Getting Down to Business - Monday is the first official day of our new TPM Investigations Desk. So our editors don’t kill me, I want to be clear that no one should expect a flood o...
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Over the last few years, as 'government shutdown' went from being a crazy ass thing Newt Gingrich did twenty years ago - never to be tried again - to the top item on the Republican policy agenda, you could hear more and more Republicans saying something like this: We thought it was this great thing that we had our own cable news network as an arm of the GOP or the conservative movement, echoing talking points, spinning the news. But at a certain point we realized Fox News wasn't working for us. We're working for Fox News.
This isn't something I'm fantasizing for effect. It's a real recognition by real, specific people. Not everyone of course. In some ways it comes very much from 'the establishment' : elected leaders, campaign operatives, non-BS-based conservative commentators and intellectuals. They thought Fox News was the media arm or comms department of the GOP. But at some point the GOP, the institutional Republican party, the people who run campaigns, formulate policy or try to enact it, became a junior operational affiliate of Fox News. Whether Fox is principally a hugely profitable media company or an ideological endeavor is largely beside the point: the balance of power had shifted fundamentally. Like in decrepit, fragmenting imperial states where the powers-that-be keep on a powerless nominal emperor because he is so easy and convenient to dominate, a figure like John Boehner was kept at the helm by the fringe figures who had become the dominant force in GOP politics along with Fox News. Of course, that's the conceit of Trumpites and Fox, a populist rebellion against the 'establishment' and 'party elite.' Only that conceit is mainly self-flattery and it obscures the deeper fragmentation and institutional collapse within the GOP.
Several months ago I described the build of 'nonsense debt' and 'hate debt' in the GOP which made Trump's takeover possible. Indeed, whether genuine or merely opportunistic, you now have more than a few Never Trump conservative media personalities stepping forward to explain how the rightwing media echo-chamber created a framework in which you are immediately discredited if you do not subscribe to a series of demonstrably false claims, non-facts and theories. And there you have it: Years of build up of fantastical conspiracy theories, completely unrealistic political goals, all leaving the party ungovernable and vulnerable to a takeover by someone like Donald Trump who was willing to satisfy the demand the institutional GOP had studiously cultivated but was both unwilling and unable to satiate. Will Saletan had an observation several months ago which captures this and which I continue to think is one of most apt insights I've seen into contemporary American politics: the GOP is a failed state and Donald Trump is its warlord.
This isn't just a clever aside. The prism of state failure is actually an apt way to look at the progression of the GOP over the last two decades. Trump isn't the leader of the GOP. He's not trying to be. Historic party leaders - FDR, Reagan, possibly Obama - fuse party coalitions together on new and transformative terms. McCain or Romney may have failed to achieve that goal in its entirety. But Trump hasn't even tried. He's simply taken control of the largest constituency block and decided to rule it as his own. The party's institutional apparatus was too weak to prevent it. Like warlordization in a state collapse context, Trump's action confirms the breakdown of institutional control but also makes recovery and unity even more difficult to recover.
The social realities of urbanization, race and deindustrialization are the true engines of change rumbling beneath our politics and driving these changes. But conservative media - Fox News, Talk Radio, Drudge, Breitbart - has been the mechanism of the transformation within the GOP. Fox News as the leader of the pack has increasingly been the one defining the choices and options for the GOP, even taking on the role of providing sinecures for once and future Fox-approved presidential nominees during the off-season. And out of the blue we're now seeing the transformation take full effect with Trump.
Kellyanne Conway appears to be a nominal campaign manager, functioning as something more like a national spokesperson and chief surrogate. The campaign is now really being run by the head of Breitbart news, the disgraced former CEO of Fox News and talk radio host Laura Ingraham. Yes, yes, I know the latter two don't have formal titles. But look at recent reporting about who Trump is really spending his time with and being advised by. Other than Limbaugh taking a sabbatical and taking over as chief strategist, I'm not sure how much more total the conservative media takeover of the rump GOP could be.
