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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

  • Prosecutors Investigating Trump Campaign CEO Steve Bannon For Being Registered To Vote In FL County He Didn’t Live In

    While Breitbart News Pushed Voter Fraud Myths

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    NBC News reports that Florida prosecutors are now investigating Donald Trump’s campaign chief executive Stephen Bannon after a report from The Guardian alleged that he is registered to vote in Florida, “at an empty house where he does not live.” Bannon was the executive chairman of Breitbart News, which has peddled myths about voter fraud for years.

  • 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”

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

    ››› ››› DINA RADTKE

    Latino media figures are infuriated at the announcement that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is traveling to Mexico to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Several Latinos in the media noted that Trump has built his campaign on aggressively attacking Mexico and Mexican immigrants in the United States, and called the move a Hail Mary pass between two “desperate men.”

  • 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

  • GOP Strategist: Trump Has Been “Existing In This Sort Of Sean Hannity-Rush Limbaugh Bubble”

    Rick Wilson: Trump’s Meeting With Mexico's President Will Be “A Dumpster Fire”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of MSNBC’s MSNBC Live with Tamron Hall:

    TAMRON HALL (HOST): How do you see this meeting [between Donald Trump and Mexico's president] playing out today? 

    RICK WILSON: I see this meeting playing out as being a dumpster fire on top of a giant mountain of burning tires. There is very little condition that Donald Trump comes out of this where he doesn't, first off, lie about what happened in the meeting. He is going to say, "The Mexicans agreed to everything I want. They're building the wall -- we’re building the wall. They're paying for it." And then the Mexicans are going to blow him up. This is a guy who has -- he's been very accustomed to existing in this sort of Sean Hannity-Rush Limbaugh bubble for the last few months where no alternative reality impinges. But this is a real deal with an actual head of state of a foreign power. And he's going to have to go there and he can't just lie his way out of it. He can't just say, "Oh, they've agreed to all my terms. The Mexicans are now writing a check for me at this very moment to build my magical wall." And the problem is more broadly, he's trying to, quote, unquote, "appeal to Hispanic voters." But he's about to give a speech tonight that is pure Stephen Miller, that is going to be the same story that he's told before where he's talking about Mexicans as practically genetically criminals and they're rapists and all this other stuff to appeal to his base. And I don't think he's going to get anywhere with Hispanic voters in this country by continuing to be so divisive and by having to live up to what his crowds desire versus what would be smart politically. He’s not a guy with any compassion in his soul so it's going to fall very flat. 

    Previously:

    A GOP Strategist Explains How Donald Trump Knows Anti-Semites And White Nationalists Are "The Center Of His Play" 

    Donald Trump’s Probable Immigration Plan Will Be Ripped Straight From Right-Wing Media

    Sean Hannity And Donald Trump’s Immigration Townhall Focuses On Fearmongering

    Limbaugh: Trump And I Say "Similar Things" About Immigrants, And Now He's "Changed The Entire Debate"

  • Fox Ignores Report That Trump’s Modeling Agency Encouraged Immigrants To Work Without Documents

    Blog ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    Fox News ignored a report from Mother Jones revealing that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s modeling agency, Trump Model Management, “profited from using foreign models who came to the United States on tourist visas that did not permit them to work here.” The report got attention from MSNBC and CNN, where it was discussed as a “particularly awkward” point of hypocrisy for Trump ahead of his speech on immigration.

    Mother Jones published the report, titled “Former Models For Donald Trump’s Agency Say They Violated Immigration Rules And Worked Illegally, on August 30, one day before Trump is scheduled to give a policy speech on immigration. According to the report, one model who was represented by Trump Model Management said that the agency is “the most crooked agency I’ve ever worked for, and I’ve worked for quite a few.” Another model added that “Trump has been fooling American voters with his anti-immigrant rhetoric, given that his own agency had engaged in the practices he has denounced.” Mother Jones also reported that the models “said Trump's agency encouraged them to deceive customs officials about why they were visiting”:

    Two of the former Trump models said Trump's agency encouraged them to deceive customs officials about why they were visiting the United States and told them to lie on customs forms about where they intended to live. Anna said she received a specific instruction from a Trump agency representative: "If they ask you any questions, you're just here for meetings."

    Organized efforts to evade laws regulating immigrant work were added by Congress, according to the American Bar Association, to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in 1996 outlawing “any act that violates section 274 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (entitled 'Bringing in and harboring certain aliens'), provided that the act is done for financial gain.”

    In the 24 hours after the report was published, CNN and MSNBC devoted several segments to the allegations, highlighting the discrepancies between Trump’s immigration proposals and the ways his own business practices reportedly abused the immigration system. CNN’s Alisyn Camerota asked Trump’s running mate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence if the report “point[s] out the hypocrisy” of Trump’s call to end or place severe restrictions on the H-1B visa program. CNN political analyst Rebecca Berg pointed out that the story highlighted “some inconsistencies between what Donald Trump is saying and what he's actually done in his business career.” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow called the report “particularly awkward,” given that Trump is “trying to reclaim what’s supposedly [his] signature issue, right, [his] hardline stance on illegal immigrants.”

    Fox News did not cover the report or its findings in the 24 hour period after it was published.