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  • CNN Fact-Checks Trump's False Claim That America Is Full Of Criminal Immigrants

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the September 1 edition of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360:

    DON LEMON (HOST): Donald Trump laying out his immigration plan in a speech tonight in Phoenix. Now, our CNN Reality Check team takes a look, here is our Tom Foreman. What do you have for us, Tom?

    TOM FOREMAN: Hey Don, you know the central theme of all of this, a big theme, was that among all the undocumented people in this country, there are a lot of dangerous criminals.

    [...]

    FOREMAN: 2 million. That is a whopping number, but analysts say to get to that number of criminals among this population, you basically have to count every possible infraction including traffic tickets. Maybe it is more realistic to look at this number from the Migration Policy Institute.

    1.4 million people on the priority list for apprehension for more serious offenses, or maybe you should even look at this number, 690,000 convicted of felonies or serious misdemeanors. That's another estimate that is out there. That seems credible in all of this. Still a big number, but only about a third of what Trump says.

    Nonetheless, he says he wants to go after them, he wants a task force to really crackdown on this population out there. The problem is one started just a year ago under the immigration office there. Priority Enforcement Program, that is what they call it, and it is aimed at getting the worst criminals off of the street.

    It's a big job. Maybe he will make it better. Maybe he will put more agents out there as he promised. Maybe he will do that on day one in terms of getting that started, so we can't say otherwise. That that part of the claim is true, but to the extent that none of this is going to produce immediate results, it simply can't. It is too big of a job. It is also misleading.

    Previously:

    White Nationalist Media Cheers Trump’s “Almost Perfect” Immigration Speech

    Media Reactions To Trump’s Immigration Speech: Same Extremist Trump

    CNN's Corey Lewandowski: Trump Immigration Speech Was A Tactical Decision To Appeal To White Males
     

  • White Nationalist Media Cheers Trump’s “Almost Perfect” Immigration Speech

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Donald Trump’s August 31 immigration speech was an angry, hateful rant that sought to fearmonger over the purported dangers immigrants pose to the United States. Trump’s white nationalist media supporters loved it.

    Trump’s disturbing courtship with and widespread support from white nationalists is unprecedented for a major party nominee in recent history. Stephen Bannon, the chief executive of the "alt-right" publication Breitbart News, recently became chief executive of Trump's campaign.

    During and after Trump’s speech, white nationalists weighed in with glowing testimonials.

    Jared Taylor, publisher of the white nationalist publication American Renaissance:

    David Duke, radio host and former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan:
    Richard Spencer, white nationalist writer and founder of the “alt-right”:
     
     
  • Media Reactions To Trump’s Immigration Speech: Same Extremist Trump

    Trump Doubled Down On His Anti-Immigrant Policies

    ››› ››› BRENDAN KARET

    After Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gave a long-awaited speech promising to solidify his stance on immigration, media figures described Trump’s speech as a “repackaged version of Trump's standard stump lines,” and “vintage Trump,” highlighting his reiteration of his previously-detailed extreme policies.

  • MSNBC’s Hugh Hewitt Calls Donald Trump’s Immigration Rant “Sophisticated”

    Hewitt: "This Was The Mainstream Policy" Of The Republican Party On Immigration

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of MSNBC's The Place for Politics:

    STEVE KORNACKI (HOST): Do you think [Trump] provided clarity tonight, and do you think that that clarity that he provided, will it attract new voters who weren't already with him? 

    HUGH HEWITT: He provided clarity from the beginning of the day to the end, I think, Steve. It was his very best day of his presidential campaign. Bill Kristol earlier with Lawrence O'Donnell was making, I think, the key takeaway. When you start with the morning, bad news for Hillary Clinton all over the place. Her negatives are down in The Washington Post poll. Obamacare is falling apart. 30 new concealed emails on Benghazi. 

    Donald Trump goes down to Mexico, has a very perfectly normal diplomatic engagement with the president of Mexico, has a great press conference afterwards, takes questions, which Secretary Clinton won't take from the press in any setting, and then comes back and gives a very, very sophisticated speech that I think mirrors -- I did 170 interviews with active Republican presidential candidates. That was the mainstream policy what he articulated today. We do points one through ten first, and then we'll talk about the other people. I think it is a softening. I think it was sophisticated and very powerful.

