Here is PolitiFact's final tally of Trump vs. Clinton in the contest to see who lies their ass off the most:
For the arithmetically challenged, 51 percent of Trump's statement were categorically false, compared to 13 percent of Clinton's.
The only reason I'm putting this up is because we've all gotten so bored with it. Trump lies so consistently and so baldly that we barely even notice it anymore unless he says something truly outrageous—with the bar for "outrageous" moving upward all the time. Trump has ushered in an era of not merely exaggerating or cherry picking or twisting or evading. He just says anything he wants, and his followers buy it. This isn't normal, and we shouldn't accept it as normal.
On the flip side of the coin, we now have 25 years of evidence that Hillary Clinton is a pretty honest politician. Sure, she evades sometimes and she tries to tap dance around the truth sometimes. But she doesn't do this any more than most politicians. She's simply been the target of a massive, never-ending campaign from conservatives and the press to pay far more attention to her misdemeanors than they do to any other politician.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Hillary Clinton is one of the most honest politicians on the American stage.
Donald Trump surrogate and former “Apprentice” star Omarosa Manigault said that the Republican nominee would keep a list of his fellow party members who voted against him.Read More →
Donald Trump’s presidential campaign elevated the voices of explicitly white nationalist movements, including the online haters in the alt-right, who had previously been largely shunned from the larger conservative movement.
It’s no wonder, then, that many of these white nationalist activists celebrated Trump’s victory last night as their own, expressing hope that the president-elect would fulfill their dreams of deporting undocumented immigrants, continue to wake “white racial consciousness” and hire like-minded people to staff his administration.
Richard Spencer, the de facto leader of the alt-right, rejoiced on Twitter:
The white nationalist website VDARE, edited by former National Review writer Peter Brimelow, similarly rejoiced, and even retweeted a call for Trump to nationalize Twitter, the Clinton Foundation and “George Soros’ US assets”:
Ardent Trump supporter Ann Coulter retweeted VDARE’s boast that undocumented writer Jose Antonio Vargas will “have to go back” under a Trump administration”:
Coulter also had this advice for Trump:
VDARE writer Steve Sailer retweeted praise, including from Charles Murray, of his “Sailer strategy,” the idea that he has been pushing for years that the GOP can win national elections by driving up its share of the white vote, in part by scapegoating people of color:
And then there was former KKK leader and Louisiana Senate candidate David Duke, who was positively ecstatic:
The news that Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential race reportedly incited racial slurs and assaults at one vocational school in Pennsylvania.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, York NAACP President Sandra Thompson revealed that she had been receiving reports of students at York Vo-Tech "being spit on, attacked, and called names because of their race or perceived Immigrant status."
One concerned parent provided video of students at the school holding a Donald Trump campaign sign while shouting "white power."
The group "Parents of York County School of Technology Students" said on Facebook that members had received reports that "Trump's presidential win was announced at school today amidst chants of 'white power.' That white students referred to other races as their slaves, and at some points even spit on those students."
There’s an assumption, especially in the media, that Trump voters swung his way in spite of knowing that he had constantly expressed bigoted views against Latinos, African Americans, Muslims, and basically everyone not an authentic white Anglo-Saxon protestant. That’s not the case. Trump voters voted for Trump because of his racism.
In this election, they (white people) did not vote against their self-interests. They may have voted against a self-interest — several self-interests actually — but not their most important one: The preservation of white supremacy.
For all the narratives on economics, on Democrats forgetting the little people, and finger-pointing at everything from emails to Obamacare, the media is having a hard time seeing what is alt-right in front of them.
… please note that I am not including any qualifiers. For working class whites. Or whites from rust-belt cities. Or white men. Or white people who didn’t graduate from college—or rural whites, or Midwestern whites, or Southern whites. …
Millions of white voters have shown us that nothing existing on Earth or Heaven or Hell matters more to them than being white, and whichever privileges—real or fabricated; concrete or spiritual—existing as White in America provides.
This election was about what Breitbart, InfoWars, David Duke, and Donald Trump told us it was about—putting down the other.
