Trump spent days fuming over the fact check, saying Thursday it’s “so ridiculous” for Twitter to make the case mail-in ballots aren’t subject to fraud.
Explained: How the president’s tweet threatens to break four laws.
Ever since Scottish officials tried to build a “really ugly wind farm” by his Aberdeen golf course in 2006, Donald Trump has been an outspoken critic of wind power. He has also been a lifelong climate change denier, despite 97% of climate scientists agreeing that climate change is real and humans are causing it. “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” he tweeted in 2012.
In response to alarming reports about the consequences if we don’t take action on climate change, Trump has mocked renewable sources of energy. At a rally in Ohio last month, he predicted power failures if the wind stops blowing, quipping, “When the wind doesn’t blow, just turn off the television darling, please.” That’s a humorous scenario, but not accurate, as grid operators draw electricity from solar panels, natural gas turbines and hydroelectric dams during gaps of wind.
The US woke on Saturday to the 15th day of a partial government shutdownthat Donald Trump said could go on for months or years, if he is not given funding for a wall on the Mexican border. New talks were due but as the nation digested the president’s rambling, contradictory and combative remarks at a White House press conference on Friday, potentially devastating effects of the shutdown were coming into focus.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which provides dietary assistance to 38 million low-income Americans and is colloquially known as food stamps, will soon face cuts and will run out of funds in March. Tax refunds totalling billions of dollars and due in April to millions may be delayed. And, CNN reported, Transportation Security Agents vital to the operation of major airports are beginning to call out sick, after being forced to work without pay.
Hydrick Thomas, the president of the national TSA employee union, told CNN of the callouts by “hundreds” of officers: “This will definitely affect the flying public who we [are] sworn to protect.”
Trump named Vice-President Mike Pence, homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and senior adviser Jared Kushner as his representatives at meetings with Democrats, starting at 11am on Saturday.
He also returned to Twitter. Claiming “great support … from all sides for Border Security”, the president made a jab at familiar media targets when he wrote: “Teams negotiating this weekend! Washington Post and NBC reporting of events, including Fake sources, has been very inaccurate (to put it mildly)!”
Unlike House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and minority whip Steve Scalise, Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, was not present at the Friday press conference. He has sought to leave Democrats and the president to fight it out, thereby to avoid political damage. Trump shrugged off McConnell’s absence but minority leader Chuck Schumer said: “The president needs an intervention, and Senate Republicans are just the right ones to intervene.”
Trump campaigned on a promise to build the wall, which he says is necessary to stop undocumented migration and the flow of drugs into the US, and to stop terrorists entering the country.
The last claim is as frequently questioned by media factcheckers as it is trotted out by Trump and his allies. On Friday, asked to comment on the claim made by her boss as she stood with him in the White House Rose Garden, Nielsen said more than 3,000 “special interest aliens” had been stopped at the south-western border in an unspecified period. It was swiftly pointed out that nearly all people crossing the border who are not from western hemisphere countries are thus classified.
President Trump is stepping up his efforts to protect Republicans from Democratic attacks that people with pre-existing conditions will be in danger of losing their health coverage under GOP control of Washington.
The Democratic attacks have been effective and put Republicans on defense following years in which a GOP Congress sought to repeal ObamaCare, which made protections for people with pre-existing conditions a part of U.S. law.
Trump’s first year in office was also focused on repealing ObamaCare, and his administration has supported a lawsuit that would overturn the healthcare law’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions, preventing them from being denied coverage or charged more.
Yet on Wednesday, Trump was insisting it was the GOP that would protect pre-existing conditions, and Democrats who would not.
“Republicans will totally protect people with Pre-Existing Conditions, Democrats will not! Vote Republican,” Trump tweeted Wednesday.
Trump offered a similar argument in a tweet last week, stating that “all Republicans support people with pre-existing conditions, and if they don’t, they will after I speak to them.”
At rallies, Trump has been offering a similar argument.
The statements are an effort to fend off a barrage of Democratic attacks in the campaign.
“Poll after poll shows that voters tend to trust a candidate with a D next to their name rather than a candidate with an R next to their name when it comes to the issue,” said Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist.
“They’re trying to get out in front of this to make sure that Democrats don’t effectively land it.”
Democrats pushed back sharply on Trump’s tweet on Wednesday, noting that his policy moves contradict his message.
“Good morning, America. This is a lie,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) tweeted in response to Trump.
“Mr. President, 4 words for you: Drop the lawsuit now,” Schumer added.
“Trump is no longer just lying about health care,” tweeted Democratic strategist Jesse Ferguson. “He’s trying to deliberately scam the American people with lies and conspiracy theories to cover up what his party is really trying to do.”
Democrats also seized on new rules the Trump administration put forward just this week, making it easier for states to get waivers from ObamaCare regulations to encourage the use of short-term health insurance plans, which can deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions or charge them more.
Tom Miller, a health care expert at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, said that there are possible alternative ways besides ObamaCare to cover people with pre-existing conditions, such as providing enough funding for high-risk pools.
But he said that the Republican failure to spell out those alternatives had left the party scrambling to say it supports ObamaCare’s protections.
“They’re lurching in the opposite direction, saying ‘I didn’t mean that,’” Miller said. “It’s a phased retreat from where they used to be.”
The Democratic onslaught on the issue, epitomized by an ad from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) showing himself shooting the anti-ObamaCare lawsuit with a gun, continued on Wednesday.
More than two dozen states have refused to turn over data.