    Previously:

    CNN's Gloria Borger: The Term "Pivot" Should "Be Put In A Lock Box" When Talking About Trump

    Sean Hannity Calls Donald Trump's Immigration Rant “Pivotal” And “Very Powerful”

  • CNN's Corey Lewandowski: Trump Immigration Speech Was A Tactical Decision To Appeal To White Males

    Lewandowski: White Males "Have A High Propensity Of Voting. ... This Speech Is Clearly Geared At Those Individuals Right Now"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of CNN's CNN Tonight with Don Lemon:

    DON LEMON (HOST): Corey, I think you believe that the speech was effective, but what do you -- how do you respond to the rest of the panel saying he did not expand the base, this was probably to strengthen his core base that he already has? Do you agree?

    COREY LEWANDOWSKI: Look, I think Donald Trump's message tonight was the message that he started with back on June of 2015, which was "America First." That's what he believes, and what he is playing to -- and if you look at the polling data, he's got about an 18 point lead in the demographic of white males who are voting in this election.

    They have a high propensity of voting, and so he's got about an 18 point lead on Hillary Clinton in that particular demographic. This speech is clearly geared at those individuals right now, to make sure they are there, he has locked them in for the election.

    And now he is going to have to go and expand, there is no question about it, but this speech right here, "America First" is something that has got him to this point, and he's doubled down on it tonight.

    Previously:

    Fox Previews Trump's Immigration Speech With Images Of Drug Runners Crossing Border

    Breitbart News Attacked Clinton For Calling Mexican President A Friend, But Ignored Trump Doing Same

    Media Figures Praise Optics Of Trump’s Mexico Visit, Ignoring Trump Campaign’s Bigotry Toward Mexicans
     

  • Sean Hannity Calls Donald Trump's Immigration Rant “Pivotal” And “Very Powerful”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of Fox News' Hannity:

    SEAN HANNITY (HOST): You know, it seems that this probably turned out for Donald Trump to be a pivotal moment, and I would argue probably the best day of his campaign. He looked presidential in Mexico. He gave a powerful speech. He laid out a very powerful case.

    Previously:

    Sean Hannity Has Given Donald Trump $31 Million In Free Publicity

    Sean Hannity: I'll Take Responsibility For Trump If He Goes Back On His Promises

    VIDEO: Donald Trump And Sean Hannagree

  • CNN's Gloria Borger: The Term "Pivot" Should "Be Put In A Lock Box" When Talking About Trump

    Borger: “There Was No Softening Here That I Could See”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of CNN's CNN Tonight:

    GLORIA BORGER: I think during this whole campaign, people have been waiting for a different Trump to show up. He's had different people running his campaign, as you know, Corey [Lewandowski], and people keep saying, "oh, Trump's going to change, he's going to be different, he's going to so-called pivot," which I think that ought to be put in a lock box that word, because Trump was tough tonight. This -- we were talking about whether he was going to soften on immigration, what his policy would be on mass deportation. There's a little bit of confusion here to me and we can talk about that later, but I do think that he made it very clear that those who are today illegally, who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and only one route: to return home and apply for reentry. There was a little bit of confusion later on in the speech to me, but I do believe that this was tough, it was build the wall, it was Mexico's paying for it, and there was no softening here that I could see.

    Previously:

    Fox Hypes A Trump Pivot The Same Day Trump Says He Won't Pivot

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

    The Problem With The Media's 'Trump Is Pivoting' Narrative

     

  • Fox Previews Trump's Immigration Speech With Images Of Drug Runners Crossing Border

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    FoxDrugRunners

    Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor previewed a major immigration speech by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump with anti-immigrant rhetoric, while displaying images of drug runners crossing into the U.S. During the segment Fox analyst Ralph Peters argued against so called "anchor babies," due process for immigrants, and argued against undocumented immigrants ever getting the right to vote.

    From the August 31 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

    ERIC BOLLING (GUEST HOST): Let's use Mexican and American laborers, we'll share the laborers and that's a way to help defray some of the cost to Mexico, use some of their labor.

