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  • ABC's Jonathan Karl: Trump "Ditched A Year's Worth Of Tough Talk" During Meeting With Mexican President

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of ABC's World News Tonight with David Muir:
     

    JONATHAN KARL: Today, standing next to the president of Mexico, Donald Trump ditched a year's worth of tough talk.

    DONALD TRUMP: This has been a tremendous honor and I call you a friend.

    KARL: That's a huge departure from day one of his campaign.

    TRUMP: They are not our friend, believe me.

    KARL: Accusing Mexico of funneling undocumented immigrants across the border.

    TRUMP: When Mexico sends its people, they aren't sending their best. They are bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists.

    KARL: Today, I asked Trump if he stands by those words. Mr. Trump, over the course of this campaign, do you regret some of the things that you have said about Mexico or Mexicans and want to take them back?

    TRUMP: A lot of the things I said are very strong, but we have to be strong. We have to say what's happening. There is crime, as you know, there is a lot of crime and there are lot of problems. I really believe that the president and I will solve those problems.

    KARL: And what of Trump's signature campaign promise? We all know by now who Trump wants to foot the bill.

    [...]

    KARL: Today I asked both men about that. And the wall? Is it a non-starter? Is there any chance Mexico pays for the wall?

    TRUMP: We did discuss the wall, we did not discuss payment of the wall. That'll be for a later date. This was a very preliminary meeting.

    KARL: President Enrique Peña Nieto extended the invitation to visit Mexico to Trump and Hillary Clinton just last Friday. Trump's decision to accept was a total surprise. When we touched down, his schedule was still up in the air. It's been a whirlwind. We didn't know until about midnight last night that Donald Trump would bring the presidential campaign here to Mexico City. Trump's harsh words have made him a pariah here in Mexico. Over the past year, protesters have burned him in effigy. Trump pinatas doing a brisk business. Peña Nieto himself has compared Trump to Hitler and Mussolini. But today, he soft-pedaled too, emphasizing that Mexico will cooperate with whomever wins the election.

    Previously:

    Media Figures Mock Trump For Backing Off Previous Demand Mexico Pay For Border Wall

    CNN's Murray: Despite Trump’s Claim, Portion Of Wall Payment “Would Essentially Be Coming Out Of The US Budget”

    Sean Hannity's Dream Died In Mexico City
     

  • CNN's Wolf Blitzer: Reports Emerging That Mexican President Told Trump "Mexico Would Not Pay For That Wall"

    Blitzer: "There Seems To Be A Contradiction, A Serious Contradiction Emerging"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:

    WOLF BLITZER (HOST): We're just getting this in from the Reuters News Agency. A spokesman for the Mexican president said, yes, they did speak about the wall, and that Mexico -- the president of the Mexico said -- told Donald Trump very bluntly, "Mexico would not pay for that wall." You heard Donald Trump said that they spoke about the wall but they didn't talk about who would pay for the wall. So there seems to be a contradiction, a serious contradiction emerging, David, right now.

    Previously:

    Media Figures Mock Trump For Backing Off Previous Demand Mexico Pay For Border Wall

    Sean Hannity's Dream Died In Mexico City

    Fox's Eric Bolling Suggests Mexico And America Work On Border Wall Together To Create Jobs

  • CNN's Murray: Despite Trump’s Claim, Portion Of Wall Payment “Would Essentially Be Coming Out Of The US Budget”

    Murray: "While They May Spin That As Mexico Picking Up Part Of The Bill, That Would Essentially Be Coming Out Of The U.S. Budget"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:

    WOLF BLITZER (HOST): When you say a portion of [the wall], they're no longer talking about paying for the entire cost of the wall? Is that what you're hearing? 

    SARA MURRAY: Well, we are hearing that there's a way they could try to spin it to make it sound like Mexico is paying for the entire cost of the wall, but some of these other measures are essentially defunding sanctuary cities, or stripping what they say are benefits that undocumented immigrants are receiving from the U.S. Federal government. They say, by doing that, you fund a portion of it. And while they may spin that as Mexico picking up part of the bill, that would essentially be coming out of the U.S. Budget.

