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  • ABC Reports Corey Lewandowski “Is Back In The Fold” With Trump Campaign While Remaining Paid CNN Contributor

    Blog ››› ››› BRENDAN KARET

    Lewandowski
    ABC News reports that Corey Lewandowski is “still involved” in Trump’s campaign, highlighting CNN’s ongoing ethical nightmare in hiring Lewandowski as a paid contributor.

    “Lewandowski is back in the fold,” according to a report released by ABC News from campaign sources that describe Lewandowski’s relationship with Trump as “stronger than ever.” Despite his contract with CNN Lewandowski talks with and advises Trump “almost every day,” according to a “senior level campaign staffer”:

    As Donald Trump arrived in Manchester, New Hampshire, for a rally a week ago, he stepped out of his motorcade and was greeted by a familiar face: Corey Lewandowski.

    Lewandowski had been fired in late-June after serving as Trump’s first campaign manager. Given the internal fighting, Trump’s losing ground in the polls, and the candidate’s and his family’s alleged lack of confidence in Lewandowski, the campaign cut him loose June 20.

    [...]

    Now, a few weeks and a lucrative cable network contract later, Lewandowski is back in the fold, according to multiple campaign sources. They describe Lewandowski’s relationship with the candidate as “stronger than ever.”

    Each day, Trump wakes up, usually in his Fifth Avenue penthouse, and has a routine round of calls, sources say, that includes his campaign leadership (which has changed in recent weeks), his children, some close allies and someone else quite frequently: Lewandowski.

    CNN has been roundly criticized for ethical issues surrounding the hiring of Lewandowski and the subsequent nightmare he has caused the network. CNN has given Lewandowski a platform to defend Trump at every turn, while Lewandowski travels with the Trump campaign and receives paid severance from Trump , while having a non-disclosure agreement with the Trump campaign.

    And despite persistent calls for CNN to cut ties with Lewandowski, the network has stood by him as a contributor.

  • Rachel Maddow Rips Trump After "Stunning" And "Profound Rejection" From Reputable Economists

    Blog ››› ››› ALEX MORASH

    MSNBC host Rachel Maddow ridiculed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump after a Wall Street Journal survey found not a single former member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) would support his presidency.

    Maddow opened the August 25 edition of her program by blasting Trump over a Wall Street Journal survey that revealed that no former CEA members would state support for the GOP nominee. Maddow reported that while this “very diverse group” of 45 economists had served eight different presidents -- including five Republicans -- “the one thing they all have in common is that not a single one of them supports Donald Trump for president.”

    According to the Journal, no Democratic or Republican advisers expressed support for Trump. Two former Republican advisers (Matthew Slaughter and Richard Schmalensee) crossed party lines to offer support for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. And two GOP advisers (former Reagan appointees William Poole and Jerry Jordan) even stated their support for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson over their own party’s nominee. Maddow called the survey result “stunning,” and compared the economists’ “profound rejection” of Trump to being passed over at a dance. Maddow noted that it was like asking someone to dance, “and everybody in the world decides they will never dance again because of you” (emphasis added):

    RACHEL MADDOW (HOST): It's one thing to have, you know, some dissident Republicans rejecting a party's presidential nominee. It happens here and there. It happens, to a greater or lesser extent, with almost every nominee from both major parties every election cycle. There's always a dissenter here or there, but when it's everyone alive who has ever worked for any American president as an economic adviser including the last five Republican presidents, and they all reject you. That’s not like, you ask somebody to dance and they say, “no I don't want to dance with you.” That's like, you ask someone to dance and everybody in the world decides they will never dance again because of you. I mean, this is just -- this is profound rejection. I find that just stunning.

    During the segment, Maddow also highlighted a bitingly critical indictment of Trump that Harvard economist Martin Feldstein, a former CEA chairman under President Reagan, told to The Wall Street Journal:

    “I have known personally every Republican president since Richard Nixon. They all showed a real understanding of economics and international affairs. The same was true of Mitt Romney. Donald Trump does not have that understanding and does not seem to be concerned about it. That alone disqualifies him in my judgement.”