How this plays over the longer term is less clear to me. If the rumors are true that Trump wants to use his candidacy to launch a right-wing media empire, it could lead to an even more ridiculous development: right-wing media takes over the GOP; Trump takes over and takes the the GOP private in some sort of ersatz leveraged buyout of a distressed publicly traded company. For now at least the takeover seems total. And even though this precise configuration can't outlast Trump's likely defeat, it's difficult to see how the warlordization of the GOP doesn't become more entrenched by these events.
The disaster, the blame game, and the establishment’s surprise at what’s happening are related. Since President Obama’s election, the GOP has abandoned its role as a national governing party. It has seized Congress not by pursuing an alternative agenda but by campaigning and staging votes against anything Obama says or does. The party’s so-called leaders have become followers, chasing the pet issues of right-wing radio audiences. Now the mob to whom these elders have surrendered—angry white voters who are determined to “take back their country” from immigrants and liberals—is ready to install its own presidential nominee. The Trump-Cruz takeover is the culmination of the Grand Old Party’s moral collapse.
In foreign policy, there’s a term for governments that don’t govern. We call them failed states. A state can fail for many reasons, but weak or clueless leadership is usually a factor. In a failed state, insurgencies grow, warlords arise, and chaos reigns. That’s what the GOP has become.
When did the collapse begin? Maybe it was in late 2008 and early 2009, when congressional Republicans decided to block anything Obama proposed. Maybe it was in 2010, when they refused to compromise on health insurance reform or to agree on a plausible alternative. Maybe it was later, when they staged dozens of pointless votes to repeal the new law in its entirety, treating health care as a campaign issue rather than a problem to be solved. Maybe it was in the 2011 debt ceiling showdown, when they took the nation’s credit rating hostage, or in 2013, when they forced a federal shutdown to protest the health insurance law.
Republicans captured the House in 2010, but they didn’t use that power to cut favorable deals and pass legislation that might be signed into law. Instead, they reduced Congress to theater. House Republicans, unwilling to offend their base, killed immigration reform. In 2014, Republicans captured the Senate. Again, they spurned the opportunity to govern. Forty-seven Republican senators advised Iran not to sign a nuclear nonproliferation agreement with the United States. The Senate became such a farce that according to Rubio, there’s no point in attending, since nothing happens there but “show votes.”
Republicans no longer have a policy agenda. They have a scapegoating, base-stoking agenda. Their economic plan is to blame legal immigrants for the demise of upward mobility. Their social policy is to defund the nation’s leading birth-control provider and promote disobedience of court orders. Their foreign policy is to carpet-bomb Syria, insult the faith of our anti-ISIS partners, and void Iran’s pledge to abstain from nuclear weapons production.
In the race to the right, yesterday’s conservatives can’t keep up. John Boehner, a right-wing rebel in the House 20 years ago, has been purged as speaker by the GOP’s new hardliners. Kasich, another House rebel from the Boehner era, is now ridiculed in the presidential primaries as a liberal. Cruz and Rubio accuse each other, correctly, of having switched positions on immigration. Both men have shifted to the right—Rubio turning against illegal immigrants, Cruz turning against legal ones—in pursuit of angry white voters.
When you run a party this way, chasing after your most radical constituents—in Republican parlance, leading from behind—you shouldn’t be surprised to find that the audience you’ve cultivated doesn’t match your original principles. National Review’s Jan. 21 editorial, “Against Trump,” is eloquent but far too late. Today’s Republican electorate doesn’t belong to National Review. It belongs to Trump.
While listing the reasons why his father ran for president in an interview published Thursday, Eric Trump pointed to the tree on the White House lawn and claimed it was renamed the "Holiday tree."
However, in his attempt to explain his father's commitment to combating political correctness and the "War on Christmas," Eric Trump incorrectly accused the White House of renaming the Christmas tree.