    RALPH PETERS: Well, it would probably wind up being built largely by illegal immigrants anyway. But Eric -- Eric, I strongly believe, strongly, that what we need to do is first, as Mr. Trump has said, "enforce the laws on the books." Get the felons out of here. We need to revamp other laws, pass new ones.

    When you were apprehended at the border, it shouldn't be catch and release. You go back immediately. And what we have got to do is stop sympathizing with the criminals and penalizing the victims. So these ideas of endless appeals and anchor babies, sorry if that offends anybody, that stuff -- that nonsense has to stop.

    We need legal immigration. But we -- not illegal, and here is my bottom line. No one who enters this country illegally ever, ever gets to vote for president, senator, representative, governor, judge, et cetera.

    Previously:

    Fox Hypes Photo Of One Man Climbing Border Fence To Fearmonger Over Border Security

    Bill O'Reilly Says A Border Wall Will "Stop The Tons Of Hard Narcotics Flowing Into America"

    Media Figures Praise Optics Of Trump’s Mexico Visit, Ignoring Trump Campaign’s Bigotry Toward Mexicans

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

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

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

  • Breitbart News Attacked Clinton For Calling Mexican President A Friend, But Ignored Trump Doing Same

    Blog ››› ››› ANDREW LAWRENCE

    Breitbart News praised Donald Trump, who called Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto a “friend” during his visit with the leader in Mexico City, but the conservative media outlet previously harshly criticized Hillary Clinton for doing the same thing.

    Breitbart praised Trump’s August 31 visit with Nieto, describing it as a “triumph,” and commended his “softer, diplomatic persona.” The article, however, failed to mention Trump’s description of Nieto as his personal “friend”:

    DONALD TRUMP: A strong prosperous and vibrant Mexico is in the best interest of the United States and will keep and help keep, for a long, long period of time, America together. Both of our countries will work together for mutual good, and most importantly for the mutual good of our people. Mr. President, I want to thank you. It’s been a tremendous honor and I call you a friend. Thank you.

    However, in June 2016, Breitbart reported on a statement by Clinton in which she criticized Trump for praising “dictators like Vladimir Putin” while attacking “our friends – including the British prime minister, the mayor of London, the German chancellor, the president of Mexico and the Pope.” Breitbart attacked Clinton for her description of Nieto, calling him “scandal-plagued” and pointing out that Mexican media had accused him “of taking cartel money for his campaign.”

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton has claimed that Mexico’s corruption and scandal-plagued President Enrique Peña Nieto is America’s friend. The same president that has been accused by Mexican media of taking cartel money for his campaign while the country continues to see rising levels of violence, criminal impunity, and smuggling.

    […]

    Despite her efforts to attack Trump, Clinton failed to mention a few key facts about Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto that reveal he may not be a good friend to have. Earlier this year, Breitbart Texas reported on how an in-depth investigation by Aristegui Noticias in Mexico revealed that the Juarez Cartel had used shell companies to funnel money and help finance his presidential bid. The cartel moneys were used to purchase a series of cash cards that were handed out to individuals who pledged their vote to Peña Nieto’s party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). The independent Mexican journalists also revealed that members of the Juarez Cartel had used various government programs to launder money and profit from their network of contacts. In addition to the cartel ties in his campaign, Peña Nieto has also been accused of taking bribes from wealthy businessmen in exchange for lucrative contracts.

    On August 17 it was announced that Stephen Bannon would be taking a leave of absence from his role as the executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC to become chief executive of Donald Trump’s campaign. Throughout the campaign Breitbart has received criticism for its devotion to Donald Trump, while Trump himself has shared Breitbart News articles 186 times on social media.

  • Media Figures Praise Optics Of Trump’s Mexico Visit, Ignoring Trump Campaign’s Bigotry Toward Mexicans

    ››› ››› NINA MAST & CRAIG HARRINGTON

    Media figures across the political spectrum praised Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s joint press conference in Mexico with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, which Trump’s aides reportedly said was specifically designed as a “photo opportunity” to make Trump appear “presidential.” Numerous figures accordingly praised Trump as “presidential.” Regardless of optics, Trump has a long history of anti-immigrant and anti-Mexican rhetoric and xenophobia.

  • 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.