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  • Wash. Post Fact Check: Trump’s Claim That He Has “Nothing To Do With Russia” Earns “Four Pinocchios”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler gave Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s claim that he has “nothing to do with Russia” the paper’s most severe falsehood rating: “four pinocchios.”

    Media figures questioned Trump’s relationship with Russia after he stood by “frightening” statements that he would defend NATO allies only if they “fulfill their obligations to us” and repeatedly expressed his admiration “for all things Putin-esque.” During a July 27 news conference, Trump denied that he had any financial ties to Russian government officials or investors.

    In a July 27 fact check, Kessler wrote that Trump has previously expressed “continuing interest in doing deals” with Russia but was “finding it difficult.” Kessler wrote that although “it may be possible that he has no current investments in Russia,” it is “not for lack of trying.” Kessler called Trump’s remarks “artfully deceiving” and rated Trump’s claim “four pinocchios.” Kessler wrote:

    In a news conference responding to evidence suggesting Russian agencies hacked the email accounts of the Democratic National Committee, the GOP presidential nominee insisted that he had no business dealings in Russia — with one single exception.

    As he put it: “What do I have to do with Russia? … I bought [a Palm Beach, FL,] house for $40 million and I sold it to a Russian. … I guess probably I sell condos to Russians, okay?” 

    [...]

    But there is other evidence that shows a continuing interest in doing deals not only with Russian real estate buyers, but deals in Russia. “Russia is one of the hottest places in the world for investment,” [Donald] Trump said in a 2007 deposition. “We will be in Moscow at some point,” he said.

    There is some evidence that Trump’s interest in doing business in Russia is unrequited. In 1987, he went to Moscow to find a site for [a] luxury hotel; no deal emerged. In 1996, he sought to build a condominium complex in Russia; that also did not succeed. In 2005, Trump signed a one-year deal with a New York development company to explore a Trump Tower in Moscow, but the effort fizzled.

    In a 2008 speech, Trump’s son, Donald Jr., made it clear that the Trumps want to do business in Russia, but were finding it difficult.

    [...]

    Trump’s remarks are artfully deceiving. He says he had nothing to do with Russia, pointing only to a Florida real estate sale. It may be possible that he has no current investments in Russia, but not for lack of trying.

  • Charlotte Observer Calls Out North Carolina GOP For Attacking Tim Kaine’s Pin Honoring His Marine Son

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    The Charlotte Observer called out North Carolina's Republican party after its official Twitter account tweeted that it was “shameful” for Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine (D-VA) to wear a “Honduras flag pin on his jacket but no American Flag.”

    Throughout the convention, conservative media have tried to paint Democrats as unpatriotic by inaccurately accusing them of failing to displaying American flags on the stage and for not mentioning ISIS on the opening night of the convention. Right-wing media also specifically targeted Kaine's use of Spanish during his speech, mocking his accent and questioning if he was actually fluent in the language.

    The July 28 Observer article noted that the North Carolina GOP inaccurately tweeted that Kaine was wearing a “Honduras flag pin on his jacket but no American flag.” However, WNYT reporter Ben Amey was quick to point out that Kaine’s pin was a “Blue Star Service pin for his son, who’s a deployed Marine.” The North Carolina GOP account replied, thanking Amey “for letting us correct our mistake,” but failed to apologize to Kaine for the error. From The Charlotte Observer:

    When Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Tim Kaine addressed the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Wednesday night, the North Carolina GOP thought it quickly spotted something wrong.

    “[Tim Kaine] wears a Honduras flag pin on his jacket but no American flag,” the state party tweeted as he was speaking. “Shameful.”

    There was one problem: Kaine’s pin, which had a single blue star on a white background bordered with red, wasn’t the flag of Honduras, where he spent a year as a missionary decades ago. It was the symbol for Blue Star Families, or those with members serving in the military.

    Ben Amey, a reporter for WNYT, caught their mistake:

    Kaine’s son, 1st Lt. Nathaniel Kaine, is an infantry officer serving with the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, who deployed to Eastern Europe shortly after his father was named Hillary Clinton’s running mate.

    In his first public speech after being named her vice presidential candidate, Kaine had referenced his pride for his son and the impending deployment.

    “He is a proud Marine, and in just a few days he’s deploying to Europe to uphold America’s commitment to our NATO allies,” Kaine said in the speech. “For me, this drives home the stakes in this election.”

    The person behind the Twitter account thanked Amey for alerting them to the mistake in a reply after deleting the tweet, but did not apologize to Kaine for the error. 

  • Trump War On Media Continues: Wash. Post Reporter Patted Down By Police And Barred From Entering Pence Rally

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    According to The Washington Post, one of the paper’s reporters, Jose A. DelReal, was “was barred from entering” a rally for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) after being “patted down by police.”

    Trump and his campaign have waged a war on the media, which has included promising to “open up our libel laws” to more easily sue news outlets, threatening to retaliate against media outlets with the power of government agencies, issuing personal insults against journalists, and repeatedly suing or threatening to sue media figures. Trump has also shut out Hispanic media, giving only one interview to a Hispanic media network since announcing his candidacy, and revoked press credentials for various outlets, including The Washington Post. Most recently, journalists at the Republican convention expressed concern that Trump’s treatment of journalists show he is a “dictator-in-waiting.”

    In the July 28 article, Post reporter Paul Farhi recounted how DelReal “was barred from entering the venue [of Pence’s campaign event] after security staffers summoned local police to pat him down in a search for his cellphone":

    At Pence’s first public event since he was introduced as the Republican vice-presidential candidate two weeks ago, a Post reporter was barred from entering the venue after security staffers summoned local police to pat him down in a search for his cellphone.

    Pence’s campaign expressed embarrassment and regret about the episode, which an official blamed on overzealous campaign volunteers.

    Post reporter Jose A. DelReal sought to cover Pence’s rally at the Waukesha County Exposition Center outside Milwaukee, but he was turned down for a credential beforehand by volunteers at a press check-in table.

    DelReal then tried to enter via the general-admission line, as Post reporters have done without incident since Trump last month banned the newspaper from his events. He was stopped there by a private security official who told him he couldn’t enter the building with his laptop and cellphone. When DelReal asked whether others attending the rally could enter with their cellphones, he said the unidentified official replied, “Not if they work for The Washington Post.”

    After placing his computer and phone in his car, DelReal returned to the line and was detained again by security personnel, who summoned two county sheriff’s deputies. The officers patted down DelReal’s legs and torso, seeking his phone, the reporter said.

    When the officers — whom DelReal identified as Deputy John Lappley and Capt. Michelle Larsuel — verified that he wasn’t carrying a phone, the reporter asked to be admitted. The security person declined. “He said, ‘I don’t want you here. You have to go,’ ” DelReal said.

    [...]

    The incident involving DelReal marks another in a series of run-ins between the news media and the campaign.

    In June, Politico reporter Ben Schreckinger was ejected from a Trump event in San Jose by a campaign staffer and a private security guard after he tried to cover the rally without the campaign’s permission. In February, a photojournalist from Time magazine, Christopher Morris, was roughed up by a Secret Service agent as journalists rushed to cover a protest at one of his rallies. And Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, yanked and bruised the arm of a reporter for Breitbart News, Michelle Fields, when she tried to question Trump after a speech in March.