.

On the white supremacist message board Stormfront, users expressed support for Trump’s proposed border wall, with many offering suggestions on how it should be built. “I too like the idea of a minefield,” wrote user AryanWarrior. “Drones, helicopters, guard towers, starving dogs who love dark meat, all the bells & whistles :)”

Trump has repeatedly faced questions about the support he garners from such circles. During the campaign, he was criticized for not denouncing the KKK fast enough.

He offered some less-than-enthusiastic disapproval in December. “I don’t want to energize the group, and I disavow the group,” then President-elect Trump said of the “alt-right” during a visit to the New York Times headquarters. “It’s not a group I want to energize, and if they are energized, I want to look into it and find out why.”

And in response to The Huffington Post’s request for comment, White House spokesperson Kelly Love said, “As President Trump clearly stated during the campaign he disavows David Duke and his followers and does not want their support.”

But the president still refuses to denounce white nationalists in a more public setting.

“This country went through massive upheavals to secure civil rights for everyone and these people oppose that,” said Beirich, of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “And the president can’t take five minutes to denounce it.”

This story has been updated with comment from the White House.

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feb 1 17, 00:49
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