    The revelations from the Journal’s survey were also a topic of conversation on the August 26 edition of CNN’s New Day, during which Trump booster Steve Forbes dismissed the revelation and pivoted to highlight the supposed strength of Trump's advisers: Stephen Moore and Larry Kudlow. Moore and Kudlow have been dogged for making inaccurate statements and failed predictions over the years. Moore was accused of having “a troubled relationship with facts” by Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, who went on to say that Moore may be maintaining a career in conservative economics only because “incompetence is actually desirable at some level” in those circles. Meanwhile, Kudlow recently lectured single parents that they are partly to blame for poverty even though he admitted to having "virtually no knowledge in this field.”

    The Journal's failure to find a single Democratic or Republican supporter of Trump among 45 former presidential economic advisers follows an August 22 report from the paper that hundreds of business economists overwhelmingly prefer Clinton as the best candidate on the economy. Clinton received the support of 55 percent of 414 economists surveyed by the National Association of Business Economics (NABE). Trump drew votes from just 14 percent of NABE members, once again registering less support on the economy than Gary Johnson, who garned 15 percent.

    The almost complete lack of support for Trump on the economy comes despite months of the GOP nominee being the dominant force in cable news discussions of the economy -- thanks in part to appearing on Fox News’ Hannity 24 times during the first six months of 2016.

  • CNN’s Corey Lewandowski Says He's Traveling With The Trump Campaign

    Lewandowski Announced On Twitter That He's With Trump In New Hampshire

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    CNN political commentator Corey Lewandowski announced in an August 25 tweet that he is with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his campaign in New Hampshire.

    Lewandowski was hired by CNN as a political commentator in June, just days after he was fired from Trump’s campaign. The move drew sharp criticism from media experts, who questioned the network’s ethics after it hired the former campaign manager, who was reported to have a hostile and inappropriate relationship with reporters. Lewandowski has simultaneously received both severance from Trump’s campaign and a salary from the network while appearing on air to campaign for and defend Trump from media criticism. He’s defended Trump on his alleged solicitations from foreign entities, his attacks on a Gold Star family, and even Trump’s claims that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya. It was reported this month that Lewandowski has returned to advising Trump despite his paid commentary position with CNN, and his firm was reportedly paid $20,000 by the campaign in July. In an open letter to CNN president Jeff Zucker, Media Matters president Bradley Beychok has called on Zucker to publicly address questions regarding the hiring of Lewandowski or suspend him from the network.

    From Lewandowski’s August 25 tweet:

     For information on Media Matters’ petition for CNN to cut ties with Lewandowski, please click here.

  • The Four Ways Right-Wing Media Reacted To Trump’s Alleged Immigration Shift

    ››› ››› CAT DUFFY

    The right-wing media reactions to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s claim that he is considering softening his position on immigration, varied wildly, including criticizing his shift as a mistake, slamming his lack of policy consistency, praising him for “seeing the light on immigration reform,” and simply ignoring his latest comments entirely.

  • After Trump Calls Clinton A "Bigot," Cable News Pushes His Narrative

    Blog ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

    Cable news outlets are giving oxygen to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s narrative that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is a “bigot” by repeatedly discussing his remarks and entertaining questions about whether Clinton is indeed a bigot. Several segments even whitewashed Trump’s history of racist remarks.

    During an August 24 rally in Mississippi, Trump claimed that Hillary Clinton is a “bigot” who “sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future.” The remarks, which were prepared on his teleprompter, have also been repeatedly uttered by Trump over the last week.

    Trump’s remark drove a large portion of today’s cable TV coverage, which examined Trump’s claim in multiple segments, many without any critical pushback by hosts or reporters. While some segments were critical of Trump’s remarks, they still allowed Trump to drive the conversation. Other segments actually entertained Trump’s claim, including by allowing a Trump surrogate to baselessly claim that Clinton had used racist rhetoric toward African-Americans in the past and a Republican operative to praise Trump’s “rising” rhetoric.

    Some coverage whitewashed Trump’s history of racist rhetoric altogether. Discussing the remark with Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, CNN host Chris Cuomo agreed with Conway’s assertion that it was unfair for people to call Trump a bigot, saying, “When people call him a bigot, I’ll say, ‘why do you call him that,’” and adding, “They shouldn’t call him that” if they can’t justify it. In fact, Trump has repeatedly smeared Muslims, called Mexicans “rapists,” targeted a judge because of his Mexican heritage, discriminated against African-Americans, and courted the white nationalist movement. Some in the media have in fact explicitly urged colleagues to label Trump’s rhetoric “blatantly racist” in the interests of accuracy, and to stop mainstreaming his bigoted comments.