"He opens up the paper each morning and sees our nation’s leaders giving a hundred billion dollars to Iran, or he opens the paper and some new school district has just eliminated the ability for its students to say the pledge of allegiance, or some fire department in some town is ordered by the mayor to no longer fly the American flag on the back of a fire truck," Eric Trump told The Stream's James Robinson. "Or, he sees the tree on the White House lawn has been renamed 'Holiday tree' instead of 'Christmas tree.' I could go on and on for hours. Those are the very things that made my father run, and those are the very things he cares about."
The tree that stands near the White House (on the Ellipse) each winter is still called the National Christmas Tree and has never been renamed, as Buzzfeed News noted. And the White House blog also referred to the tree kept inside the residence as a Christmas tree just last year.
Everywhere I go, people tell me how concerned they are by the divisive rhetoric coming from my opponent in this election. I understand that concern because it’s like nothing we’ve heard before from a nominee for President of the United States from one of our two major parties.
From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican party. His disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous.
In just the past week, under the guise of ‘outreach’ to African Americans, Trump has stood up in front of largely white audiences and described black communities in such insulting and ignorant terms. ‘Poverty. Rejection. Horrible education. No housing. No homes. No ownership. Crime at levels nobody has seen.’ ‘Right now,’ he said, ‘you walk down the street and get shot.’ Those are his words.
But when I hear them, I think to myself how sad. Donald Trump misses so much he doesn’t see. This is a man who clearly doesn’t know about Black America and doesn’t care about Black America.
Donald Trump misses so much. He doesn’t see the success of black leaders in every field, the vibrancy of the black-owned businesses, or the strength of the black church. He doesn’t see the excellence of historically black colleges and universities or the pride of black parents watching their children thrive. He apparently didn’t see Police Chief Brown on television after the murder of five of his officers conducting himself with such dignity.
And he certainly doesn’t have any solutions to take on the reality of systemic racism and create more equity and opportunity in communities of color and for every American.
It really does take a lot of nerve to ask people he’s ignored and mistreated for decades, ‘What do you have to lose?’ Because the answer is everything.
Now, Trump’s lack of knowledge or experience or solutions would be bad enough. But what he’s doing here is more sinister. Trump is reinforcing harmful stereotypes and offering a dog whistle to his most hateful supporters.
It’s a disturbing preview of what kind of President he’d be.
And that’s what I want to make clear today: A man with a long history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far, dark reaches of the internet, should never run our government or command our military. Ask yourself, if he doesn’t respect all Americans, how can he serve all Americans?
Now, I know that some people still want to give Trump the benefit of the doubt. They hope that he will eventually reinvent himself – that there’s a kinder, gentler, more responsible Donald Trump waiting in the wings somewhere.
Because after all, it’s hard to believe anyone – let alone a nominee for president – could really believe all the things he says.
But here’s the hard truth, there is no other Donald Trump. This is it.
And Maya Angelou, a great American who I admire very much, she once said: ‘When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.’ Well, throughout his career and this campaign, Donald Trump has shown us exactly who he is. And I think we should believe him.
When he was getting his start in business, he was sued by the Justice Department for refusing to rent apartments to black and Latino tenants. Their applications would be marked with a ‘C’ – ‘C’ for ‘colored’ – and then rejected. Three years later, the Justice Department took Trump back to court because he hadn’t changed.
And the pattern continued through the decades.
State regulators fined one of Trump’s casinos for repeatedly removing black dealers from the floor. No wonder the turnover rate for his minority employees was way above average.
And let’s not forget that Trump first gained political prominence leading the charge for the so-called ‘Birthers.’ He promoted the racist lie that President Obama is not really an American citizen – part of a sustained effort to delegitimize America’s first black President.
In 2015, Trump launched his own campaign for President with another racist lie. He described Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals. And he accused the Mexican government of actively sending them across the border. None of that is true.
Oh, and by the way, by the way, Mexico’s not paying for his wall either. If he ever tries to get it built, the American taxpayer will pay for it. We’ll be stuck with the bill.
But there has been a steady stream of bigotry coming from him.