President-elect Donald Trump seems to have changed his opinion overnight on protests again him that have spread nationwide.Read More →
On Fox News Sunday, Kellyanne Conway hinted at legal consequences for Harry Reid after he released his statement last week calling Trump what he is. In case you missed it, here's part of what Reid wrote:
“If this is going to be a time of healing, we must first put the responsibility for healing where it belongs: at the feet of Donald Trump, a sexual predator who lost the popular vote and fueled his campaign with bigotry and hate. Winning the electoral college does not absolve Trump of the grave sins he committed against millions of Americans. Donald Trump may not possess the capacity to assuage those fears, but he owes it to this nation to try.
“If Trump wants to roll back the tide of hate he unleashed, he has a tremendous amount of work to do and he must begin immediately.”
Advice not taken, as Conway warned this morning on Fox News Sunday that Reid's comments were "beyond the pale" and suggested he be careful "in the legal sense."
If you look back to Germany in the 1930s or even Turkey in the last 18 months, you'll see similar efforts to silence the opposition, even when they speak truth. Hush! they say, or else we'll jail you, or harangue you, or kill you.
We are about to hand a fascist the levers of enormous power. His right-hand person is now threatening a sitting Senator who spoke nothing but the truth.
President-elect Donald Trump told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a Monday phone call that he looked forward to a "strong and enduring" relationship with Russia.Read More →
Network executives and anchors who went for an “off the record” meeting with Donald Trump Monday afternoon were apparently told they’d be discussing press access during the Trump administration. Instead, Donald Trump delivered a screaming harangue aimed at execs, anchors, reporters … and pictures.
“It was like a f---ing firing squad,” one source said of the meeting. "Trump started with [CNN President] Jeff Zucker and said, ‘I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed.’"
… “Trump kept saying, ‘We’re in a room full of liars, the deceitful dishonest media who got it all wrong,'" the source said. "He addressed everyone in the room calling the media dishonest, deceitful liars. Trump didn’t say [NBC reporter] Katy Tur by name, but talked about a female correspondent who got it wrong.
Trump also complained about photos used by NBC, which he found “unflattering.”
Asked about the meeting, Kellyanne Conway said the reports of a Trump tirade weren’t true, and closed her statement with this fine reassurance for Freedom of Speech.
"By the way, it's an off-the-record meeting so whoever said that and mischaracterized it should think twice."
Who leaked the contents of the meeting? HUD Secretary Julián Castro has an idea.
Total power play by Trump to make these media folks look like children getting their scolding. He probably leaked it https://t.co/a51fgbTnoq— JuliÃÂ¡n Castro (@JulianCastro) November 22, 2016
It wasn’t just that Trump invited them up to be yelled at, he invited them up to be humiliated, so that he could them leak the news about how he kicked them in the balls and made them like it.
A lot of pundits got things wrong while covering this most disruptive of presidential elections. I know I did. But the most wrong of all may well turn out to be those members of the conservative movement who insisted through the entirety of the primary season and general election campaign that Donald Trump was a liberal in disguise who was likely to govern to the left of any true conservative.
On the basis of the president-elect's statements (especially his tweets) and early hires for his Cabinet and senior White House staff, this couldn't be further from the truth. Trump is putting together what will be easily the most right-wing administration in American history.
Let's take stock of where we are, three weeks after Trump's upset victory.
1. Tom Price
The six-term Georgia congressman, Trump's choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services, is strident in his opposition to the Affordable Care Act. He's also eager to transform Medicaid into block grants to states and to privatize Medicare. Given these priorities, it's no surprise that House Speaker Paul Ryan calls Price "the absolute perfect choice" for HHS secretary.
2. Steve Bannon
The executive chair of Breitbart News will be Trump's senior counselor and strategist. As has been widely reported since the announcement, Bannon has described Breitbart as an online "platform for the alt-right." That isn't an empty boast. With its combination of hard-edged nationalism, anti-establishment sentiment, conspiracy mongering, and flirtation with outright racism and anti-Semitism, the website has helped to bring the alt-right into the political mainstream — an effort that Trump's presidential campaign greatly accelerated.
