The Political Cesspool

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  • White Nationalist Show's Syndicator Threatens To Release Emails Proving Trump Camp Lied About Interview

    Syndicator: "The Trump Campaign Through Their Booking Agency ... Absolutely Invited James To Do The Interview"

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    The syndicator for a white nationalist radio program is threatening to release emails proving Donald Trump's campaign is lying about having "nothing to do with" Donald Trump Jr. fielding questions from a white nationalist during an interview.  

    James Edwards is the host of the Liberty News Radio-syndicated The Political Cesspool, which describes itself as representing "a philosophy that is pro-White" and states that it has supported "pro-Confederate" causes against "black malcontents." 

    The Trump campaign gave Edwards and his Political Cesspool radio program press credentials for its February 27 rally in Memphis, TN. Edwards then wrote on his website that an upcoming show "will feature a previously taped 20-minute interview with Donald Trump, Jr." 

    Edwards' credentials and interview claim set off a media controversy and forced the Trump campaign to run for cover. The Trump campaign initially claimed on March 2:

    "Donald Trump Jr. was not in attendance and although he served as a surrogate for his father on several radio programs over the past week, to his knowledge and that of the campaign, did not participate in an interview with this individual."

    However, during the morning of March 1, Trump Jr. appeared on Liberty Roundtable with host Sam Bushman, with Edwards appearing as a guest and questioner. Bushman is Edwards' syndicator and friend, and he guest-hosted The Political Cesspool on February 27 while Edwards reported from the rally.

    Following the interview with Trump Jr. on that March 1 program, Edwards said the connection came about because "a press agency that's scheduling interviews for" Trump Jr. and brother Eric Trump reached out to Edwards to schedule an interview. Because of availability problems, the Liberty Roundtable hosted the interview instead of The Political Cesspool.

    After it was revealed that Trump Jr. talked to Edwards, the Trump campaign professed complete ignorance of him:

    Trump Jr. said Wednesday that he was speaking to another radio host for a previously scheduled interview via telephone when, unbeknownst to him, Edwards chimed in with questions. "He was brought into the interview without my knowledge," the 38-year-old executive vice president for the Trump Organization said in an interview with Bloomberg Politics. "Had I known, I would have obviously never done an interview with him."

    Bushman is now claiming the Trump campaign is lying about their interactions and is threatening to release "emails" proving it.

    On his March 3 show, Bushman claimed that in his email reply to Trump's booking agency, he wrote "this is Sam Bushman, I own Liberty News Radio, that's the nationally syndicated radio network, James has a show on my network called The Political Cesspool, he went to your rally, was credentialed at your rally, you reached out to James with your email, and I'm responding back and saying that James can't do the interview because he has a weekend show, but I would love to do the interview."

    Bushman then added: "The Trump campaign reached out through their booking agency, though. Remember that fact. The Trump campaign reached out to James to do a radio interview via their booking agency."

    Bushman says he responded to the agency making clear they wanted to do the interview and cc'd Edwards.

    He continued, "I called James and said 'James, do you want to be on with us?' And the reason I did is because this all came through James. It was James' media credentials that they had approved. James was the one that attended the rally. They were the ones that reached out -- meaning the Trump campaign through their booking agency -- and absolutely invited James to do the interview." 

    Bushman claimed "people are kind of hinting" they don't want him to re-air the interview, and he said he would "drag out every email" about the interview if the Trump campaign doesn't stop the "lies":

    BUSHMAN: The interview was incredible; we talked about all kinds of good things. In fact, we're going to play the interview back so you can hear it. OK, people are kind of hinting they don't want us to play it back. I don't take directions very well from these thugs. I don't appreciate their lies and abuse and manipulation and game playing. OK, so I'm just going to tell you the story straight and if they want to debate it, we'll take that sucker on CNN and drag out every email and every little tidbit and tit-for-tat and this whole thing, because we will slaughter them, including the Trump campaign if they don't stop. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not taking on the Trump campaign. I'm just telling you that we're not going to tolerate lies and game playing.

    In a subsequent segment, Bushman said, "Trump Jr. is backing away big time, and he shouldn't be." He continued that "the bottom line, though, is the Trump campaign is now saying, 'Well, we never reached out to James Edwards.' Well that's true, ladies and gentlemen, factually, but it's intellectually dishonest. Factually, their booking agency reached out to James. And they're now trying to say, 'Well, that booking agency didn't really do what they were supposed to.' OK, well now we can debate that: They were on hire from the Trump campaign."