We all remember when Trump said a distinguished federal judge born in Indiana couldn’t be trusted to do his job because, quote, ‘He’s a Mexican.’ Think about that. The man who today is the standard bearer of the Republican Party said a federal judge, who by the way, had a distinguished career, who had to go into hiding because Mexican drug gangs were after him, who has Mexican heritage but who just like me was born in this country, is somehow incapable solely because of his heritage. Even the Republican Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, described that as ‘the textbook definition of a racist comment.’
To this day, Trump has never apologized to Judge Curiel.
But for Trump, that is just par for the course.
This is someone who retweets white supremacists online, like the user who goes by the name ‘white-genocide-TM.’ Trump took this fringe bigot with a few dozen followers and spread his message to 11 million people.
His campaign famously posted an anti-Semitic image – a Star of David imposed over a sea of dollar bills – that first appeared on white supremacist websites.
The Trump campaign has also selected a prominent white nationalist leader as a delegate in California. And they only dropped him under pressure.
When asked in a nationally televised interview whether he would disavow the support of David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, Trump wouldn’t do it. Only later, again under mounting pressure, did he backtrack.
And when Trump was asked about anti-Semitic slurs and death threats coming from his supporters, he refused to condemn them.
Through it all, he has continued pushing discredited conspiracy theories with racist undertones.
You remember, he said that thousands of American Muslims in New Jersey cheered the 9/11 attacks. They didn’t.
He suggested that Senator Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the Kennedy assassination. Perhaps in Trump’s mind, because Mr. Cruz was a Cuban immigrant, he must have had something to do with it. And there is absolutely, of course, no evidence of that.
Just recently, Trump claimed that President Obama founded ISIS. And then he repeated that over and over again.
His latest paranoid fever dream is about my health. All I can say is, Donald, dream on.
But, but my friends-- but my friends, this is what happens when you treat the National Enquirer like Gospel. They said in October I’d be dead in six months.
It’s also what happens when you listen to the radio host Alex Jones, who claims that 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombings were inside jobs. He even said, and this really is just so disgusting, he even said that the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre were child actors and no one was actually killed there. I don’t know what actually happens in somebody’s mind or how dark their heart must be, to say something like that.
But Trump didn’t challenge those lies. He went on Jones’ show and said, ‘Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.’
This from the man who wants to be President of the United States.
I’ve stood by President Obama’s side as he made the toughest decisions a Commander-in-Chief has to make. In times of crisis, our country depends on steady leadership, clear thinking, calm judgment, because one wrong move can mean the difference between life and death. I know we have veterans here and I know we have families - mothers and spouses and children of people who are currently serving.
The last thing we need in the Situation Room is a loose cannon who can’t tell the difference, or doesn’t care to, between fact and fiction, and who buys so easily into racially-tinged rumors. Someone so detached from reality should never be in charge of making decisions that are as real as they come.
That is yet another reason why Donald Trump is simply temperamentally unfit to be President of the United States.
Now, I hear and I read some people who are saying that his bluster and bigotry is just over-heated campaign rhetoric – an outrageous person saying outrageous things for attention. But look at his policies. The ones that Trump has proposed, they would put prejudice into practice.
And don’t be distracted by his latest efforts to muddy the waters. He may have some new people putting new words in his mouth, but we know where he stands.
He would form a deportation force to round up millions of immigrants and kick them out of the country.
He’d abolish the bedrock constitutional principle that says if you’re born in the United States, you’re an American citizen. He says that children born to undocumented parents in America are ‘anchor babies’ and should be deported. Millions of them.
He’d ban Muslims around the world from entering our country just because of their religion.
Think about that for a minute. How would it actually work? People landing in U.S. airports would line up to get their passports stamped, just like they do now. But in Trump’s America, when they step up to the counter, the immigration officer would ask every single person, ‘What is your religion?’
And then what? What if someone says, ‘I’m a Christian,’ but the agent doesn’t believe him? Do they have to prove it? How would they do that?
Really, ever since the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, America has distinguished itself as a haven for people fleeing religious persecution, believing in religious freedom and religious liberty. Under Donald Trump, America would distinguish itself as the only country in the world to impose a religious test at the border.