3. Michael Flynn
For national security adviser, Trump picked Flynn, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Obama. Since being forced out of the DIA in August 2014, Flynn's statements and behavior have revealed him to be a far-right critic of the Obama administration with stridently anti-Muslim views. He also delivered an angry diatribe of a speech at the Republican convention and has recently expressed admiration for far-right propagandist Dinesh D'Souza and alt-right bad boy Milo Yiannopoulos.
4. Jeff Sessions
Trump's choice of attorney general is equally right-wing. The Alabama senator has a long track record of opposition to immigration and rights for the disabled. He's also been dogged by accusations of racism for much of his career. (Such charges led the Senate to deny him a federal judgeship in 1986.) All of this raises reasonable worries about what AG Sessions would do with the Justice Department's civil rights division, especially with regard to voting rights.
5. Betsy DeVos
For education secretary, Trump has tapped billionaire philanthropist Betsy DeVos, an outspoken critic of teachers unions and advocate of school choice and voucher programs — both of which the right wing of the Republican Party has been loudly championing for more than two decades.
6. Mike Pompeo
Trump's pick for CIA director is a garden-variety right-wing House Republican, fond of railing against Hillary Clinton about Benghazi, promising to keep the detention center at Guantanamo Bay open indefinitely, and asserting that Barack Obama has an "affinity" for terrorists.
7. Ben Carson
Carson, who has reportedly been offered the job of secretary of Housing and Urban Development but has not yet officially accepted it, has described as "communist" an Obama-era amendment to the Fair Housing Act that seeks to strengthen its provisions covering fair housing practices. Carson opposes the new rule, along with other "mandated social-engineering schemes," because he considers them "failed socialist experiments" that have proven "downright dangerous" in the past.
Trump's remaining major picks — Reince Priebus for chief of staff, Nikki Haley for U.N. ambassador, Wilbur Ross for commerce secretary, Steven Mnuchin for treasury secretary, and Elaine Chao for transportation secretary — don't stand out as especially polarizing choices. Only Haley is genuinely surprising, since one might have expected Trump to go with a fire-breather in that slot. Priebus' policy commitments are a mystery and, frankly, don't matter much for a position that amounts to the Grand Manager of the West Wing. Ross and Mnuchin are just your average run-of-the-mill fabulously wealthy Trump-supporting staunch Republicans. As for Chao, it makes sense for an executive department rarely enmeshed in ideological debates to be led by a figure firmly ensconced in the GOP's Washington establishment. As George W. Bush's former labor secretary and the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), that's what Chao clearly is.
As for still-open important Cabinet positions — including secretary of state — the list of people under consideration includes several far-right options. We should learn within the coming days whether the president-elect will choose hotheads Rudy Giuliani, John Bolton, or Putin-loving Rep. Dana Rohrabacher for state. And that's not even mentioning the possibility of Sarah Palin or Jan Brewer for interior, Sam Brownback for agriculture, Joe Arpaio or Kris Kobach for Homeland Security, and on and on and on.
Add to this the 21 staunchly conservative jurists and legal scholars included on the list of nominees for the Supreme Court that Trump released in September, and we have a remarkably clear and consistent picture of an incoming administration eager to prove its right-wing bona fides. That would certainly appear to be borne out by Trump's recent tweets attacking a CNN correspondent by name and suggesting that those who burn the American flag should be punished by having their citizenship revoked.
The only remotely plausible sign of Trump making a play for the center has come in the form of his emphasis on infrastructure spending. (Though it's also true that he's proposing an infrastructure plan that's heavy on tax breaks for private companies, which will presumably cheer pro-business Republican more than a plan for direct government spending would be likely to do.) The president-elect has also made some vague statements to The New York Times indicating a willingness to back away from the use of torture, reconsider his skepticism about climate change, and entertain a compromise on immigration.
We'll see if any of that materializes. At the moment, these sound like unenforceable, rhetorical gestures toward the center in the midst of a series of dramatic lurches to the far right on personnel and policy. By Inauguration Day, Donald Trump may well have succeeded in making Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush look like liberal squishes in comparison.