    Previously:

    Media Figures Mock Trump For Backing Off Previous Demand Mexico Pay For Border Wall

    Fox's Eric Bolling Suggests Mexico And America Work On Border Wall Together To Create Jobs

    Sean Hannity's Dream Died In Mexico City

  • Bloomberg’s Heilemann: “We’re Setting The Bar Low” For Trump, “But That’s Sometimes Where You Have To Set The Bar”

    Nicolle Wallace: “The Fact That He Did Not Show Up In A Foreign Country And Get Run Out Of The Place, That Was A Good Day For Trump”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of Bloomberg's With All Due Respect:

    NICOLLE WALLACE (CO-HOST): In terms of where he is, there are some voters out there, who, the fact that he did not show up in a foreign country and get run out of the place, that was a good day for Trump.

    JOHN HEILEMANN (CO-HOST): Yes, and, again, we're setting the bar low. 

    WALLACE: Very low. 

    HEILEMANN: Let's be clear. We're setting the bar low, but that's sometimes where you have to set the bar.

    Previously:

    Here's What Latinos In The Media Are Saying About Trump's Sudden Visit To Mexico

    Fox's MacCallum Gives Credibility To Trump's Mexico Visit Stunt By Painting It As Presidential

    Trump Flies To Mexico, Trump's Traveling Press Corps Left Behind In America

  • Sean Hannity's Dream Died In Mexico City

    (He Won't Care)

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    What is Sean Hannity going to do tonight?

    Donald Trump went to Mexico, had a meeting with the nation’s president, and said at a subsequent press conference that he did not bring up the signature issue of his campaign: That he will build a wall along the Mexican border and make Mexico pay for it.

    Hannity doesn’t just support this aim; his fawning treatment of Trump has literally included doing call and response with his Trump town hall audiences about it.

    Seriously you would think this would be embarrassing for Trump.

    On his radio show this afternoon Hannity lauded Trump’s performance during his trip to Mexico City, saying that the Republican presidential nominee’s “strength caused [Mexico’s president] to reach out to him” and that “Trump didn’t back down an inch.” He did not bring up the fact that the presidential candidate apparently declined to let Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto know face-to-face that he is on the hook for Trump’s border wall.

    It’s that sort of naked hypocrisy that has conservatives berating Hannity’s “slavish” and “disgraceful” shilling for Trump.

    UPDATE: It gets worse for Hannity.

  • Fox's Eric Bolling Suggests Mexico And America Work On Border Wall Together To Create Jobs

    Bolling: "That's Probably Hundreds Of Thousands Of Jobs"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of Fox News' The Five:

    ERIC BOLLING: You know what you could even do? He could actually have some sort of group dynamic where both countries actually use the laborers to build that wall. That's probably hundreds of thousands of jobs. That's a lot of money going back to Mexico. Not a bad idea. 

    Previously:

    Fox's Eric Bolling Is Donald Trump's Biggest Fan

    Fox's Bolling Defends Trump's "Deportation Force" As "Good For Latinos"

    Fox's Eric Bolling Reprimands GOP Congressman For Not Supporting Trump

  • CNN's Calamity Worsens: Lewandowski Reportedly Prepping Trump For Debates

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Corey Lewandowski CNN contributor and former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is helping the Republican presidential nominee prepare for the upcoming debates, according to a new report. It’s the latest devastating evidence that the network’s ethical nightmare has become untenable.

    Conservative media website Heat Street is reporting that according to sources close to the campaign, Lewandowski is part of the team of conservative media stalwarts involved with “preparing Donald Trump for the debates.” Will CNN allow its political commentator to discuss debates for which he has prepared one of the candidates?

    The conservative news site further states, “If things get more dire for the struggling Presidential candidate, Corey may be at the top of the list of official re-hires,” meaning there may be even more issues with his CNN employment in the future.

    Lewandowski is still on the Trump campaign payroll, and CNN anchors frequently introduce him by noting that he continues to receive severance from his former employer. He reportedly speaks to Trump “almost every day” and has even traveled with the campaign.

