On February 16, 2017 the President held a news conference supposedly to announce Alexander Acosta as his new pick for Labor Secretary in light of Puzder’s dropping out of the running. He also hinted he had a replacement for Flynn but the ex-Navy Seal he asked, declined.
After his announcement about Acosta, the President decided he needed to malign the media, spending several minutes and making multiple jabs at the press through out the hour and a half “news” conference. He seemed to be mostly obsessed with his version of “fake new” getting a hold of real leaks and reporting what was said, when those conversations were supposed to be confidential, or was that classified, or maybe just not what the President wanted people to know. Yet, he assured us his administration is running smoothly. There aren’t any problems except that the bad media is getting information illegally and reporting it. Hmmmm…Smooth, Mr. President. The information in the leaks which concerned him the most regarded his ties to Russia and various staff members’ conversations with people connected to Putin. In other words, he still insists Flynn was just doing his job even though 45 called for Flynn’s resignation. Our Commander in Chief even tried to say while so far it’s only been little stuff, if the press leaked something important while he was dealing with, say North Korea, it would be really bad. Of course, he neglected to mention having had a phone conversation about the North Korean security crisis while in a crowded dining room at Mar-a-Lago last weekend. Oops.
More than once the President insisted he owns nothing in Russia, has no loans in Russia, and no deals with Russia. He hasn’t got a deal, but he wants to make a deal with Russia which is why he hasn’t done anything in response to Russia’s spy ship off our coast, Russia’s testing of ballistic missiles, or the Russian aircraft which buzzed a US destroyer. Evidently our President thinks Putin is afraid the climate in the US isn’t conducive to deal making, but the President really want to make that deal. His strategy for making this happen is to build Putin’s confidence in him by not reacting to Russia’s threats toward America and broken treaty agreements. (I guess we’ll get the details later as to what that “deal” the president really wants to make might entail. I suspect it might be spelled OIL. The GOP did after all confirm Rex Tillerson).
In addition to continuing to call CNN fake news (because they report things he doesn’t want reported) and the New York Times a failing newspaper (despite their on-line subscriptions being the highest they’ve been since 2011), the President told more than a couple lies on Thursday. So, let’s fact check the news conference a little, shall we.
Beginning near the beginning, NO his was not the biggest electoral college margin since Reagan. 45’s margin is in fact 46th out of 58 elections. His 304 votes puts him behind both Obama’s wins of 332 and 365, both Clinton’s wins of 370 and 379, and George HW Bush’s win of 426. This man obviously cannot stand having others beat him.
The President’s insecurity might also explain why he bashed the media by claiming their approval ratings were lower than those of Congress. The truth is in the latest poll from Gallup Congress has a distrust factor of 55% while Newspapers and Television have a 36% and 40% distrust factor respectively. It might also be worth noting that while the Rassmussen poll shows 45’s approval ratings at 55% 10 other polls (including FOX News) show him below 50%. Gallup weighed in at 38%.
45 told another whopper when he stated that Clinton gave Russia 20% of the United States’ uranium. It simply didn’t happen. Russia bought a major stake in a Canadian company, Uranium One, which has mines in the United States. While Clinton was Secretary of State at the time, she was not personally on the panel that oversees the types of transaction as Uranium One. It should further be pointed out, 20% of our uranium capacity is a far cry from 20% of our existing uranium.
Resuming an old theme of denigrating the courts in order to discredit them, the President repeated the falsehood that the 9th Circuit court has the highest number of overturned cases. Both the 6th Circuit Court and the 11th Circuit Court have had higher records. BUT, that’s not actually the point. Most cases which go to appeal are overturned. It’s part of the reason cases are appealed; if the likelihood is not high a case will be decided differently it doesn’t move to an appellate court. Putting it into perspective a little further, the number of cases which see an appellate court are miniscule. Only 11 to 15 cases a year from the 9th Circuit Court, which sees approximately 12,000 cases annually, are accepted for appeal. (That’s .00125 percent of its cases). 45’s remarks are exaggerated for the sole purpose of creating an issue where there is none.
Finally, 45 bragged that no president before him has accomplished so much so quickly. Perhaps that’s because past presidents understood the difference between a democratic republic and an authoritarian regime. Perhaps past presidents didn’t actually attempt rule by executive order. And just maybe past presidents did have a lapdog Congress so drunk with their own power they were willing to pull the democracy right out from under the feet of the American people.