On Sunday, a man wielding an assault rifle walked into Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, DC, and fired his weapon. No one was injured, but the suspect, 28-year-old Edgar Welch, reportedly told police that he had traveled six hours from North Carolina to "self-investigate" a conspiracy theory known as #Pizzagate that falsely claimed Hillary Clinton and her Democratic allies were secretly running a child sex-trafficking operation inside the business. The theory had been roundly discredited by nearly every major news outlet, including the Times and the Washington Post.
The incident marks the most concrete, physical example of the dangerous consequences when unhinged, fabricated news moves unchallenged from social media to the real world. It also raises questions about the effects from the actions of Donald Trump, an avid conspiracy theorist himself, and some members of the team he's building to help him lead the next White House.
Just take a look at what Michael Flynn, the son of Trump's pick for national security adviser who reportedly also has an official transition email address, tweeted the day after the Comet Ping Pong shooting:
Last month, his father tweeted a similar false report linking Clinton to other forms of child abuse.
U decide - NYPD Blows Whistle on New Hillary Emails: Money Laundering, Sex Crimes w Children, etc...MUST READ! https://t.co/O0bVJT3QDr— General Flynn (@GenFlynn) November 3, 2016
But these are not isolated instances. Here's a small sampling of other wild conspiracy theories pushed by Trump's inner circle:
An 'extremely credible source' has called my office and told me that @BarackObama's birth certificate is a fraud.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2012
The presidential election has already catalyzed a debate over how to fix the rise and amplification of false stories masked as "news." Following intense criticism, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pledged to fight the spread of misinformation. (He initially denied social media's role in perpetuating fake news.) But while pundits, the media, and tech companies race toward a solution, the next administration is getting stacked with powerful figures pushing the very stories at the center of the problem. As the Post aptly described in a headline this week, "In Trump's America, Pizzagate could be the new normal." And the president-elect's failure to speak out could very well inspire another gunman seeking justice, and this time someone might get hurt.
Update, November 7: A Trump spokesman confirmed the younger Michael Flynn was a part of the transition team but has since been removed.
Newt Gingrich urged Trump to revive Joseph McCarthy’s HUAC Committee, but it appears Trump means to do better than that.
The Trump transition team is already building a blacklist at the Department of Energy.
The transition team has asked the agency to list employees and contractors who attended United Nations climate meetings, along with those who helped develop the Obama administration’s social cost of carbon metrics, used to estimate and justify the climate benefits of new rules.
Don’t expect the Congress to be any help in heading off Trump’s climate McCarthyism.
The questions about the social cost of carbon dovetail with similar, so-far-unsuccessful requests from Republicans on Capitol Hill, who have also sought information about the analysis underpinning that policy and the people who helped develop it.
Are you now, or have you ever been, a believer in climate change?
Women had planned a Million Women's march to protest Trump's election at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Protesting on public lands is a time-honored American tradition. Just ask Glenn Beck. But this time, there will be no protests because Donald Trump has filed a permit barring such a thing from happening.
According to The Guardian:
The NPS filed a “massive omnibus blocking permit” for many of Washington DC’s most famous political locations for days and weeks before and after the inauguration on 20 January, said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, a constitutional rights litigator and the executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund.
NYMag reports that 126,000 people had already RSVP'd on Facebook, but they will not have access to the monuments or areas ordinarily reserved for public gatherings.
Donald Trump is diving right into the role of authoritarian leader and he hasn't even been certified by the Electoral College. How, do you ask? Well, he is levying threats against the GOP electors, which sounds an awful lot like something the mob would do.... "If you don't do as I say, I'll break your kneecaps."
Salon reports that the Trump goons are contacting the GOP electors one by one and threatening them with "political reprisal" if they dare consider voting against the Fuhrer.
They sound scared.
The source called Salon but wished to remain anonymous. The elector said:
“We have gotten reports from multiple people that the Donald Trump campaign is putting pressure on Republican electors to vote for him based on . . . future political outcomes based on whether they vote for Donald Trump or not.”
If this doesn't push electors to vote for anyone but Trump, I don't know what will. Between Russia, hacking, refusal to divest his businesses, today's bombshell about Turkey, refusal to release taxes, sexual assault, etc, I don't know what will.