    "The idea that they had nothing to do with it and didn't reach out to James is a lie," said Bushman.

    "We can prove it, don't play games with me. We have the emails. We can prove it. And we've even sent the emails to the campaign headquarters and so they know the truth. But they don't want to tell the truth."

  • Trump Campaign Runs For Cover Following Revelation They Credentialed White Nationalist Radio Show

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ


    Donald Trump's presidential campaign is running for cover following the revelation that a white nationalist radio show received press credentials for a Trump rally and will feature an interview with Donald Trump, Jr. 

    On March 1, Media Matters and Little Green Footballs' Charles Johnson reported that James Edwards, host of the white nationalist radio program The Political Cesspool, had written in a blog post that he "attended a Donald Trump rally in Memphis on Saturday night as a fully credentialed member of the media" and that his upcoming show "will feature a previously taped 20-minute interview with Donald Trump, Jr." Edwards repeatedly praised Trump in his blog post, calling him "the first Republican nominee that I have ever voted for" and declaring him "the only candidate who gives us a chance at having a fighter who will put America first." 

    As Media Matters has documented, national civil rights groups have criticized the program for supporting anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers, and white supremacists like David Duke. The show openly states on its website that it's a "pro-White" program that wishes "to revive the White birthrate above replacement level fertility." Edwards has also claimed that Martin Luther King Jr.'s "dream is our nightmare," "interracial sex is white genocide," and "slavery is the greatest thing that ever happened to" African-Americans.

    After coming under heavy criticism, the Trump campaign has responded by furiously backpedaling, seeking to avoid the taint of their toxic white nationalist supporters as Trump tries to solidify his hold on the Republican nomination.

    Trump's campaign claimed in a March 2 statement that media credentials were provided "to everyone that requested access to the event on Saturday in Memphis," adding: "There were close to 200 reporters in attendance and we do not personally vet each individual. The campaign had no knowledge of his personal views and strongly condemns them."

    But Trump's campaign has frequently denied access to specific reporters and publications who have displeased them. In fact, according to The Wrap, the African-American publication The New Tri-State Defender was denied credentials for the Memphis event Edwards attended.

    Trump's son has also claimed that he "wouldn't have consented to an interview with a pro-slavery radio host had he known the host held those views," according to BloombergPolitics. He asserted that the interview "was not vetted" and was the result of him calling "35 different stations to tout his father's GOP presidential campaign, and one host asked him to speak with another host, who ended up being Edwards."

    Responding to the controversy, Edwards wrote on his blog, "in no way should anyone interpret our press credentialing and subsequent interview with Donald Trump, Jr. as any kind of endorsement by the Trump campaign."

    Trump's campaign has repeatedly been the subject of heavy criticism and struggled to provide explanations for the support and praise they have received from white nationalist groups and figures. White nationalists have praised Trump for spurring "unprecedented interest in" their ideology and putting their ideas "firmly in the mainstream." Trump was recently excoriated after he repeatedly refused to denounce former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke's support during a February 28 CNN interview.

  • Donald Trump's Campaign Gave Press Credentials To A White Nationalist Radio Program

    ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Donald Trump's presidential campaign gave press credentials to the white nationalist radio program The Political Cesspoolwhich says it will soon air an interview with Donald Trump Jr. National civil rights groups have criticized the program for supporting anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers, and white supremacists like David Duke. The show openly states on its website that it's a "pro-White" program that wishes "to revive the White birthrate above replacement level fertility." It is hosted by white nationalist James Edwards, who has claimed that Martin Luther King Jr.'s "dream is our nightmare," "interracial sex is white genocide," and "slavery is the greatest thing that ever happened to" African-Americans.

  • White Nationalists Behind Pro-Trump Robocall: Trump's Response Was "Wonderful" And Validating

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Two white nationalists who robocalled voters in support of Donald Trump are praising his response to their campaign as "wonderful" and a validation of their efforts. While Trump said he disavowed their robocall, the white nationalists believe Trump did it "in the nicest possible way" and affirmed "they're right to be furious."

    The American National Super PAC, led by William Daniel Johnson, earlier this month issued a robocall asking Iowa voters to support Trump because of his anti-immigrant views. Johnson, who identified himself during the call as a "white nationalist," told TPM he ultimately wants "a white ethno-state, a country made up of only white people." White nationalist writer Jared Taylor also participated in the call. The Anti-Defamation League describes Taylor as someone who "advocates voluntary segregation" and "upholds racial homogeneity as the key to fostering peaceful coexistence."