Now come to think of it, there actually may be one other place that does that. The so-called Islamic State. The territory ISIS controls. What a cruel irony that someone running for President would equate us with them.
Don’t worry, some will say, as President, Trump will be surrounded by smart advisors who will rein in his worst impulses.
So when a tweet gets under his skin and he wants to retaliate with a cruise missile, maybe cooler heads will convince him not to.
But look at who he’s put in charge of his campaign.
Trump likes to say he only hires the ‘best people.’ But he’s had to fire so many campaign managers it’s like an episode from the Apprentice. And the latest shake-up was designed to – quote – ‘Let Trump be Trump.’ So to do that, he hired Stephen Bannon, the head of a right-wing website, called Breitbart.com, as campaign CEO.
Now to give you a flavor of his work, here are a few headlines they’ve published. And I’m not making this up.
‘Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy.’
‘Would You Rather Your Child Had Feminism or Cancer?’
‘Gabby Giffords: The Gun Control Movement’s Human Shield’
‘Hoist It High And Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims A Glorious Heritage.’
That one came shortly after the Charleston massacre, when Democrats and Republicans alike were doing everything they could to heal racial divides that Breitbart and Bannon tried to inflame.
Just imagine – Donald Trump reading that and thinking: ‘this is what I need more of in my campaign.’
Now Bannon has nasty things to say about pretty much everyone. This spring, he railed against Speaker Paul Ryan for, quote ‘rubbing his social-justice Catholicism in my nose every second.’ No wonder he’s gone to work for Trump – the only Presidential candidate ever to get into a public feud with the Pope.
It’s truly hard to believe, but according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, Breitbart embraces ‘ideas on the extremist fringe of the conservative right.’ This is not conservatism as we have known it, this is not Republicanism as we have known it. These are racist ideas. Race-baiting ideas. Anti-Muslim, anti-Immigrant, anti-women –– all key tenets making up an emerging racist ideology known as the ‘Alt-Right.’
Now, Alt-Right is short for ‘Alternative Right.’ The Wall Street Journal describes it as a loose, but organized movement, mostly online, that ‘rejects mainstream conservatism, promotes nationalism and views immigration and multiculturalism as threats to white identity.’
So the de facto merger between Breitbart and the Trump Campaign represents a landmark achievement for this group. A fringe element has effectively taken over the Republican Party.
This is part of a broader story -- the rising tide of hardline, right-wing nationalism around the world.
Just yesterday, one of Britain’s most prominent right-wing leaders, a man named, Nigel Farage, who stoked anti-immigrant sentiments to win the referendum to have Britain leave the European Union, campaigned with Donald Trump in Mississippi.
Farage has called for the bar of legal immigrants from public school and health services. Has said women, and I quote, ‘are worth less than men,’ and supports scrapping laws that prevent employers from discriminating based on race. That’s who Donald Trump wants by his side when he is addressing an audience of American voters.
And the grand godfather of this global brand of extreme nationalism is Russian President Vladimir Putin. In fact, Farage regularly appears on Russian propaganda programs. Now he’s standing on the same stage as the Republican nominee. Trump himself heaps praise on Putin and embraces pro-Russian policies. He talks casually of abandoning our NATO allies, recognizing Russia’s annexation of Crimea, giving the Kremlin a free hand in Eastern Europe. American Presidents from Truman, to Reagan, to Bush and Clinton, to Obama, have rejected the kind of approach Trump is taking on Russia. And we should, too.
All of this adds up to something we have never seen before. Of course there’s always been a paranoid fringe in our politics, a lot of it rising from racial resentment. But it’s never had the nominee of a major party stoking it, encouraging it, and giving it a national megaphone. Until now.
On David Duke’s radio show the other day, the mood was jubilant. ‘We appear to have taken over the Republican Party,’ one white supremacist said. Duke laughed. ‘No, there’s still more work to do,’ he replied.