    This is neither normal nor acceptable. Trump has effectively offloaded Lewandowski’s salary onto CNN, while gaining an on-air advocate willing to defend literally anything he says, no matter how absurd. That’s why media ethicists and journalists have been condemning CNN's hire for weeks.​

    It’s long past time for the network that claims to be the most trusted name in news to cut ties with Lewandowski.

  • Alex Jones Says He "Personally Talked To" Trump And Encouraged Him To Push Rigged Election Conspiracy Theory

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of Genesis Communications Network’s The Alex Jones Show:

    ALEX JONES (HOST): The globalists have made a critical error. They have been operating their ongoing takeover program as if they were still in the 1980s or ‘70s. And they believe that they've had air superiority with the dinosaur collaborator media. Discrediting, or attempting to discredit or spinning true independent media that’s exposing their crimes.

    And they made an even bigger error in the string of them when I came out over a month ago and had a special message to Donald Trump dealing with election fraud -- I personally talked to him as well obviously -- and he didn’t so much do what I told him to do, he already concurred and absolutely was on the same page and was already right there with me or even ahead of me.

    But I encouraged him to basically ignore some of the people telling him not to go with that, and to go all the way because if they stole it from Sanders, and they try to steal it from him nakedly in the primaries and they’ve got a history of it, that Homeland Security was going to go in and probably bring in U.N. observers, to make sure illegals and people could vote, and change the debate away from election fraud, to retail voter fraud, which is individuals cheating rather than the computers being hacked.

    And I said you’ve gotta do it while you’re still way ahead in the polls cause they’re going to start skewing the polls obviously and saying you’re behind -- that’s a standard tactic -- you need to go now with this information so that when you’re actually still ahead you talk about the fraud.

    You'll be ahead all the way through, but they’re going to put out the fake polls that you’re way behind and actually create that perception. And obviously Trump was right there. And Trump did it. That’s why they’re so scared of him. I mean, they are having to put on adult diapers over this guy, okay?

    And obviously Trump has his own experts that were telling him the same thing. He’s really smart, he understands how things operate. They already tried to steal it from him, he stood up and contested it so he got it. Sanders didn’t, so he lost it.

    And then Trump comes out two days after I talked to him and after I put the message out. I talked to him that day, and then I came in I called Rob Jacobson up he was on that weekend I said, “We’re shooting a video of a message to Trump,” I said it’s really a message to the people -- I’ve already delivered the message to Trump that day.

    Previously:

    Trump’s Conspiracy Theorist Allies Take Victory Lap Over Candidate’s “Rigged" Election Comments

    “Totally Synced”: How Donald Trump And Alex Jones’ Conspiracy Theory Movement Speaks With One Voice

    Alex Jones: “It Is Surreal To Talk About Issues Here On Air And Then Word-For-Word Hear Trump Say It Two Days Later”

  • Fox Hosts Attack CNN’s Brian Stelter and Univision’s Jorge Ramos For Calling On Media To Improve Coverage Of Trump

    Harris Faulkner: “Everybody's Looking For Their Moment, And They're Going To Do It With A Series Of Gotcha Questions”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of Fox News' Outnumbered:

    SANDRA SMITH (CO-HOST): So much for an impartial media. According to the Washington Examiner, several media figures actively lobbying their peers to challenge Donald Trump more aggressively when interviewing him or his surrogates. Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, who has had some high profile scrapes with Trump saying, quote, “I think in this case neutrality is really not an option. I think we have to take a stand and in this case, Donald Trump is a unique figure in American politics. We haven't seen this in decades since probably Senator Joe McCarthy.” And this from CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter, quote, “We can't just let it seep into the discourse like it's normal. We have to stop and fact check and contextualize. Right now it’s the Republican candidate for president who is trying to delegitimize our democratic process without proof. It is unpatriotic for any journalist or any interviewer to help him.” Harris, go to you first on this.

    HARRIS FAULKNER (CO-HOST): That makes me uncomfortable because it really tells me that, first of all, everybody's looking for their moment, and they're going to do it with a series of gotcha questions, which is exactly why the American public says that they don't trust journalists right now. They think that we're all cut from that cloth. But the other thing that’s really nasty about this whole thing is that they're not going to apply that to both sides. Like if they want that kind of -- I call it apoplectic, but I guess there's another word we could use that is nicer than that, but it just seems out of line -- then apply it equally. If they're going to do that, if they’re going to act -- 

    SMITH: Is there a double standard that exists? 