In the 10th Federalist Paper, James Madison observed that “Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.” But Madison did not have a Twitter account, while Donald Trump does.
On Thursday morning, Trump once again took to Twitter to attack a business and an individual that had had the nerve to say something critical about the Trump empire. A day after Vanity Fair published a negative review of Trump Grill, the steakhouse at Trump Tower in New York City, Trump mocked the magazine for having a low circulation and personally attacked the publication’s editor by name as a “no talent.”
Has anyone looked at the really poor numbers of @VanityFair Magazine. Way down, big trouble, dead! Graydon Carter, no talent, will be out!
Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!
Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!
Just tried watching Saturday Night Live - unwatchable! Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can't get any worse. Sad
Trump has also taken aim at the “failing New York Times” and the “overrated” Broadway musical Hamilton due to other perceived slights. He has previously suggested that the First Amendment’s free speech guarantees provide “too much protection.” Still, Trump has indicated a willingness to tweet less — if only people would stop criticizing him.
If the press would cover me accurately & honorably, I would have far less reason to "tweet." Sadly, I don't know if that will ever happen!
Trump postponed a promised press conference, scheduled to happen Thursday (after holding none since July), until after the Electoral College meets. His excuse: “Busy times!” interfering with his ability to address his myriad business conflicts of interests. Still, the president-elect apparently has plenty of time to smear his critics.
Trump continues to attack anyone who dares criticize him was originally published in ThinkProgress on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
President-elect Trump ran a campaign insulting Mexicans, spreading fear about Islam, and generally enthralling white supremacists, so it should be no surprise that he’s chosen a cabinet that reflects these views.
Trump nominated Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. In 1986, the Senate rejected Sessions’ nomination to become a federal judge due to accusations of racism.
How about Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s pick for Treasury Secretary? His bank is accused of discrimination. According to the complaint, the bank kept branches out of neighborhoods of color and denied mortgages to homebuyers of color.
Watch the video to see what some of Trump’s other picks had to say.
TRUMP: These are really really talented people
TEXT: President-elect Trump has started shaping his administration. Here’s what it looks like:
Jeff Sessions; Junior Senator, Alabama; Trump’s Attorney General
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: An African-American assistant U.S. attorney in Alabama testified that Mr. Sessions called him boy.
DANA BASCH, CNN: Sessions was accused of racial insensitivity, calling a black lawyer boy, a white lawyer a disgrace to his race, and civil rights groups like the NAACP un-American.
TEXT: In 1986, Sessions was nominated to be a federal judge.
SESSIONS: I am not a racist, I am not insensitive to blacks.
SEN. TED KENNEDY: It’s inconceivable to me that a person of this attitude is qualified to be a U.S. attorney, let alone a United States federal judge.
TEXT: He was rejected. A decade later, he became a U.S. senator.
Ben Carson; retired neurosurgeon; presidential candidate, 2016; Trump’s Secretary of Housing
CARSON: I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN: You think being gay is a choice?
CUOMO: Why do you say that?
CARSON: Because a lot of people who go into prison, go into prison straight and when they come out they’re gay.
TEXT: Rick Perry; Former Governor of Texas, Presidential Candidate 2012 & 2016; Trump’s Energy Secretary
PERRY: I may have the genetic coding that I am inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that. And I look at the homosexual issue as the same way.
TEXT: In a memo to President Obama, Rick Perry wrote: “On any given day, the Mexican border region is now beset with vicious murders, tortures, kidnappings and armed confrontations.”
STEVEN COLBERT, Comedy Central: The Washington Post reports that the Rick Perry family hunting camp once had a racially charged name. You see the hunting camp was evidently called… (sigh) phew. How do I put this?
HERMAIN CAIN: I know that you refrain from saying that word so I’m going to savor the word whiles on the rock. The name of the place was called N*****head.