    During a January 13 interview, Trump was asked by CNN's Erin Burnett if he denounces the robocall. Trump responded: "I would disavow it, but nothing in this country shocks me. People are angry. They're angry at what's going on" with regard to illegal immigration: 

    BURNETT: Mr. Trump, when you hear that, does that shock you? Do you denounce that?

    TRUMP: Nothing in this country shocks me. I would disavow it, but nothing in this country shocks me. People are angry. They're angry at what's going on. They're angry at the border. They're angry at the crime. They're angry at people coming in and shooting Kate in the back in California and San Francisco. They're angry when Jamiel Shaw shot in the face by an illegal immigrant. They're angry when the woman, the veteran, 65 years old is raped, sodomized, and killed by an illegal immigrant. And, they're very angry about it, and -- by the way, thousands of other cases like that. They're very angry about it. So, I would disavow that, but I will tell you people are extremely angry.

    BURNETT: People are extremely angry, but to be clear, when he says, "We need smart, well-educated white people to assimilate to our culture, vote Trump," you're saying you disavow that. You do denounce that?

    TRUMP: Well, you just heard me. I said it. How many times do you want me to say it?

    BURNETT: A third would be good.

    TRUMP: I said I disavow.

    During a January 16 interview on the "pro-White" radio show The Political Cesspool, Johnson and host James Edwards praised Trump's response as "wonderful" and "quite good." Johnson said he "couldn't have asked for a better approach from him":

    JOHNSON: Donald Trump's response when he was asked to address it was just a wonderful response. He disavowed us, but he explained why there is so much anger in America that I couldn't have asked for a better approach from him.

    EDWARDS: I was going to ask you about that. So, you know, of course I saw that. In a perfect world he would say, "You know what? These guys are right. What are you going to do about it?" But understandably there is still a political reality. I think fundamentally, as I say on this show time and time again, most middle American, middle class whites agree with us fundamentally on the issues. But he's operating in a different world than that -- I think it was certainly better than to be expected. And I thought too it was quite good, as you did Bill, so this was something that you can live with in terms of a response from the Trump campaign and of course from there it's over. You know, the news cycle is over, if he's asked about it again he's already gone on record, he is the Teflon Don. He's the Teflon candidate. This wasn't of course made to hurt him, I don't know how much it hurt or helped him. Ultimately I don't think it did much of either -- it might have marginally helped him. It certainly didn't hurt him. And so his response is something that you greet with a level of respect, am I right?

    JOHNSON: Oh yeah I do, I like it very much. And also the response that I got -- I put my own cell phone number out there. And I got, oh, a hundred calls regarding it. Most of the calls were hang-ups. They wanted to know if it was a real phone number. So they'd either hang up or say, "Oh I'm sorry, wrong number." But there were a majority of calls who were opposed to it but there were a minority of calls who approved of it, and liked it. So that was encouraging also. And that is a new phenomenon. Before we would have gotten no one who would be willing to come out and say that so these little things incrementally help raise awareness of the issues and help change public opinion.

    Later in the program, Jared Taylor praised Trump for essentially saying he understands "exactly what these guys are saying, they're furious, and they're right to be furious." Taylor concluded that "if he disavowed us, he did it, I thought, in the nicest possible way." From his interview on The Political Cesspool:

    EDWARDS: Your reaction to the Donald Trump acknowledgement, I think better than anyone really could have expected, correct?

    TAYLOR: Yes, he was, you know, for days everybody was calling him up, calling up his campaign saying, "What do you think of these horrible people? Denounce them, denounce them." And he didn't. You know, he just maintained a dignified silence as he's capable of doing. And then finally when CNN's Erin Burnett really forced him to say, "Well, I would disavow it." But she asked him, "are you shocked by this? Will you denounce this?" "I'm not shocked by anything in America." I thought that was a great line. He's so quick on his feet. And then he goes to say, "I would disavow it" but then he goes on to explain why people are so angry. In effect, he's saying, "Yeah, yeah, if you want me to denounce it I will, but I understand exactly what these guys are saying, they're furious, and they're right to be furious." So if he disavowed us, he did it, I thought, in the nicest possible way.

    As Media Matters and other outlets have documented, Trump's far-right rhetoric has spurred an "unprecedented interest in" white nationalism and has put their ideas "firmly in the mainstream."