So no one should have any illusions about what’s really going on here. The names may have changed. Racists now call themselves ‘racialists.’ White supremacists now call themselves ‘white nationalists.’ The paranoid fringe now calls itself ‘alt-right.’ But the hate burns just as bright.
And now Trump is trying to rebrand himself as well. But don’t be fooled.
There’s an old Mexican proverb that says ‘Tell me with whom you walk, and I will tell you who you are.’
But we know who Trump is. A few words on a teleprompter won’t change that.
He says he wants to ‘make America great again,’ but more and more it seems as though his real message seems to be ‘Make America hate again.’
And this isn’t just about one election. It’s about who we are as a nation. It’s about the kind of example we want to set for our children and grandchildren.
Next time you see Trump rant on television, think about all the children listening across America. Kids hear a lot more than we think.
Parents and teachers are already worrying about what they call the ‘Trump Effect.’ They report that bullying and harassment are on the rise in our schools, especially targeting students of color, Muslims, and immigrants. At a recent high school basketball game in Indiana, white students held up Trump signs and taunted Latino players on the opposing team with chants of ‘Build the wall!’ and ‘Speak English.’ After a similar incident in Iowa, one frustrated school principal said, ‘They see it in a presidential campaign and now it's OK for everyone to say this.’
We wouldn’t tolerate this kind of behavior before and we wouldn’t tolerate it in our own homes. And we shouldn’t stand for it in a presidential candidate.
My friends, this is a moment of reckoning for every Republican dismayed that the Party of Lincoln has become the Party of Trump. It’s a moment of reckoning for all of us who love our country and believe that America is better than this.
Twenty years ago, when Bob Dole accepted the Republican nomination, he pointed to the exits in the convention hall and told any racists in the Party to get out.
The week after 9/11, George W. Bush went to a mosque and declared for everyone to hear that Muslims ‘love America just as much as I do.’
In 2008, John McCain told his own supporters that they were wrong about the man he was trying to defeat. Senator McCain made sure they knew – Barack Obama, he said, is an American citizen and ‘a decent person.’
We need that kind of leadership again.
We can have our disagreements, and believe me, I understand that. I think that’s healthy. We need good debates, but we need to do it in a respectful way, not finger pointing and blaming, and stirring up this bigotry and prejudice.
Every day, more Americans are standing up and saying ‘enough is enough’ – including a lot of Republicans. And I am honored to have their support in this campaign.
And I promise you this: with your help, I will be a president for Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. For those who vote for me and for those who vote against me. I will be a president for all Americans.
Because I truly believe we are stronger together.
This is a vision for the future rooted in our values and reflected in a rising generation of young people. The young people in America today are the most open, diverse, and connected generation we have ever seen.
How many of you saw any of the Olympics? Right? I was so proud, I always get so carried away whenever the Olympics are on. And you look at the diversity of our athletes - look at our fabulous Olympic team representing the United Stated of America. Ibtihaj Muhammad, an African-American Muslim from New Jersey, won the bronze medal in fencing with grace and skill. Would she even have a place in Donald Trump’s America?
And I will tell you, when I was growing up, in so many parts of our country, Simone Manuel wouldn’t have been allowed to swim in the same public pool as Katie Ledecky. And now together on our swimming team they’re winning Olympic medals as teammates.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think we have a person to waste. We want to build an America where everyone has a place. Where if you work hard and do your part you can get ahead and stay ahead. That’s the basic bargain of America. And we cannot get to where we need to be, unless we move forward together and stand up against prejudice and paranoia. And prove, again, that America is great because America is good.
But "Says who?" isn't just a dumb Trump supporter's response to a few polls. It's the right's reaction to everything, from climate change to unemployment numbers to health care. "Says who?" is the product of decades of work by [Roger] Ailes and others to dismiss facts that don't align with their worldview.
An interview between a CNN anchor and a top aide to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump devolved into a palpably uncomfortable debate over polls on Wednesday evening.
In a conversation with Yahoo News shortly after the conversation aired, Michael Cohen, an executive vice president and attorney at the Trump Organization, said he believed he “controlled the interview” with Brianna Keilar.