    GUY BENSON: There's always a double standard with Republicans and Democrats. It may be more pronounced this year for a number of reasons. And I'm all for the media very aggressively going after Trump and following up and holding him to account, but they have to do it to Hillary Clinton as well. 

    [...]

    RACHEL CAMPOS-DUFFY (CO-HOST): If you think it's bad on the English side of the media, let's talk about Spanish-language media. They are so ideologically liberal and they’re unapologetic.

    FAULKNER: You can hear it from Jorge.

    CAMPOS-DUFFY: You hear it from Jorge, who is really the spokesperson for all of Spanish media in a lot of ways. And let me tell you this, there's an opening -- at least on the English side of news, we have Fox News, which is fair and balanced, it gives people a different perspective. There's nothing like that on the Spanish side, and that is why not just Donald Trump but all Republicans have had a difficult moment.

    Previously:

    Jorge Ramos Urges Fellow Journalists Not To “Stay Silent On Donald Trump”

    After Jorge Ramos Makes Multiple Interview Requests, Trump Asks Him For Money

    Univision's Jorge Ramos Reminds Audiences That Trump Continues To Deny His Interview Requests

    Sean Hannity Attacks Jorge Ramos For Pointing Out Trump's Bigoted, Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric

  • NRA News Dismisses LGBT Students’ Safety Concerns Over Texas' New Campus Carry Law

    NRA News Host: LGBT Students Shouldn't Be Afraid "Unless They Have Been Living In A Cave Somewhere"

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    The National Rifle Association’s radio show dismissed personal safety concerns raised by LGBT students at the University of Houston following Texas’ August 1 adoption of a law allowing concealed guns to be carried on many parts of public college campuses.

    Cam Edwards, the host of NRA News’ Cam & Company, cited a Buzzfeed article where a University of Houston student, who self-identifies as transgender and intersex, expressed fear of being shot if someone was angered by their use of gender-neutral pronouns.  

    On the August 30 edition of Cam & Company, Edwards dismissed the student’s worries, as well as those of other LGBT students mentioned in the article, saying he feels “horrible” for those students because “they don't have to feel that way and yet they’re being told by anti-gun professors, they are being told by anti-gun media, they are being told by anti-gun activists that oh yes, absolutely, they should feel this way, they should be scared of concealed carry holders.”

    “Unless they have been living in a cave somewhere in Texas and they only emerged to go to college, they've been hanging around concealed carry holders virtually their entire life if they grew up in Texas,”  Edwards continued. (While discussing the article, Edwards mistakenly cited it as appearing in The Houston Chronicle rather than Buzzfeed.)

    Edwards never read from sections of the Buzzfeed article, where multiple LGBT students talked about how they “regularly experienced intimidation on campus before the law was implemented,” especially from extremists who hold hateful protests on campus, and expressed concern that guns can be carried at the school’s LGBT center:

    Some of the students thought about protesting, but they didn’t think it would be safe. “We would also out ourselves in the process, which isn’t safe for many of the LGBT students on campus,” [student Robyn] Foley added. “Especially now.”

    [...]

    Many of the LGBTQ students told BuzzFeed News they regularly experienced intimidation on campus before the law was implemented — both from fellow students and from non-student religious protest groups on campus, which the students refer to as “Hell Yellers.”

    Many non-student religious groups, including one called Bulldog Ministries, show up on UH’s campus during midterms and finals and yell at students, the students at the LGBT center told BuzzFeed News.

    On Bulldog’s website, men can be seen in various locations in Houston holding signs reading, “WARNING: drunks, homosexuals, abortionists, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, witches, idolaters, HELL AWAITS YOU.”

    [...]

    Foley said they have had slurs yelled at them and been “intimidated” on campus before. Other LGBT students said they have had similar experiences.

    According to news reports analyzed by the Violence Policy Center, since May 2007, 885 people have been killed by concealed carry permittees, including 48 people in Texas. The gunman who committed the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history on June 12 by targeting an Orlando LGBT nightclub was licensed to carry a gun in public.