TEXT: Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn; Retired; Trump’s National Security Advisor
FLYNN: There is a disease inside this Islamic body, it’s like cancer and it has metastasized
TWEET(Flynn): We are facing violent, but very serious and cunning radical Islamists. We can be war weary when we win. If we lose, we have nothing
TWEET (Flynn): Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL: please forward this to others: the truth fears no questions…
TEXT: Steven Mnuchin; CEO, Dune Capital Management; Trump’s Secretary of the Treasury
KBCW: Billionaire hedge fund manager and former Goldman Sachs partner Steve Mnuchin — is facing claims of discrimination. In a complaint, the nonprofits allege that One West left foreclosed properties in a state of disrepair in predominately African American, Asian American, and Latino communities while keeping foreclosures in white neighborhoods in better condition.
TEXT: Stephen Bannon; Chief Executive, breitbart.com; Trump’s Chief Strategist
BANNON: We’re not cloven hooved devils, we’re not nativist, homophobe, racists.
TEXT: And yet…while Bannon was in charge, Breitbart produced stories like:
HEADLINES: Black Activists Call For Lynching and Hanging of White People and Cops
Donald Trump Would be the First Black President
Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew
TEXT: At least one person is happy about it:
TWEET (David Duke): Bannon, Flynn, Sessions — Great! Senate must demand that Sessions as AG stop the massive institutional race discrimination against whites!
HERSHEY, Pa. (AP) — Donald Trump's barnstorming tour across the states that won him the White House continues to feature far more taunts of triumph than notes of healing after a bruising election.
Thursday's rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania, found the president-elect calling for the mostly white crowd to cheer for African-Americans who were "smart" to heed his message and therefore "didn't come out to vote" for his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
"That was the big thing, so thank you to the African-American community," Trump said.
He also edged closer Thursday to completing his Cabinet, announcing his choice for interior secretary: Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke, who should fit smoothly into an administration favoring more energy drilling and less regulation.
The president-elect — who also found time to hit Twitter, playing media critic and then stating anew his doubts about charges that Russia hackers tried to disrupt the U.S. election — boasted to the crowd in Pennsylvania that he captured a state that for many Republicans was "the bride that got away."
"Everyone leaves Pennsylvania, Republicans, thinking they won Pennsylvania. And they never do. They just don't win Pennsylvania," said Trump.
Pennsylvania had not gone for a Republican candidate since 1988. But the Trump campaign staff long thought that the state, rich in white working-class voters, would be receptive to his populist message and not be part of Clinton's hoped-for firewall.
Trump repeatedly campaigned there, drawing some of the largest and loudest crowds of the campaign. He won the state by less than 1 percentage point, giving him a vital 20 electoral college votes.
The evening rally in Hershey also featured a nearly 20-minute recap of Trump's election night win with the crowd cheering as the president-elect slowly ticked off his victories state by state, mixing in rambling criticisms of incorrect pundits and politicians from both sides of the aisle.
Trump earlier praised Zinke, a former Navy SEAL, as having "built one of the strongest track records on championing regulatory relief, forest management, responsible energy development and public land issues." Zinke, 55, was an early supporter of the president-elect and publicly expressed his interest in a Cabinet post when Trump visited Montana in May.
As with several other Cabinet selections, Zinke has advocated increased drilling and mining on public lands and has expressed skepticism about the urgency of climate change. House Speaker Paul Ryan praised the pick, saying Zinke "has been an ardent supporter of all-of-the-above energy policies and responsible land management."
But his nomination could have a ripple effect on control of the Senate, since Zinke now may forgo what was once a near-certain challenge to Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in 2018.
The president-elect also tapped attorney Daniel Friedman, his adviser on Israeli affairs, to be U.S. Ambassador to Israel. Friedman, in a statement, said he would help fulfill Trump's promise to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Many Republican presidents have made a similar vow without success.
Trump also added to his national security team by announcing the appointments of retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg as chief of staff of the National Security Council and Monica Crowley, a Fox News analyst, as the organization's director of communications. Kellogg spent more than 35 years in the Army and, in 2003, oversaw the efforts to form the new Iraqi military after it was disbanded. Crowley and Fox ended their relationship on Thursday.
Trump has two Cabinet selections yet to make though he also needs to fill out much of his White House staff. And he was busy on Twitter Thursday morning.
He again cast doubt on U.S. intelligence assertions about Russia election hacking, writing: "If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?"