“I think I unraveled her,” Cohen boasted.
Last month, Donald Trump thanked a Colorado fire marshal who rescued him and his entourage from a stalled elevator by accusing him of intentionally keeping supporters out of his rally.
What Trump didn't divulge was that a member of his entourage apparently fiddling with an elevator bypass key got the group stuck in that elevator in the first place, internal emails obtained by local TV station KMGH and published Wednesday revealed.
Though Trump and his companions were evacuated through the top elevator hatch by members of the fire department, the incident resulted in Trump arriving an hour late to his rally on the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs campus (UCCS).
Upon arrival, Trump proceeded to criticize the fire marshal for keeping some of his supporters out of the venue.
"We have thousands of beautiful, wonderful, great people outside, and we have in the room next door over 1,000 people,” Trump said at the rally. “They won't let them in. And the reason they won't let them in is because they don't know what the hell they're doing."
The emails obtained by KMGH indicated that the fire department, UCCS and Trump campaign all had been in communication about the exact number of people allowed in the main hall and overflow room. The limits allowed for 1,500 people in the event center and 1,000 in the overflow room.
Lacey expressed his frustration in an email to his friend.
"We had worked with UCCS of which we have a great relationship with and their security.. (University Cops)…. And our PD… and worked out the event loading on Thursday,” he wrote, as quoted by KGMH. “All was well.. until they wanted more people… Secret Service were butts too… wanted me to let more people in because he (Trump) was threatening to leave the room.. and they hadn’t secured the other location. I communicated to them that my problem was the public.. theirs was their candidate."
Lacey also wrote that it wasn’t his “problem” that the campaign allegedly “dispersed 10K on-line tickets for a 2500 load event.”
KMGH also obtained a contract the Trump campaign signed with UCCS promising to comply with the facility rules “prescribed by the Fire and Police Departments.”
Contacted by the news station about that new information, a Trump spokesperson said the campaign had no interest in keeping that particular story alive.
Within an hour, The Denver Post noted, the GOP presidential nominee was bashing the fire marshal at his rally.
“So I have to tell you this. This is why our country doesn’t work,” Trump said from the stage at his Friday rally, which began nearly an hour late as a result of the mishap. “We have plenty of space here. We have thousands of people outside trying to get in. And we have a fire marshal that said, ‘Oh, we can’t allow more people.’
"The reason they won’t let them in is because they don’t know what the hell they’re doing.
“Hey, maybe they’re a Hillary person. Could that be possible? Probably. I don’t think there are too many of them," Trump said.
“In anti-government circles, and even in hate group circles, where this idea of 'Second Amendment remedies' is not a joke, who knows how that is going to be perceived,” said Ryan Lenz, the editor of Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch blog.
“In reality, in the past, we’ve seen it being perceived as a sizable influx of support and validation for ideologies that, up until this campaign, had no place in mainstream political discourse,” Lenz told TPM. ...
... like the language Trump has deployed to discuss immigration, "rigged" elections and Muslims, his rhetoric around Clinton and the Second Amendment wasn’t born in a vacuum. Trump is perhaps the most prominent of a series of conservative politicians who've toyed with the idea that gun owners may need to resort to violence against an oppressive government.
In 2010, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) posted on social media "Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!" while pointing to a list of Obamacare-supporting lawmakers.
During her 2014 campaign, freshman Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) said she believed in her right to carry guns to defend herself “whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important.”
Failed 2010 Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R-NV) warned that “if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies.”
And Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s (D-FL) congressional challenger in 2009, Republican Robert Lowry, shot at a human-shaped gun range target with Wasserman Schultz’s initials written on it.
Brett Lunceford, a former professor who has researched the political discourse around guns, said these sort of remarks and actions feed into a belief that “the Second Amendment was put in place to overthrow the government if need be."
“[Trump’s] throwing a bone to that mythology, that, if the government is tyrannical, ‘Well you guys are the ones that can do something about it,’” Lunceford told TPM. “There’s this idea that they’re the ones that can stop tyranny. It’s not about self defense, it’s about defense from the government.”