That assertion is untrue. A month before the election, the Obama administration bluntly accused Russia of hacking American political sites and email accounts to interfere.
Trump has repeatedly said he'd like to improve ties with Russia, a hope that has been echoed in Moscow. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday lauded Trump's Cabinet selections, and particularly Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State, as people with no "anti-Russian stereotypes."
The Kremlin has cheered Trump's victory although some Russian officials have recently said they are not expecting relations between Russia and the U.S., which were battered after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, to improve overnight.
Trump also tweeted, "The media tries so hard to make my move to the White House, as it pertains to my business, so complex - when actually it isn't!" His declaration came on the day he was supposed to hold a news conference, now postponed until January, to reveal how he plans to distance himself from his business. Aides said more time was needed to finalize the complicated arrangement.
President-elect Donald Trump has long positioned himself at odds with the media, lashing out at reporters and outlets that dared to criticize him or shine light on his numerous scandals. His vitriol toward the press became so intense on the campaign trail that reporters covering his rallies began to fear for their safety.
The Trump campaign also sought out allies, like Fox News’ Sean Hannity, to counteract the media’s attempt at straightforward coverage with airtime unencumbered by tough questions (over $31 million in free airtime, in fact). Now it seems Hannity wasn’t the only one. The campaign struck a deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group for similarly uncritical coverage, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner reportedly told a group of business executives in Manhattan Friday.
Sinclair got more access to Trump and the campaign and, in return, broadcast Trump interviews without commentary to its television stations across the country, six people who heard Kushner’s remarks told Politico.
“Kushner highlighted that Sinclair, in states like Ohio, reaches a much wider audience — around 250,000 listeners — than networks like CNN, which reach somewhere around 30,000.”Sinclair owns and operates, programs or provides sales services to stations in the above markets. CREDIT: Screenshot, sbgi.net
A Trump spokesperson told Politico the Sinclair deal included interviews running across every affiliate and that the campaign had sought to disseminate information through other media companies with affiliates, like Hearst.
Sinclair Broadcast Group owns or has partnerships with 173 television stations, on 482 channels, in 81 U.S. markets, according to its website.
“It was a standard package, but an extended package, extended story where you’d hear more directly from candidate on the issue instead of hearing all the spin and all the rhetoric,” Scott Livingston, vice president of news at Sinclair, said. Livingston also told Politico that the company offered extended interviews to both campaigns and that Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine did a few while Hillary Clinton did not.
For the most part, Trump has taken a more direct approach to try to squelch any negative coverage of himself or his numerous business interests. Just this week the president-elect smeared the editor of Vanity Fair on Twitter, saying he had “no talent” after the magazine published a critical review of Trump Grill.
Trump had a similar reaction to NBC Nightly News last week, presumably in response to a report mentioning his choice not to receive daily intelligence briefings and rejection of the intelligence community’s growing conviction regarding Russian interference in the presidential election.
The Trump campaign repeatedly denied credentials to outlets that covered him critically — including the Washington Post, BuzzFeed, and Politico — and threatened to sue the New York Times when it published the accounts of two women who accused Trump of sexual assault. (The full list of journalists and outlets attacked by Trump is extensive, compiled here by Media Matters.)
Trump’s outright disdain for the media and repeated claims that the press was overwhelmingly biased against him seemed to take hold in voters: In the lead-up to the election, 52 percent of registered voters thought the media was biased in favor of Clinton; in another poll, 75 percent of respondents said they believed the media wanted to see Clinton elected.
In October, the Committee to Protect Journalists’ board of directors passed a resolution “declaring Trump an unprecedented threat to the rights of journalists and to CPJ’s ability to advocate for press freedom around the world.” As he prepares to move into the White House, however, concern for the future of press freedom has risen exponentially.
His ascendance means “there’s definitely reason for concern,” Suzanne Nossel, executive director of PEN American Center, which advocates for free expression, told Newsweek. “If the campaign and his past history are any indication, this will be a president who is dismissive of the role of the press. Accusatory. Punitive in his treatment of journalists. Arbitrary. Secretive when he wants to be.”