The Republican presidential nominee said of his Democratic opponent: "Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks.
"But the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know."
This isn't the first time that a Republican has suggested drastic action against Clinton. In June, Trump delegate and New Hampshire state Rep. Al Baldasaro (R), who also chairs Trump’s veterans group, said that Clinton should be put on the firing line and be "shot for treason" over the terror attacks in Benghazi. The Secret Service launched an investigation into Baldasaro’s comments.
Earlier in August, longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone suggested that if Clinton wins a state like Florida — where she currently leads Trump in a head-to-head matchup, according to polling — then the election would be "illegitimate," in which case he promised a "bloodbath."
On 2 August 2016, a veteran handed Donald Trump a Purple Heart medal at one of his rallies in Virginia. Making light of a military decoration awarded to combat-wounded service members just days after attacking a fallen soldier’s family, Trump remarked “I've always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier.”
As with seemingly everything else in his life, Mr. Trump got one handed to him instead of earning it. That being said, as a Purple Heart recipient [proof] who earned one the old-fashioned way by returning from Afghanistan one leg lighter, I fully endorse his desire to earn one and would happily oblige his interest in doing so, by being one of the first to chip in to fly him to the conflict zone of his choosing. After all, you're never too old to follow your dreams.
…ok, let’s be serious. Super serious. We’re not going to be able to help Donald realize his conveniently retroactive military fantasies, and based on precedent he could likely get a series of deferments to avoid going even if we tried. So instead, we’re going to convert his toxic bigotry, ignorance, and callousness into something positive. As Michelle Obama said/as Melania Trump might say at some point in the future: "when they go low, we go high."
What better way to do that than to redirect money to a good cause that Donald Trump would vehemently oppose: aiding Syrian refugees. All money actually raised will be distributed to vetted groups working directly with Syrian refugees as well as refugees of similar conflict zones - the decent fellow humans who were unfortunate enough to be in one of these regions when everything around them collapsed, and whom Trump has broadly categorized as likely terrorists unworthy of resettlement.
If all you’ve done is watched a few clips of Gary Johnson on the internet, it’s easy to be taken in. He knows how to talk like he wants to stand with ordinary folks against those big corporate interests. But Donald Trump does that too, and he doesn’t mean it either. Gary Johnson is a deceitful person who sells himself as Bernie Sanders lite while in reality he has consistently supported a far right agenda that would devastate the country. He hawks his liberal positions on social issues while concealing a deeply disturbing and malicious economic agenda. More than anyone else running, he knows how to put lipstick on the pig that is the Libertarian Party
There's a lot of chatter this morning - based on absolutely nothing, so far as I can tell - that Donald Trump might drop out of the presidential race. I emphasize: as far as I can tell, chatter based on nothing but what I suspect is wishful thinking on the part of Republicans. At the same time, reporters are quoting high level Republicans sources saying that in the next few days top tier Republicans might come out in opposition to Trump. I will totally believe it when I see it.
But I can't help but note what seems obvious.
We've had Judge Curiel, Megyn Kelly, the banning of an entire religion from America's shores, the demand to deport 3% of the US population, the Khan family, protester beatings. Tell me when to stop, okay? There's a lot more. And yet what seems to have been the red line was Trump refusing to endorse Paul Ryan and John McCain in their Republican primaries. Yes, the Khan debacle was big. But little more than a week ago we had Republicans coming out of Cleveland saying that Trump was killing it.
Even if you take a more generous view - an extremely generous view - and say that it wasn't really the non-endorsements, that it was just the flood of everything that's happened since the convention, still there's a problem. Because Trump can say, not without real credibility, that the GOP power structure only turned on him when he refused to endorse them. He has maneuvered them into looking deeply craven, having missed the opportunity to abandon him on their own terms. Of course this isn't that unfair since they are actually craven regardless.
In truth, I don't think it's really the Khans or the endorsements. It's the polls.